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:
- Office vacancy is the lowest it’s been since before the Great Recession.
- Office asking rents are the highest they’ve been since before the Great Recession.
- These higher rents include even Class B space.
- Job growth in the Boston region is exploding—just look at GE.
- And look at the biotechnology industry.
- Boston’s office landlords are upgrading existing spaces and adding relatively little new inventory.
- Eataly, etc.
- The hotel market is one of the nation’s hottest—and tightest.
- As for Boston’s multifamily market, it’s nearly impossible to find one with better fundamentals.
- The region remains a relative steal.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is pushing for the Winthrop Square Tower and is offering tighter restrictions on future tower developments as a concession.
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.
Once a seller and now a buyer, the Davis Company is buying 88 Black Falcon Ave. for $60 million. The borders of the Seaport District submarket haven’t changed physically since Davis sold Back Falcon in 2006, but tenants desire to be there has changed. The Seaport office market has blossomed and is now one of the hottest markets in the country with a diverse tenant mix of TAMI, law, and life sciences.
According to a recent article from the Boston Business Journal, “the low-rise complex spans a combined 376,000 square feet, about evenly split between office and warehouse/R&D space, at the far edge of the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park…Davis Cos. plans to put “tens of millions of dollars into the property,” said CEO Jon Davis, and has tasked architecture firm Dyer Brown with creating a warm industrial aesthetic. Planned improvements include bolstering 88 Black Falcon’s structural underpinnings, adding WiFi throughout the property, and creating a bike storage area and fitness facility. Davis aims to complete work by the second quarter of 2018.”
You can read more on the BBJ, here.
Image Credit: fineartamerica.com
Yes, the Financial District can rest assured it will live to lease more space. Remember, this is the largest concentration of office space north of New York City, combined with great access via water shuttle, commuter rail, T, bus or car. Change is inevitable, however, and the Financial District landlords will need to continue with capital upgrades and tenant amenities to meet what today’s TAMI tenants and traditional tenants are seeking.
Banker and Tradesman notes, “the booming tech market has provided a lifeline of sorts, with a range of companies from established firms to startups decamping from more expensive space in Cambridge and its environs to the more budget-friendly lower floors of the Financial District’s tall timber, almost all of it built in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.”
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Office space for lease in Boston Financial District
The proposed plans for the Flower Exchange have been released by the Abby Group.
Credit: Boston Globe
Plans for the former Flower Exchange, centered on a 1-acre public plaza are cited in a recent Boston Globe article, noting “Abbey is targeting companies that want to be near Boston Medical Center and Boston University Medical School. The cluster of four buildings of lab or tech office space would total some 1.6 million square feet, rising 200 feet or more near the Southeast Expressway. Offices would have large open floor plans, while restaurants and stores would go at street level, as well as a cultural center and plaza Abbey has dubbed ‘Albany Green’.”
The article also includes a quote from Bill Keravuori, a managing partner at Abbey, defining the vision for the project as “a sort of European plaza…[which would] extend public space across the entire ground floor of the project.”
You can read the full article on the Boston Globe, here.
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South End office space for lease (property listings)
Credit: Banker and Tradesman
Looking for space in Boston’s Seaport? 121 Seaport Boulevard, being developed by Skanska, is looking for you. The office building will spread 400,000 square-feet, across 17 floors that are virtually column-free.
From Banker and Tradesman:
Promoted as Boston’s first elliptical tower, the design squeezed efficiencies out of its chilled beam heating and cooling system, said David Nagahiro, a principal at CBT. That eliminated the need for a large fan room in the core space on each floor, enabling nearly 86 percent of each floor to be leasable space.
“This is the most efficient floor plate in the city,” Nagahiro said.
Office space continues to evolve with creative new designs that appear years past would have been nonstarters. Dyer Brown has introduced the cozy cubby.
Image Credit: Boston Globe
From the Boston Globe:
Dyer Brown, an architectural firm, has designed cubbies as workspaces for the Boston offices of Criteo, a tech company…[carrying an aesthetic that’s] a bright pink cubby covered in comfy cushions.
The cubbies are “a very welcoming, inviting space that you want to be in,” said Jen Taylor of Dyer Brown architectural firm. “As people spend more time in the office, comfort is a priority. Creating these informal amenity spaces that replicate the comforts of home can help companies attract and retain talent…The bold color contrasts with the cozy vibe, and ties in with ‘‘the energy and excitement’’ of the company’s fun, young office culture, Taylor said.”
Credit: Boston Globe
The environment that surrounds us impacts our health, this is a fair statement and most would concur. The offices that we work in need to be as healthy as possible due to the amount of time that we spend indoors. Consulting firm Arup, at 60 State Street, has worked very hard to provide a healthy work environment for staff and clients.
From the Boston Globe:
Arup installed motorized sit-to-stand desks, showers to accommodate people running or biking to work, quiet zones and collaboration areas to encourage movement and minimize distractions, and a filter to reduce the amount of chlorine in the drinking water. The cleaning routine has also been intensified, with light switches and door handles wiped down regularly.
“We spend 90 percent of our time indoors, yet we spend almost all of our time thinking about outdoor air pollution,” said Joseph Allen, director of the three-year-old Healthy Buildings program at Harvard University’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, which has studied the benefits of keeping employees in top form. “What we’re doing here is quantifying what people intuitively know. When you’re stuck in a conference room that’s too hot, there’s no ventilation, you don’t perform as well.”
The city of Boston gives the “Green Light” for Chiofaro’s 600 foot Harbor Tower project.
From the Boston Business Journal:
The city-approved plan allows for a 600-foot tower at the site of the Boston Harbor Garage, a 1,380-space, 70-foot parking garage owned by Chiofaro, with 50 percent of the project site required to be open space. It also allows for a 305-foot, 22-story tower at the site of James Hook & Co. seafood restaurant on Northern Avenue, which would call for 30 percent of the lot as open space.
The plan covers 42 acres of downtown waterfront — of which about 22 acres is filled tidelands, while the remainder is the harbor — and 26 separate land parcels. The public process to develop a planning vision for the waterfront began in 2013.
Back Bay could be getting some more height at 1000 Boylston Street from Weiner Ventures.
The parcel is a block away from the 254-foot Hilton Back Bay and 360-foot Sheraton North Tower as well as the 756-foot Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences under construction. The 52-story Prudential Center tower is two blocks down Boylston. The complex would be on four different parcels, three of which are Mass Pike air rights plots.
If completed, 1000 Boylston will feature 182 apartments and 160 condominiums above a six-story podium composed of retail and parking. Its prominent location near the intersection of Boylston and Massachusetts Avenue is particularly complex due to the limited amount of ground the tower has for foundation.