0 Copley Place Upgrades Planned

Copley Square updates

Credit: Bisnow

Copley Square is going to see some major upgrade to Copley Place.  Simon Properties in planning major interior and exterior upgrades with completion in the Summer of ’16.

Bisnow is reporting that, “come September, Copley Place begins both interior and exterior upgrades. Simon Malls president David Contis says the high-end shopping destination will have a more modern and cohesive look. Simon expects to add a number of luxury retailers. Copley Place will remain open during renovations, with the majority of the project expected to be completed by summer 2016.”

You can read the original post, here.


0 Upgrades Scheduled for Newly Privatized MBTA Station in Back Bay

Back Bay Station is the 3rd Boston transit hub that has been turned over to the private sector and has some significant deferred maintenance.  Boston Properties is doing its part to help bridge the gap.

Back bay station renovations

Credit: Boston Globe

From The Boston Globe:

Just months after signing a $32 million deal to have the real estate giant Boston Properties upgrade the station, the Department of Transportation has agreed to cover six-figure shortfalls in rent from vendors and pay potentially big sums for structural repairs.

The agreement, signed in the closing weeks of the administration of Deval Patrick, calls for Boston Properties to manage the building and renovate the station — installing a new glass facade and windows, updating turnstiles and waiting areas, and bringing in new retail tenants.

In exchange, the company gets the right to build a tower above the station, which opened in 1987.

0 Wells Fargo Signs Lease for 150k Sq. Ft in the Financial District

Financial District boston office building at 125 High St.

Credit: B&T

Wells Fargo is on the move in the Financial District with a new lease at Tishman Speyer’s building on 125 High Street.

From Banker & Tradesman:

Wells Fargo has leased 150,000 square feet at 125 High St. in the Financial District and will begin relocating 775 employees from three locations in downtown Boston and Back Bay late next year…The 14-year lease for the 11th through 15th floors enables Wells Fargo to consolidate space from three buildings in the downtown and Back Bay beginning in late 2016, spokeswoman Krista Van Tassel said. More than 775 employees will move from 1 Boston Place, 101 Federal St. and 200 Berkeley St.

“We’re a large company and have multiple lines of business in the region,” Van Tassel said. “This is an opportunity to enhance our collaboration.”


0 John Hancock II Planned for 380 Stuart Street in Back Bay

rendering of new john hancock_tower at 380 Stuart Street

Credit: Boston Business Journal

The John Hancock tower Version 2.0 is being planned for 380 Stuart Street in Back Bay.

An article on the BBJ outlines the “six things you need to know about the tower proposal;” here are a few excerpts from the Boston Business Journal’s report:

  • What’s being proposed: A 625,000-square-foot, 26-story tower with street-level retail and cafe space and 175 underground parking spaces. The tower would top out at 380 feet.

  • Where would the tower go: 380 Stuart St., which is home to a nine-story, 140,000-square-foot office that dates back to 1924 and houses John Hancock Financial Services employees.

  • Who would go in: John Hancock envisions “owner-occupancy and commercial office” tenants using the space.

  • How would it be financed: John Hancock, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian financial services firm Manulife Financial (NYSE: MFC), would finance the building in its entirety.

  • Who’s leading development:Colliers International is the project manager representing John Hancock. The architects are Chicago-based Skidmore Owings Merrill and Boston-based CBT Architects.

  • What’s the project timeline: If approved, construction would start in late 2016, and the tower would be complete in early 2019.


0 Boston’s Untracked Development Tax Breaks

Much time and energy is spent discussing property taxes in the city of Boston. I firmly believe if the city is offering any tax concession then they should track them and be accountable for giving them.  By no means should we stop them, rather let’s have a better understanding of how they’re used to benefit the greater good.

Boston development property tax breaks in a map

Credit: Boston Globe

From the Boston Globe:

A Globe review found that city records are incomplete for most of the tax breaks the city awarded during the past four decades. It appears that only recently did the city begin to project how much deals would cost taxpayers.

City Hall could provide cost projections for only 10 major tax deals signed since 2008, totalling an estimated $78 million in lost tax revenue. These include the $9.7 million awarded for the new State Street Corp. office and adjacent garage on A Street, and $7.8 million for the bottom floors of a tower planned for land next to TD Garden.

