0 Seaport Shows New Signs of Development

The Seaport neighborhood continues to grow. The latest announcement doesn’t involve a large office tenant moving from the Financial District to occupy a new tower; rather it allows those that live, work, or play in the Seaport today the ability to visit a local pharmacy: CVS.


From Bizjournals:

CVS Pharmacy officially opened on Sunday in the luxury apartment building Watermark Seaport at 85 Seaport Boulevard. The new store spans 11,590 square feet.

“From the very early stages of development in the Seaport District, it was our top priority to bring a state-of-the-art pharmacy to the area. The thousands of residents and professionals living and working in the Seaport now have the convenience of a one stop store for their everyday needs; we are proud to fill this void and to do so with a brand as reputable as CVS,” said Brian Sciera, vice president of leasing at building owner WS Development in a statement.

0 Fenway Citgo Sign May Find Protection

Iconic Citgo sign in Fenway

Photo Credit: Boston Globe

The rights of the iconic sign in Kenmore Square are being discussed that might protect it in perpetuity. Some are opposed, citing restrictiveness on future development while others want to preserve Boston’s history.

From the Boston Globe:

A draft report being drawn up by the Boston Landmarks Commission would restrict any new owner’s ability to make drastic changes to the shape or views of the iconic [Citgo] sign, which sits above a building that Boston University is selling to development firm Related Beal.

Commission members put together a list of “character-defining features” they would protect through a landmark designation, everything from its 60-foot-by-60-foot dimensions to its famous red triangle and the pattern of its lighting…Also on the list: “unobstructed visibility” from Fenway Park, the Massachusetts Turnpike, Memorial Drive, and elsewhere, which probably would prevent Related from building anything next door that would be taller than the sign.

0 Wharf District Council Envisions Boston Waterfront Transformation

Boston waterfront offices

Credit: BBJ

The Boston waterfront is seeing an unprecedented transformation of office, residential and retail developments, and the Wharf Council is following suite with a new blueprint for the future.

The Wharf District Council’s “public-realm vision” is a plan to improve public spaces surrounding Boston’s waterfront, spanning from the Northern Avenue bridge through Christopher Columbus park.

From the Boston Business Journal:

The plan’s proponents say it’s a necessary supplement to tie together disparate planning efforts. It would create a showcase for art installations and iconic attractions, historic markers and “active gathering experiences.” The plan includes a combined 212,187 square feet in open-space improvements at three key development sites: Marriott Long Wharf, the Harbor Garage and Hook Lobster.

The total cost estimate for the projects outlined in the visioning plan ranges from $24.8 million to $37.8 million, but financing — not to mention who would take on the actual execution of the vision — is unclear. Ris suggested developers looking to transform the three key waterfront parcels could kick in the money.

0 Summer Street in Boston Seaport Expected Home for New Convention Center Hotel

Summer Street convention center Hotel

Credit: Curbed

Boston appears to be ready to welcome a new 1,000 room hotel to the Seaport District on Summer Street, directly across from the Convention Center.

According to Curbed, “a development team that includes the folks behind the Omni brand have emerged as the top bidder to construct an inn with at least 1,000 rooms on a 2.1-acre site in South Boston…the Massachusetts Port Authority is expected to award the bid within the next three months…The hotel would be one of the biggest in Boston.”

For more information, jump over to Curbed Boston.

0 Boston Office Vacancy Rate among Lowest in U.S.

1 Post Office Sq. Boston

Credit: Boston Business Journal

The Boston office market is tight, with vacancy rates among the lowest in the nation; Boston shared the 5th spot nationally with Portland, OR.

The BBJ notes, “the percentage of office space that’s vacant in greater Boston is lower than all but six other major U.S. cities…Boston recorded an 11.9 percent office vacancy rate in the third quarter, down 0.9 percent from the year-ago period, according to the third-quarter office report from commercial real estate research service Reis Inc. That vacancy rate ties Boston with Portland, Oregon as the fifth-lowest in the U.S., behind New York (9.2 percent), Washington, D.C. (9.3 percent), San Francisco (10 percent) and Seattle (10.8 percent).”

You can read more on the Bizjournals website.

0 Back Bay Office Market is Evolving

Tech office space in Back Bay Boston

Image Credit: BankerandTradesman

Back Bay has options, many options due to the movement and relocation of various large tenants and the opening of 888 Boylston Street by Boston Properties.

