0 Stuart Street Motor Mart Garage Redevelopment Considered

Stuart street garage site

Credit: BBJ

The Motor Mart Garage as we know it might be different in years to come. In 1927, when it was built, it stood as the largest parking garaging in the world; now that title is held by West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, with parking for 20,000 vehicles.

Speculation appears to support that structure as we know it won’t go through a complete demo, but might be changed significantly.

From the Boston Business Journal:

Sources say possibilities for the garage’s redevelopment include building on top of the existing seven-story structure or tearing it down completely. Another possibility would be a partial demolition, threading a new building through the garage while leaving portions of it intact.

Beyond the 1,037 parking spaces, the Motor Mart Garage also houses 50,000 square feet of retail space, including Legal Sea Foods, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Maggiano’s Little Italy. The garage spans a full block and is bounded by Park Place, Stuart Street, Church Street, Columbus Avenue and Eliot Street.

0 Self-driving Boats Could Soon Cruise through Boston Harbor

Will self-driving boats on Boston Harbor relieve some of the Uber traffic on our city streets? We might soon be looking to a nine-person company in East Boston for those answers.

Self-driving boats in Boston

Credit: BBJ

A recent BBJ article notes, “Sea Machines Robotics Inc., which was named a Gold-level winner of last year’s MassChallenge accelerator program and recently graduated from TechStars Boston, has raised $1.5 million to support beta tests of its marine self-driving system…[the company] is about to begin testing its system, which uses software and readily available hardware to turn existing boats into autonomous vehicles, with two companies in the U.S. and one in Denmark. The companies in the pilot program focus on cleaning up oil spills and the surveying necessary to keep nautical charts up to date.”

You can read the full Boston Business Journal article on its website.

0 Boston Harbor Cruises repositions itself as water shuttle

Alison Nolan. Boston Harbor

Image CreditL Boston Magazine

It doesn’t depend whether you are a regular in Boston or a tourist, getting around can be time consuming. Boston Harbor Cruises is positioning themselves to enhance their service offering by adding more water shuttle and taxi services throughout Boston Harbor. Most notably from North Station to the Seaport.

A lyrical snapshot from Boston Magazine describes the company, noting “Boston Harbor Cruises was founded in 1926, with a single boat rented by a West Ender named Matty Hughes, [Alison] Nolan’s great-grandfather. He offered sightseeing cruises along the Charles, coaxing his neighbors off the sweltering stoops of their apartment buildings for a cool trip up the river. The boat rides, which cost 10 cents, were a welcome treat on a hot day, even though the waters reeked of sewage and trash. Somehow, the filth didn’t stop Hughes’s new business from growing. He expanded his fleet and set up shop on India Wharf in the 1940s, adding tours to an even less desirable spot—the sludge-filled depths of Boston Harbor. If customers could brave the stench, they’d kick back while chugging past scenic landfills, including the one that used to be on Spectacle Island.”

Boston Magazine’s profile of Boston Harbor Cruises is available, here.

0 Analog Devices Moves ‘Innovation Lab’ to Downtown Boston, Triples office space

Oxford Properties 125 Summer Street is new home for Analog Devices innovation lab. Citing ease-of-access to public transportation as a key influencer in its decision to move to 125 Summer Street in Boston’s Financial District.

Analog garage cambridge

Credit: Bizjournals

From the BBJ:

Analog Devices Inc. is more than tripling the size of its startup incubator and emerging technologies lab in a move from Cambridge to downtown Boston — an expansion that will allow the Norwood-based multinational semiconductor company to hire an additional 80 to 140 workers for its emerging-technology group.

The [125 Summer St.] office provided the best mix of easy access to both the MBTA Red Line — a must for a company with roots at MIT, and an employee base that lives in Somerville and Cambridge — as well as what O’Doherty called the burgeoning startup culture of both downtown and the Seaport.

0 State Land for Sale near South Station in Boston

Land for sale near South Boston

Credit: Boston Globe

Just because state-owned land near South Station is for sale, it doesn’t mean it will sell. The location is ideal, but the encumbrances make it far less attractive for any suitable bidder.

