0 Seaport Rents Continue to Move North

new office space in boston seaport is constructed

Credit: Boston.com

A recent Boston.com article references apartment rentals in the Seaport, but what is expected for Class A and B office rents?  Rents will continue to push Northward, which is due to limited supply in the Seaport submarket.  GE moving to town won’t dramatically move the rent needle up or down, but ancillary service providers will continue to chip away at vacancy.

From Boston.com:

“If you look at what has happened since 2011, since post crash,” [Ishay Grinberg, president of Rental Beast] said. “Rents [in Seaport] went on average from about $3,100 to $4,100, from 2011 to 2013.” Then when demand wasn’t high enough, they plummeted almost 20 percent in 2014, but went back up in 2015, increasing 15 percent to an average of $3,850 per month.
Currently, rents are high, but so are vacancies—a rarity for the Boston market….More than 12 percent of all rental units in Seaport are currently vacant, according to Grinberg, while in Downtown only a little more than 2 percent are empty. The Greater Boston vacancy rate is 4 percent. And supply is still coming into Seaport, such as One Seaport Square, will include 832 units.

0 GE Selecting from 8 Boston HQ Options

South Boston waterfront office space

Credit: Boston Herald

What will GE’s new corporate address be?  Here are 8 locations within the Seaport that can accommodate their 2018 move.

The locations among consideration are listed out in a Boston Herald article:

  • The former Boston Public Schools headquarters at 26 School St. downtown. BPS vacated the historic 11-story, 160,000-square-foot building last year for new space in Dudley Square.
  • The MassDOT building at 185 Kneeland St. on the edge of Chinatown that is made up of three parcels totaling 5.8 acres, with an existing 104,000-square-foot office building that could be renovated.
  • Vacant land at 6 Tide St. in the Boston Marine Industrial Park, owned by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, also in the Seaport District. Current site plans call for a 355,000-square-foot development.
  • A vacant 1.8-acre Massport lot on Congress Street next to the John Hancock building known as “Parcel H” in the Seaport.
  • Massport land at the intersection of Massport Haul Road and World Trade Center Avenue. The vacant lot has the capacity for a 150,000-square-foot office building. It’s located near the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in the Seaport.
  • Vacant land at the corner of E and D streets, owned by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. Both are in the South Boston/Seaport area. The D Street parcel can accommodate a building up to 75 feet in height, and a footprint of 122,000 square feet. The E Street parcel can accommodate up to 10 stories.
  • A vacant 1.2-acre Massport parcel known as “A-2” at the corner of Congress Street and World Trade Center Avenue in the Seaport area. It’s adjacent to the MBTA Silver Line; a planned parking garage is next to the parcel.
  • Two parcels of vacant Massport land, known as “D-2” and “D-3,” at the intersection of Summer and D street in the Seaport District. The approximately 4.9-acre site occupies two of the four corners at the intersection.


0 Two Glass Skyscrapers Approved for Government Center Garage Site

Glass office towers in Boston

Credit: Boston Globe

Government Center is schedule to make way to two glass towers would extend to 500 +/- feet tall.  One tower would be dedicated for residential while the second would be for office space.

“The construction will unfold in phases over the next five years or so. And when done, the whole complex — six buildings and 2.3 million square feet — would be one of the biggest developments to come out of Boston’s current building boom. Opening up that section of Congress Street and adding a large public space within the retail plaza will help reconnect some of the most historic pockets of the city,” a Boston Globe article notes.

“We’re going to see just how significant that parcel is. It’s at the intersection of the Bulfinch Triangle, the North End, Beacon Hill, and Government Center,” said George Thrush, an architecture professor at Northeastern University. “That garage has been a real barrier and now it won’t be.”

You can read the full Boston Globe article on its website: Government Center Garage Gets Final Approval.

0 Boston’s Big Corporations Tap into Shared Startup Office Space

WeWork South Station shared office space

Credit: BBJ

Why do Liberty Mutual, Silicon Valley Bank (Nasdaq: SIVB) and IBM (NYSE: IBM), Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Constant Contact (Nasdaq: CTCT) take temporary office space form providers like Work Bar and WeWork?  In short, management wants certain aspects of these business to think like a startup and not like a lumbering giant.

From the Boston Business Journal:

“It allows us to get (access) to new ideas and new talent,” said Sandeep Gupta, a vice president and head of innovation at Liberty Mutual. “You can do that pretty easily just rubbing shoulders in the hallway.”

Liberty Mutual’s entrance into WeWork this fall coincided with the launch of the Solaria team. The incubator has a broad mandate: developing new products and services with “transformational potential,” that may or may not have anything to do with insurance.

At the moment, the company has two offices in WeWork that can fit a combined 32 people. Right now, the rooms are home to about a dozen Liberty Mutual employees and members of two startups, end-of-life planning company Cake and drone maker Xactsense. Liberty Mutual offers the companies free space, as well as human resources and other types of support, while the startups offer advice and connections in two areas of keen interest to the insurer.