From Banker&Tradesman:

You can go back two decades and we’ve never had a spike in vacancy of any sort in the Back Bay,” said Brendan Carroll, director of intelligence for Boston-based Encompass Real Estate Strategy. “Now all of a sudden, we’re starting to see some options.”

As of Sept. 30, Back Bay had the highest availability rate of any Boston submarket, according to Colliers International’s Market Viewpoint report. Including 434,419 square feet of sublease space, some 14.8 percent of the 13.3 million-square-foot inventory is now available.

Other factors include competition from build-to-suit projects such as Boston Properties’ 888 Boylston St. tower, where Natixis will relocate. Wells Fargo and Houghton Mifflin are moving to the Financial District, taking space vacated by tenants that in turn committed to brand-new towers in the sought-after Seaport.

0 Open Floor Plan or Private Offices?

cool office space with slide

Credit: Bisnow

Open space vs. Private offices – what is your position? Are we, as a workforce, moving away from open plans to the more traditional office? Perhaps our private offices are smaller and more efficient? Is this the end of the ‘Creative Office’ as Bisnow describes:

Dot-com companies in the early ’90s struck gold when they put all their employees in a single room (or more often, garage). Since, the open concept plan has widely replaced office-lined perimeters for execs and a bullpen center for support staff, as furniture vendors continued to develop solutions that aligned with those times. And while some industries (tech, creative, communications) adapted more willingly than others (legal, financial), the design world embraced the idea that humans as social animals needed areas to congregate, collaborate and socialize…And from the open office came the creative office. You know the one…it usually has a slide (like HCSS’s Sugar Land office above), or a gourmet coffee bar with lounge area made from reclaimed wood. Elfreda says open office and creative office are similar, but the creative office is definitely an evolution of the former.

You can read Bisnow’s full article on the evolving office trends, here.

0 Digitas Leases 200,000 RSF at 40 Water St. in Congress Sq.

Office building at 40 Water Street

Credit: Banker and Tradesman

Digitas is on the move, literally; the ad agency DigitasLBi recently signed a lease at 40 Water Street to lease 200,000 RSF.

According to Banker and Tradesman, Digitas has “been shopping for office space for more than two years, with its 200,000-square-foot lease at 33 Arch St. set to expire in 2017. Related Beal is renovating 40 Water St. to make way for open-format offices topped with a 6-story glass addition and tree-lined roof deck overlooking Post Office Square.”

More information is available on B&T.

0 Boston Old City Hall goes up for Sale

The Boston Classic, Old City Hall is going up for sale. The building, constructed in 1862, contains 106,508 RSF over 9 stories with a typical floor plate of 11,834 RSF.  Boston’s Old City Hall was home to its city council from 1865 to 1969. It was one of the first buildings in the French Second Empire style to be built in the United States, according to Wikipedia.

Old City Hall Boston

Credit: The Real Reporter

A recent article on The Real Reporter notes, “by some estimates, value of its ground lease that runs to 2069 could eclipse $30 million, or $358 per sf at that starting point. Held by the Boston Planning and Development Agency, aka Boston Redevelopment Authority, the ground lease is controlled by the non-profit Architectural Heritage Foundation. The nine-story, 83,700-sf property whose address is 45 School St. was repositioned in 1972 as a mixed-use property and today is 98 percent leased to 18 office tenants and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, the eatery in where popular French restaurant Maison Robert was a fixture for decades serving Boston’s elite.”

You can read the full Real Reporter article, here.

0 Fort Point Office Space for GE Lands Design Approval

GE has received design approval for their headquarters in the Seaport. Some of the design elements include a pedestrian corridor and 100-year flood resistance.

Rendering of new office building in Boston Fort Point

Credit: Bizjournals.com

The Boston Business Journal notes, “the headquarters campus will be located on a 2.5-acre campus facing the Fort Point Channel, spanning two historic former Necco candy manufacturing facilities at 5 and 6 Necco Court and a newly built property facing the water. The campus will span 388,700 square feet. GE’s CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, has said the company intends to spend between $80 million and $100 million on the new headquarters.”

You can read more on the Fort Point Channel Building on the BBJ’s website, here.