0 New Commercial Development Planned at Boston Edison plant in Southie

Plant Development in South Boston

Credit: BBJ

Live, work play is coming to an old power plant near you Southie.

According to the BBJ, “The former Boston Edison power plant, a sprawling pink and red-brick behemoth that has long been a South Boston landmark, could be transformed into a ‘live-work-play’ mixed-use project with ‘a broad mix of adaptive re-use and new development.’”

From the Boston vertical of Bizjournals.com:

At last week’s community meeting, Cox and the Boston Edison development team highlighted eight “guiding principles” for the site’s redevelopment potential, including:

  1. Decommission and continue the clean-up of this heavily industrial site so that it is healthy and safe
  2. Take down the walls and fences surrounding the site, and create connections into and through the site, so that it is accessible and inviting to the South Boston neighborhood, and all the way down to the water’s edge
  3. Convert the site to a ‘live/work/play’ mix of uses that fit with the neighborhood.
  4. Preserve and protect the continuing operation of an active, thriving Conley Terminal
  5. Include retail and other uses, and significant public spaces, that will be used by the neighborhood
  6. Preserve some significant building elements, to give the site character and a sense of history
  7. Minimize the use of cars, by providing better transportation alternatives
  8. Make the site green, sustainable and resilient


0 Startups Increasingly Priced Out of Cambridge Real Estate

Shared Pharma space at Mass Innovation Labs.

Mass Innovation Labs; Image Courtesy of Crains.

Small to mid-sized tenants need to seek the value play by looking along the Red Line corridor in Downtown Crossing, with rents ranging from the high $20’s to mid-$40’s PSF.

A recent Crains.com article notes, “Smaller companies, however, are feeling the squeeze. The problem is more acute for Boston’s booming biopharma industry than for tech companies…More than 96 percent of Cambridge’s 10.24 million square feet of lab space is occupied, according to an analysis by commercial real estate investor Transwestern.”

You can read more on Crains.

0 Kingston Building a Haven for Startups

Kingston St office space

Credit: Boston Globe

Kingston Street has been a jewel for those tenants seeking a value opportunity with quick access to Downtown Crossing and South Station.

According to the Boston Globe, “Buildings like the Kingston Building ‘really sustain the startup scene,’ says Matt Bellows, chief executive of Yesware, a Boston company that creates software for salespeople. ‘It’s got a great location, nice open space, windows on three sides, and it’s cheap.’ After spending two years in the building, Bellows says, ‘we only moved out when we got over 50 people, and the lines for the two tiny bathrooms became too long.’”

Additional details are included in the full Boston Globe article.

0 South End Office Building Slated for 321 Harrison Ave.

South End office building on Harrison Street

Credit: Boston Globe

The South End is not known as a large office market with only 13 buildings totaling 928,626 square-feet, according to CoStar; however, a new 11-story office building at 321 Harrison Ave. overlooking the Massachusetts Turnpike was recently approved.

From the Boston Globe:

The $80 million project, to be built by Burlington-based Nordblom Development Co. and New York-based investment firm Rubenstein Partners, would be the first new office building in a section of the South End that has seen a flood of housing development in recent years — more than 1,000 apartments and condos within a few blocks.

The mid-rise, with 230,000 square feet of office space on eight floors above a three-story garage, would stand alongside and share a lobby with an existing office building next door at 1000 Washington St. that houses state agencies.

0 Boston Harbor Tower Plan Revised

Boston Harbor project developer Don Chiofaro

Credit: Boston Globe

Boston Harbor might soon have a new development approved for its shores. It appears Don Chiofaro has amended his proposed plans for his new Boston Tower to conform to the city’s zoning rules.

From the Boston Globe:

[Chiofaro will] push forward with his bid to put a skyscraper on the site of the Harbor Garage, and to do it within proposed zoning rules that he fought for years to loosen without success. It would still be a billion-dollar-plus project, a bookend to the International Place towers he built in the 1980s, but not quite as grand as he envisioned.

It’s likely to be several months, at least, before Chiofaro can file specific plans with the BRA. Then, given a year or more for permitting, construction wouldn’t start until 2018, at the earliest.

