Lewis Heafitz, a Boston-area industrial real estate developer, has donated a building in Randolph, Mass., to the BU School of Medicine. The 21,700-square-foot facility, appraised at $4.2 million, was formerly occupied by the Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company Aeres-Serono.
“The School of Medicine is very grateful to Lew Heafitz for his generous gift,” says Karen Antman, MED dean and provost of the BU Medical Campus. “This support will further the important work being done at the School of Medicine. I am also pleased to announce that Lew has agreed to serve on the BUSM Board of Visitors. Lew’s strong leadership will be a fine asset to the board.” The Board of Visitors is a group of advisors providing advice and support to the School of Medicine.
The building, located at 27 Pacella Park Drive — 15 miles south of Boston near Route 128 — includes laboratory space and office space. Heafitz, a partner in Equity Industrial Partners Corporation of Needham, Mass., bought the facility in the late 1980s. Tenants have included Johnson & Johnson and Xerox. Heafitz’s corporation owns four other buildings on the same street.
Equity Industrial Partners has developed properties for several area biotechnology firms, including the Genetics Institute in Cambridge and Diacrin in Charlestown. For the past decade it has specialized in large warehouse facilities.
Heafitz and his wife, Ina, actively support such philanthropic efforts as The Second Step, a Boston area nonprofit that serves homeless women and their children who are survivors of domestic violence, and the Jewish Vocational Service of Boston.
The Heafitz family has a long history of giving to educational institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania — Lewis’ alma mater — MIT, and Harvard University. Indeed, Heafitz Hall of the North American Indian at Harvard’s Peabody Museum is named for Lewis’ older brother Bruce. Another brother, Morton, a retired thoracic surgeon, donated a building on Bay State Road to BU in the 1980s. Lewis’ brother-in-law, Gerald Goldman (MED’77), has contributed to the School of Medicine, and Lewis has previously donated to A Different September Foundation, the nonprofit fundraising operation of the BU/Chelsea Educational Partnership whose purpose is to advance the partnership’s mission of reforming the Chelsea public schools. Ina Heafitz, a trustee of the Boston Museum of Science, is a longtime contributor to WBUR, the National Public Radio station owned and operated by BU.
“I’m thrilled to give this property to the BU School of Medicine,” says Heafitz, who lives in Newton. “My family has close ties with the school, which is doing important research and training tomorrow’s physicians.”