After the Globe inquired about the city’s incomplete records, the Walsh administration pledged that it would keep better track of the costs of tax deals, almost all of which were signed by previous mayoral administrations.


0 500 Boylston and 222 Berkeley Sold for $1.3B

500 Boylston St. Boston

Credit: BBJ

Equity Office continues to shed Boston Class A towers with the announcement or the $1.3B sale of 500 Boylston and 222 Berkeley Streets to a partnership between JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Oxford Properties Group.

From the Boston Business Journal:

The two office buildings at 500 Boylston St. and 222 Berkeley St. take up the same square block in the Back Bay, one block up from Copley Square. 222 Berkeley is a 22-story office and retail complex, and 500 Boylston is a 25-story, 1.3 million-square-foot office.

500 Boylston Street is a 760,000 square foot 25 story tower with a typical floor size of 28,275 square feet.

222 Berkeley Street is a 524,195 square foot 22 story tower with a typical floor size of 51,655 square feet.

0 Franklin Street in Downtown Crossing is Closed to Vehicles for Year

Downtown Crossing office buildings

Credit: Boston Business Journal

The cost of construction means jobs and detours.  We all see the cranes in the air and the parade to cement mixers on our city streets, now we have one less street to drive on.  Franklin Street will be closed till July of 2016.

An article from the BBJ notes “Pedestrian access will remain open. The Boston Transportation Department suggests the following detour route: right on Hawley Street past 33 Arch St., left on Milk Street past the Old South Meeting House, right on Washington Street, left on Court Street past the Old State House and left on Tremont Street.

“The closure is necessary due to construction activity in the area as well as a roadway reconstruction project,” the city said.

0 Shared Office Space in Somerville at Workbar Union Sq.

Cambridge co-working space at WorkBar

Workbar Cambridge

Union Square is now host to a shared workspace: Workbar will open its newest location in Somerville at 31 Union Square.

According to Banker&Tradesman, “The 2,500-square-foot shared workspace will be located in the former Elegant Furniture location. The facility will include coworking space, conference and meeting rooms, event space, secure wifi and social and educational programming. Construction will begin following final design and permitting, said Greg Karczewski, president of Union Square master developer US2. US2 leased the 31 Union Square storefront last fall and plans to open its local headquarters in the space, as well. Construction will begin following final design and permitting, with an August opening anticipated…Workbar has locations in Boston and Cambridge and a network of partner spaces throughout eastern Massachusetts, serving more than 800 members from over 400 businesses.”

You can read the full article on B&T’s website.

0 Workbar Network Links Co-Working Office Space

co-working office space at WorkBar in Boston

Credit: BetaBoston

Have a peek at how some of the shared workspace providers manage users and spaces locally and worldwide.

A BetaBoston article notes, “over the past several months, Workbar has partnered with Fields Corner Business Lab and five other regional co-working spaces to create the Workbar Network, which will link these independently run facilities into a larger community. Other participating sites are Work Station in Cohasset, The Entrepreneur Innovation Center at Framingham State University, Running Start in Worcester, and Groundwork! in New Bedford…As part of the network, these six sites are now using Workbar’s proprietary software to help manage their members, Cole says. The software provides tools for managers to check people in, coordinate conference room bookings, and promote events and happenings throughout the network at large. “It’s everything they need to run the space,” says Devin Cole, Workbar’s director of business development.

You can read the full BetaBoston article on its website, here.

0 Boston’s John Hancock Tower Nears 47

Hancock tower in Boston

Credit: Boston Globe

Boston is under a major construction boom which is evident as you look across our skyline.  The John Hancock tower was a major milestone in our city when the project broke ground in August of 1968.

From the Boston Globe:

The groundbreaking ceremony for New England’s tallest building, the John Hancock Tower, was on Aug. 21, 1968. The 60-story minimalist structure was constructed with huge panes of reflective glass that proved to be a problem in the 1970s. Many panes of glass crashed to the ground with high wind speeds, causing street closures and huge safety concerns. After pane replacement and structural fixes that stabilized the tower, the actual cost of the construction nearly doubled the projected budget.