From the Boston Globe:

“It’s just a particularly complex site by virtue of its location and logistics. And it has a utility plant that needs to be incorporated into your development scheme,” [Curtis Kemeny, a veteran Boston developer who considered buying the site the last time the state tried to sell it, in the mid-2000s] said. “It’s especially complicated.”

The Baker administration used the site — which it dubbed SouthGate — last year to highlight its campaign to sell state-owned parcels to developers, unlocking new sites for housing in crowded Greater Boston and bolstering state coffers with the proceeds.

0 GE Brands Boston HQ ‘Innovation Point’

GE's seaport HQ, Innovation point

Credit: Boston Business Journal

Where is Innovation Point? If you ask your Uber driver, I imagine you will get a confusing look back at you from the rear view mirror.  If you Google it, it is yet to be clearly defined in Maps other than showing part of the Northern end of the Seaport section of South Boston. Innovation Point is the name selected by GE for their new corporate headquarters in Boston.

Jeff Caywood a GE spokesperson, said the name is a reflection of both the neighborhood and company…The “innovation” piece is reflective of GE’s 125-year history, and the innovative products it has brought to the market — everything from lightbulbs to appliances to jet engines, he said. The “point,” meanwhile, reflects both the Fort Point neighborhood and the “acceleration point” of GE as it transforms into what it has dubbed a “digital industrial” company.

You can read the full article on the BBJ, here.

0 Evolving Office Real Estate Trend Shaping Boston Workspaces

Shared London office space

Credit: Bisnow

Some tenants now use a model where they lease less space and rely instead on on-demand conference room and meeting space. This model changes the square foot requirements per office worker, and has become a great resource for small to mid-sized office tenants.

From Bisnow:

These shared office spaces provide “temporary meeting space, conference rooms and event space to companies that would traditionally have leased or rented that space through their landlord. The goal is to offer employers a temporary solution on a need-by-need basis, giving office occupiers more flexibility to pursue cost-saving initiatives such as shrinking their square footage.”

One of the reasons these third-party space providers are gaining popularity within the industry is because they offer more than mere space — they provide hospitality services and create an experience that users would not otherwise get.

0 Boston Skyline is Slated for Change

The Boston Skyline is on track to change by 2020.  It will introduce some new players to the top ten and maintain some existing ones.

Curbed just posted a map of the 10 tallest buildings it expects to stand over Boston in 2020:

Boston office towers in 2020

Credit: Curbed

  1. 200 Clarendon
  2. Winthrop Square Tower
  3. Prudential Center Tower
  4. Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences One Dalton Street
  5. Millennium Tower
  6. South Station Tower
  7. Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
  8. One Boston Place
  9. One International Place
  10. Boston Harbor Garage tower

You can read more about the 10 buildings on Curbed, Boston.

0 Boston Commercial Real Estate Market Ripe for Investors

Boston Skyline over the Charles

Credit: Commercial Observer

The Boston area real estate market continues to offer investors a relative bargain compared with other markets when you consider rents, office space availability, workforce, employment numbers, and new construction.

Commercial Observer lists out the top ten reasons why investors should keep their eye on the area:

  1. Office vacancy is the lowest it’s been since before the Great Recession.
  2. Office asking rents are the highest they’ve been since before the Great Recession.
  3. These higher rents include even Class B space.
  4. Job growth in the Boston region is exploding—just look at GE.
  5. And look at the biotechnology industry.
  6. Boston’s office landlords are upgrading existing spaces and adding relatively little new inventory.
  7. Eataly, etc.
  8. The hotel market is one of the nation’s hottest—and tightest.
  9. As for Boston’s multifamily market, it’s nearly impossible to find one with better fundamentals.
  10. The region remains a relative steal.

 

0 Winthrop Square Deal Proposed by Mayor Walsh

Winthrop Square redevelopment

Credit: Bisnow

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is pushing for the Winthrop Square Tower and is offering tighter restrictions on future tower developments as a concession.

From Bisnow:

Mayor Marty Walsh’s proposal would bar future developments (except Millennium’s) from casting a shadow over the Common, Public Garden and Back Bay’s Copley Square. The plan would also call for new zoning in the Financial District and Downtown Crossing. The shadow change also needs state approval by Gov. Charlie Baker and the state legislature due to the changes it would bring to the Massachusetts’ 1990 shadow law.