0 Penthouse Office Space in Back Bay at 116 Huntington Ave.

Back bay office space on Huntington Ave.

Credit: BBJ

Rood Deck, parking and a newly renovated lobby can all be found at 116 Huntington Avenue in Boston’s Back Bay. The 275,000-square-foot, 14-story building is situated directly across the street from 101 and 111 Huntington Avenue at the intersection of Ring Road and Huntington Avenue.

From Bizjournals:

“We were drawn to its location in Boston’s most vibrant neighborhood and to the opportunity to reimagine it as a best-in-class office destination,” said Adam Popper, Columbia’s senior vice president for the Eastern region, in a statement. “We believe the penthouse space, with its wrap-around terraces, high ceilings, modern amenities and incredible views, will soon be recognized as one of Boston’s premier corporate environments, and we’re already seeing significant interest from prospects as we seek to fill the building’s remaining availability.”

Shawmut Design and Construction, the third-largest general contractor in Massachusetts, completed the $10 million renovation, which was designed by Dyer Brown. Work included upgrades to the building’s lobby, installing a glass facade and bronze panels along the building’s exterior, and adding close to 1,500 square feet of private outdoor terrace space for a future tenant for the 25,366-square-foot penthouse space.

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 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 The Fate of the Citgo Sign atop Kenmore Square Hangs in the Balance

Back Bay Citgo sign

Credit: Boston Magazine

Boston is in the midst of a dramatic change of how we live, work and play within the city. The daytime and bedtime population is growing and the demand for services is far different than it was 20 years ago, but what hasn’t changed is how much we love our city and appreciate the history and culture that exists here. We are Boston and we love the quirks that makes this home.

Not all historic features and structures merit preserving, but some do. I am sure that prior to filling of what is now Back Bay was very controversial in 1857 when gravel and fill started arriving from Needham at a rate of twenty-five 35-car trains arrived every 24 hours.

With respect to the Citgo sign in Kenmore Square, Boston Magazine reports “the city’s Landmarks Commission met Tuesday night and granted the Citgo sign “pending designation” status. Next, the commission will prepare a report, and a public meeting will be held. If the commission approves its landmark status by a two-thirds vote, Mayor Marty Walsh has 15 days to approve or reject the proposal. If he rejects it, the City Council has 30 days to override his decision.”

You can read more on the status of the Citgo sign on Boston Magazine.

0 Hancock Tower Remains Largely Unoccupied

Hancock Tower in back bay

Credit: Boston Globe

New England’s tallest building has space for you. The tower has approximately 450,000 square feet available for lease.

From the Boston Globe:

About one-fourth of the space in 200 Clarendon — or what most of us still call the John Hancock Tower — is sitting vacant after leases expired and tenants such as John Hancock moved to new digs. Landlord Boston Properties Inc. acknowledged Wednesday that efforts to fill it have been going “a little bit slow.”

Rents at the top of the tower run $70 to $80 per square foot — among the priciest in town. Boston Properties has given no sign it plans to offer discounts to fill 450,000 vacant square feet. Still, the slowdown reflects a bit of a softening at the very top of Boston’s market. Real estate brokers say law firms, financiers, and others who seek trophy office space are pushing back against building owners who want to hike rents.

You can read the full Globe article, here.

0 Boston Office Tower Construction Surging

back bay south end gateway

Credit: Banker&Tradesman

They all won’t happen in this cycle, but it will be interesting to watch the Boston skyline evolve as projects come out of the ground.

From Banker & Tradesman:

Three office towers totaling 113 stories and nearly 2.5 million square feet, already bearing the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s stamp of approval, are to be built near the MBTA’s Haymarket, North and South stations.

The transit tower trend ratchets up with Boston Properties’ latest vision of a 1.3-million-square-foot development at Back Bay station, including a 26-story office tower. And the BRA is getting into the high-rise act as it seeks an “iconic” redevelopment up to 700 feet for its defunct Financial District garage at 115 Federal St.

0 Global Report Indicates Majority of Offices Remain Old Fashioned

Shared office space at Wework in Boston

Credit: Boston.com

Soft phone or tethered is a question that many new employees get on their first day on the job.  The notion that today’s employee can operate effectively without defined hard space in the office is foreign to previous generations.  The worker today might be employed by a company that exists in co-working space or by a company with an open seating plan.

What is your preferred work space?

From Boston.com:

A new Global Workplace Report by office furniture company Steelcase cited in a Boston.com article, which surveyed over 12,000 office workers in 17 countries, asked employees a variety of questions about how office space design affected their engagement with their work. Steelcase found that when it comes to technology updates and work environments, most companies are a long way off from having the office of the future…86 percent of workers said they had landline phones, and 80 percent had desktop computers.

As for office layout, only 23 percent of employees said their company had an open floor plan. Much more common were workspaces with a combination of open floor plan and individual offices, at 46 percent, while 31 percent of workers said their workplace only had individual offices.

You can read more on the Workplace report on Boston.com.

0 Back Bay Station Eyed for 1.4M Sq Ft. Mixed-use Development

165 Dartmouth Street retail space in Boston

Credit: Zillow

Back Bay Station is poised to become a destination location according to proposed plans by Boston Properties.

A recent BBJ article indicates the 1.4-million-square-foot mixed-use development is planned just above Back Bay Station and an adjacent parking garage at 165 Dartmouth St.

From the Boston Business Journal report:

“Boston Properties will invest significant capital into the 1970s-era garage and the station, resulting in a transit-oriented development which will integrate the project, the garage and the station into the Back Bay and surrounding neighborhoods.”

You can read more on the Boston Business Journal.

0 Wayfair’s Chic Boston Office Space Reflects its Core Products

Wayfair HQ

Credit: Boston.com

Wayfair has come to the market with creative radio and TV ads and changed the traditional office environment from cubes and offices into collaborative environment for its ever expanding workforce.

From Boston.com:

With names like “Nordic,” “Safari,” “Whimsy,” and “Cat Tree,” each room at Wayfair’s headquarters at 4 Copley Place is themed to remind employees of a motif or product the rapidly expanding company sells. While “Safari” might feature zebra-print rugs and exotic throw pillows, employees working in “Cat Tree” get to enjoy a slightly quirkier office vibe with avocado-colored wallpaper covered in playful cats.

“We have all these smaller spaces set up to look like actual living rooms using the furniture we actually sell,” said Jess Merrell, event marketer for Wayfair. “That way everything feels more comfortable to get things done. We don’t have to go to Starbucks to have a private conversation.”