0 Northern Avenue Bridge Closure Impacting Local Businesses

View of the northern avenue bridge in Boston illuminated by purple lights at night

Credit: The Boston Globe

How do you get from the Financial District to the Seaport?  This question sounds simple enough; drive, public transit or walk.  All three have their challenges and with the closure of the Northern Avenue bridge, some pedestrians and business are feeling the pinch.

A recent Boston Globe article assessed the impact the bridge closing is having on local businesses:

“The short answer is yes, it has,” says Alex Blake, director of operations at The Barking Crab, when asked if the closure of the footbridge has affected business. “Our pedestrian business. The Northern Avenue Bridge was an easier bridge to cross than the Moakley Bridge is. We are more difficult to find, because the Northern Ave. Bridge would drop people right off at our front door.”

You can read the full article on the Boston Globe’s website.

0 Boston Office Market Continues to Soar

a trend of boston market peaks

Credit: Nerej.com

Rents are on the move, upward and don’t see any signs of letting up.  Class B product in the Downtown Crossing (DTX) area of the city have seen increases from the high $20’s a couple of years ago to the low $40’s.  Future predictions expect the 2016 levels to surpass the 2000 and 2007 markets peaks.

Nerej.com notes, “the city of Boston office market is absolutely exploding. 1.72 million s/f of office space was absorbed in 2014, 35% more than in 2013, and 50% more than in 2012. What statistics do not show is that Boston as a city has $110 billion in total assessed value for all its properties; $4 billion in new construction breaking ground, 4,500 current job openings and 44 tech IPO’s in the pipeline. 50% of total absorption in 2014 was urban migration from the suburbs. As of the start of 2015, there are 222,000 s/f of tenants in the market for downtown space alone.

You can read more about the Boston Office Market explosion on Nerej.com.

0 New Boston Design Center Showrooms Open

Boston design center in seaport

Credit: B&T

After completing $13 million in renovations, Jamestown is proud to announce some new tenants in the Design Center.

From Banker & Tradesman:

Jamestown, a real estate investment and development company headquartered in Atlanta, leases the 550,000-square-foot complex in the 1.4-million-square-foot Innovation and Design Building complex from the city of Boston. The complex contains 550,000 square feet dedicated to luxury home furnishing showrooms along with office and innovation space...Jamestown recently completed more than $13 million in interior renovations at the center, the first major physical updates since it opened in 1985. The project included renovations of the lobby, common spaces and seminar room and new finishes and furniture from design center tenants.

0 Residential Tower Planned for Greenway

Greenway condos

Credit: BBJ

A new residential mid-rise is coming to Broad Street on the Greenway, included in the project will be a street level café and 52 residential units.  What’s going away?  The Times Irish Pub & Restaurant.

The BBJ notes the “project would create 175 construction jobs. If approved by the BRA, construction would begin this summer and wrap up in winter 2016…The proposed 110 Broad St. project is located adjacent to 55 India St., a surface parking lot which is the site of a planned $45 million, 12-story, 44-unit condominium tower with ground-floor retail tower that’s been approved by the BRA.”

You can find the full article on the Boston Business Journal, here.

0 Charlestown Office Space Attracts Light Bulb

As rents continue to push northward tenants are search for value options.  In this particular case value is located in Charlestown for Light Blub, which lured the company away from Cambridge.

Charlestown office space

Credit: bizjournals.com

From the BBJ:

Light Bulb had been located in 2,000 square feet at the Cambridge Innovation Center, a coworking space for startups, before looking to branch out. The company was considering other office space in Cambridge or Boston. But it was a recently renovated brick-and-beam office building at 56 Roland St. in Charlestown that caught Finally Light Bulb’s eye…The company will expand to 8,000 square feet in March at the office, quadrupling its existing space.