0 GE Moves Worldwide HQ to Boston Seaport

GE moves to Boston Seaport

Credit: BBJ

GE is coming, GE is coming!  Boston is different, this is not just a place to have an office, it is an area to foster growth and explore far-fetched ideas and move dreams to reality.

This quote says it all:

“GE aspires to be the most competitive company in the world,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt in a statement. “Today, GE is a $130 billion high-tech global industrial company, one that is leading the digital transformation of industry. We want to be at the center of an ecosystem that shares our aspirations. Greater Boston is home to 55 colleges and universities. Massachusetts spends more on research and development than any other region in the world, and Boston attracts a diverse, technologically-fluent workforce focused on solving challenges for the world. We are excited to bring our headquarters to this dynamic and creative city.”

I feel lucky to be practicing RE in this region that attracts companies like GE.

For more info on GE’s move to Boston’s Seaport, jump over to the BBJ’s article.

0 Pets, Beer, and Ping-Pong Help to Shape HubSpot’s New Office Environment

Canal street office space in Cambridge

Credit: Boston Business Journal

Office fit-ups are more in-line to accommodate an employee as a whole person than a worker.  The notion that you can bring your dog, grab a beer and play ping-pong doesn’t sound like a workplace or a bar, but rather a gathering at a friend’s house.  Architects and landlords have embraced this and are trying to retrofit existing buildings, while incorporating this approach into new construction.

Another illustration of this trend is HubSpot’s new Cambridge office space. According to Bizjournals, “the expansion at 2 Canal is a complement to the company’s existing headquarters at 25 First St. in Cambridge. Dozens of employees are moving into the new office this week, including HubSpot’s product team, business operations and product marketing. That will free up room for renovation and expansion projects at the company’s 118,000-square-foot headquarters at 25 First St., where they recently signed a lease extension to occupy most of the building in the coming years.”

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

0 Personifying Commercial Real Estate Goes Beyond a Name

Ink Block logo

Credit: Boston Herald

What’s in a name?  In short, research. The goal is for the name to project the building’s identity and brand to its current and future prospects.

From the Boston Herald:

Krista Bourque, creative director of Branding Iron, a real estate branding studio inside Boston architectural firm Stantec, says a lot of research and thought goes into a name, including the history of a site, the surrounding neighborhood and an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the competition. She says a building’s name is a big part of its brand identity and how a property is perceived by its investors, potential buyers or renters.

“Giving a building a name is about giving it a personality and creating an image that differentiates it from the competition,” adds Brenda Adams, owner of Adams Design, who has been naming projects since 1990, including the South End’s Penmark and North Station’s Strada 234.


0 Seaport District Lands Blue Hills Bank

Rendering of Seaport office building

Credit: Banker and Tradesman

The Seaport district continues to attract a wide array of B-to-C companies that to cater to the ever-growing daytime and nighttime population.

“Blue Hills Bank is set to open a new branch in the Boston’s Seaport District by summer of this year. The new 3,000-square-foot location at 85 Seaport Blvd. will feature user-friendly technology, a coffee bar and community space for receptions and seminars,” according to a Banker&Tradesman report.

You can read the full article, here.

Related Property Listings
Seaport Office Space for lease

0 Boston Tops List of ‘Most Innovative States in America’

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts packs a powerful punch when you combined education and innovation. Our state is number one in both of those categories, which is why we are a hotbed of new and expanding business across the state.

According to Bloomberg, “the Boston area’s Route 128 eked out a victory over Silicon Valley, as Bloomberg’s ranking of the most innovative states in the U.S. illustrates how universities can juice local economies…The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Behravesh’s alma mater, is one such school that’s provided a ripple effect for the local economy…MIT graduates have produced around 400 startup businesses over the past few decades.”

You can read the full Bloomberg article on its website.

Index of most innovative states

Credit: Bloomberg

0 WeWork Gains Traction in Boston and Beyond

WeWork office space near South Station

Credit: BBJ

What would it be like to leave your office and work at WeWork?

WeWork is an American company which provides shared workspace, community, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups and small businesses. WeWork designs and builds physical and virtual communities[6] in which entrepreneurs share space and office services and have the opportunity to work together.[7] The company’s 30,000+ members have access to health insurance, an internal social network, social events and workshops, and an annual summer retreat.[8][9][10]

From the Boston Business Journal’s website:

WeWork is one of many companies in the Boston area that offer co-working space for the city’s burgeoning startup scene, including Worklab, Coalition, and the Cambridge Innovation Center. While its membership prices are on the costly end, ranging from $45 a month to more than $450 a month per desk, the price is not a deterrent for entrepreneurs.

For a relatively modest cost, entrepreneurs say they get a ready-made office space complete with a sense of community, an internal social network and the enriching and collaborative startup culture that prospective employees want when they sign on to work for a startup.