0 Manufacturing Remains Alive in Boston’s Seaport

Kennedy Ave Boston Seaport

Credit: Cannistraro

Changes along the water is Boston’s Seaport continue with the announcement of Cannistraro’s 50 year ground lease. The Seaport is not all office towers and luxury condo, remember there is still an active drydock at Northeast Ship Repair at 32A Drydock.

Seaport Manufacturing Facilities, courtesy of Boston Ship Repair:

· 65,000 tons displacement capability
· Length: 350.5 meters (1,150 feet)
· Breadth at the top of blocks: 38.1 meters (125 feet)
· Breadth at the top of dock: 45.4 meters (149 feet)

· 12.2 meters (40 feet)

· Up to 65 tons

· 360 degree coverage

· Steam, water, electrical service and sanitation hookups

· 40,000 square feet

Located next to the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal in Boston’s South End, the drydock is only seven miles from open sea with no air draft restriction.

0 Mass Jobless Rate Dips to 15-Year Low

commercial development in Boston

Credit: Bizjournals

“Make it in Massachusetts”  Our economy is strong, companies are hiring, and we have achieved a new low; the lowest unemployment rate since 2001.

According to the BBJ, “Massachusetts’ total unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent in August from the previous month’s 4.1 percent — a new low that hasn’t been seen since 2001 — according to the state…Preliminary estimates showed the state gained 5,900 jobs over the month, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported.”

Further details are available on the Boston Business Journal’s website, here.

0 2 Charlesgate West Headed to Fenway

Rendering of 2 Charlesgate West

Credit: Boston Herald

More change for the Boston skyline on the Fenway and Back Bay border.

According to the Boston Herald, “Trans National Properties has detailed plans to replace its Fenway headquarters with a 29-story tower called 2 Charlesgate West, which would have 173 apartments and 122 condos…The project would replace parent company Trans National Group Services’ nondescript 40-year headquarters and include 186 parking spaces, a 10,000-square-foot restaurant and 7,500 square feet of office space for Trans National.”

Additional details are available on the Boston Herald, here.

0 Boston to Test Self-driving Cars

Boston testing self-driving cars

Credit: BBJ

The impact this will have from city planning to garage space will be dramatic. Can you imagine “Ubering” you own car? Well, when you think about it, if your car can drop you at the office and go park itself snugly near its pears with little-to-no circulation space compared to today’s standards, this is a game changer. I currently park in the Prudential Center garage where they bring in valets during the peak hours to shuttle cars around; with self-driving cars no longer do you need to go to the valet, rather your car will come to you.

From the Boston Business Journal:

The city said the collaboration will include a year-long program focused on creating policy recommendations and supporting on-street testing of autonomous vehicles “to advance the safety, access and sustainability goals identified by the public” during a future-of-transportation initiative called Go Boston 2030.

0 Back Bay Towers from Liberty Mutual Go up for Sale

Back Bay office building for sale on 75 Arlington St

75 Arlington Street in Back Bay

Liberty Mutual Insurance is looking to take some cash off the table with their announcement that they will be selling 10 St. James Ave. and 75 Arlington St. in Back Bay.

10 St James Avenue
• 565,758 RSF
• 19,606 RSF/Floor
• 20 Stories
• Built in 2001
• 400 Parking Spaces
• Last sale was $342,700,287 in January of 2006

75 Arlington Street
• 244,000 RSF
• 25,000 RSF/Floor
• 00 Stories
• Built in 1914
• Last sale was $147,799,713 in January of 2006

From the BBJ:

The Boston-based insurer occupies about 40 percent of the 825,000 square feet of space in the two buildings, it said. In recent years, Liberty Mutual has moved some employees from the buildings into its new 22-story headquarters at 157 Berkeley St. that opened in 2013.

“We’re selling now because we fully occupy our new building,” spokesman John Cusolito said in an email. “The (St. James Avenue and Arlington Street) buildings are 96 percent occupied; however, owning and operating investment properties is not our primary business.”