0 South End 200-room Hotel Proposed Near Ink Block

Boston’s hotel community is hoping to welcome a new player to the scene, AC Marriot.  The brand has started in Europe and has recently expanded into the U.S. market.  If you are thinking about where your clients will stay when visiting your office, the following map outlines a 15 minute walk to the new proposed hotel.

Map of ink block boston

Credit: InkBlockBoston

The Boston Globe indicates, if approved, “the six-story AC Marriott would be on Albany Street, adjacent to the Ink Block site. It would replace a pair of low-slung brick buildings that formerly housed offices for Independent Taxi and F.W. Webb…The company wants to start construction in the fall, with the hotel’s opening scheduled for early 2017.”

You can read more on the Boston Globe’s website.

0 Boston Snow-clearing Progress Available Online

The calendar has turned to February and we are in the midpoint of winter.  When you consider a location for your new office you might want to check and make sure the address gets good service by the City of Boston Department of Public Works. You can also check out a new site, Snow Stats, that allows the city to post snow clearing activity. The site is by no means a snow-cam mounted on the front of the truck looking at what needs to be plowed, and a camera on the back looking at the results, but it is a start.

Snow stats in Boston

Credit: snowstats.boston.gov

According to the Boston Business Journal, “Snow Stats, officially launched by the city on Monday during the second big snowstorm in as many weeks, allows residents to monitor Boston’s snow operations including an overview of the season showing the total miles and hours plowed, salt used, and total snowfall. The site also shows what phase the snow operation is in, and what tasks are being completed in each snow response phase.”

You can read more on the site on the BBJ.

0 Seaport Growth Necessitates Transit Overhaul

Silverline T in Boston

Credit: Banker and Tradesman

The fast growing market is the Seaport of Boston.  The growth has put a tremendous squeeze on all aspects that connect that part of the city to its surrounding areas and the city is looking at a variety of solutions to ease the commuter pain.  This would range from the haul road, ferry service and Silver line.  This by no means will happen overnight, but at least it is getting the attention it requires.

Banker and Tradesman outlines the immediate actions recommended within [the next] six months:

• Expand use of the Bypass Road to all vehicles from Richards Street to West Service Road full-time and from I-93 to Richards Street eastbound during the morning rush hour.
• Allow all vehicles to use the northbound HOV lane from I-93 to the Ted Williams Tunnel.
• Speed up the Silver Line by giving it signal priority at the D Street intersection and add real-time arrival information for passengers.
• Install new Hubway bike sharing stations at Thomson Place, the Gillette Co. and Channel Center.
• Consolidate corporate shuttle bus services along A Street.

You can read the full B&T article on its website, here.

0 Office Space Super Bowl

77 North Washington St in Boston

Credit: rejournals.com

Office Vacancy and the Super bowl, the city with the highest vacancy rate wins.

REjournals compared Boston and Seattle’s office markets, citing a correlation between office vacancies and Super Bowl victories: “according to JLL, NFL teams based in cities with higher office vacancy rates have won the Lombardi Trophy 60 percent of the time in the past 15 seasons, including seven straight years from 2000 through 2006…This year, Boston’s office vacancy rate is 14.7 percent while Seattle’s is 10.7 percent. Based on this statistic, the odds favor New England.”

You can read the complete analysis on rejournals.com.

0 Back Bay and North Station May Get New Office Towers

north station project

Credit: B&T

Boston Properties is moving forward with 2 major projects located at 2 transportation hubs.  Back Bay Station is the proposed spot of a new tower development, while North Station will benefit from the same.

From Banker and Tradesman:

The real estate investment trust said this morning it has entered a joint venture to acquire the air rights for the 377,000-square-foot initial phase of the North Station redevelopment. It also has signed a 44-year extension on its lease for the Clarendon Street parking garage with the state Department of Transportation, part of a larger proposal to build two towers containing offices, residences and retail above Back Bay Station. As part of the agreement, Boston Properties will take over management of the renovated station, which serves the Orange Line subway and several commuter rail lines.