Credit: Boston Globe
Mayor Walsh is planning an update to the city’s master plan, which was last updated in the 1950’s. The concern is how do manage the growth of the daytime and nighttime population while maintaining efficient access for commuters and tourists.
From the Boston Globe:
Boston’s building boom will need to stretch into some of the farthest reaches of the city to keep pace with a population that could hit 800,000 by 2050, according to a new citywide master plan the Walsh administration previewed Thursday.
A draft of the plan, called Imagine Boston 2030 envisions new neighborhoods emerging from underdeveloped pockets of a city that is bursting at the seams in more central locations. Walsh officials said they will use the master plan to sustain and redirect growth more evenly around the city, and to attack seemingly-intractable challenges, from pricey housing, to traffic-choked streets, to rising sea levels.
One key element of the 300-page document is “expanding neighborhoods,” in which a half-dozen pockets, mostly on the outer edges of the city, would be targeted for large-scale mixed-use development. Many of these locations already have good access to public transit, city officials point out, and have lower land costs to allow for more moderately-priced housing. That would help relieve pressure on more popular neighborhoods where prices have soared.
Boston will change significantly with the introduction of driverless cars. Do you expect to own a Level 4 driverless car in the next 10 years?
According to The Real Reporter, “Level 4 cars park themselves, they don’t need nearly the space for error as humans do, and don’t need space for passengers to exit from the sides. As landlords’ see their tenants’ workers go increasingly autonomous, it may make sense to proactively create areas or structures to more efficiently offer car storage than the traditional 150 space per acre parking lot…The autonomous revolution may quickly lead to a car-share model. This could rapidly change industry parking ratios –freeing land, in some cases, for more development!”
You can read more on the real estate impact of driverless cars on The Real Reporter, here.
Daily garage parking in Boston’s urban core is some of the most expensive in the country. Combine that with our tight office market, and you have a swell of new opportunities across the city. The proposal brought forth by Nordblom is a 230K SF building atop 321 Harrison Avenue.
Designed by SMMA of Cambridge, the office building would be built of insulated glass in a metal panel system with some curtain walls with floor-to-ceiling glazing. The building will have sweeping views of the Financial District and Back Bay and be designed with totally open floor plates with “exceptional” ceiling heights, said Og Hunnewell, a partner with Nordblom Co.
The ground floor would include cultural or gallery space at the corner of Herald Street and Harrison Avenue. Copley Wolff Design Group is the landscape architect. Open space is planned next to 1000 Washington St., an 11-story, 234,900-square-foot office building that shares the site and will be retained.
Nordblom estimates the project would create 1,500 permanent jobs.
Credit: New Boston Post
Self-driving cars are getting airtime on talk shows and in the news. On a recent broadcast experts believe we will see integration of them by 2036, yes 20 years. When they do arrive, I can only imagine that cars will be able to self-park in much tighter spaces and when we wish to leave we will simply “Uber” our own car and select a pickup location. What happens between 2016 and 2036 is the challenge. Perhaps Boston should look at London as an example and tax cars coming into the city during peak hours.
A recent article on New Boston Post notes, “when the Boston Redevelopment Authority closed the garage, ostensibly for engineering reviews, it took the best parking deal downtown away from long-suffering Hub commuters who paid just $20 a day for one of its 435 spaces. Only a few years earlier, it was even cheaper – and this in a neighborhood where the average daily rate was close to $40 even in 2013…Boston currently has spaces for 2,310 cars and the plan approved by the BRA in January will end up eliminating half of those spaces, cutting the number available to the public to fewer than 600.”
You can read more on the New Boston Post.
Credit: Boston Globe
The shuttered garage of Winthrop Square faces another hurdle in the quest for redevelopment.
According to the Boston Globe, “Shirley Kressel, filed [a] complaint Jan. 4 with the state attorney general [alleging] the city and its legal department have repeatedly violated municipal law in an effort to transfer the parking garage to the Boston Redevelopment Authority…Kressel is trying to block the transfer of the garage to the redevelopment authority because she fears the proceeds from the sale of taxpayer-owned land will go to the quasi-public agency. City councilors had an agreement with the redevelopment authority stipulating that the money would go into city coffers.”
You can read more on the latest hurdle facing the Winthrop Square redevelopment project on the Boston Globe’s website.
Office rents continue Northward while vacancy works Southward in Boston’s office Market. We will continue to see rent growth through 2016 as tenants continue to demand more space.
According to Globest, “the strong job market is fueling tenant demand and positive space absorption in Boston and surrounding areas such as Cambridge and the Route 128 markets. The office vacancy rate for Greater Boston ended 2015 at 12.1%, virtually flat as compared to year’s-end 2014. The average vacancy rate for 2015 was 12.2%, the lowest rate since 2002. Class A asking rents in the region rose to $42.06-per-square-foot. Asking rents haven’t been that high since 2002, Transwestern reports.”
You can read the full article on its website.
Boston is rising! We are witnessing one of the city’s largest building booms and the attached map, courtesy of the Boston Business Journal, lays out all of the active sites.
What do you think about some of Boston’s newest buildings gracing our skyline?
According to Curbed, Boston “is in the midst of adding about 8,000 new apartments and condos over the next three years, doubling the amount built in large luxury complexes since the 1960s. Just last year, the city approved construction projects totaling more than $3 billion. By the beginning of 2015, some 14.6 million square feet of new buildings were rising in Boston.
You can read the full article on Curbed.com
According to CoStar, there are 4 Class A buildings under construction that can accommodate users of 50,000 square feet or more. They are located in the Seaport and Back Bay and have combined number of 1,610,202 square feet.
||Number Of Stories
||Rentable Building Area
|| Typical Floor Size
|| Max Floor Contiguous Space
|| Total Available Space (SF)
|100 Northern Ave
|140 Northern Ave
|121 Seaport Blvd
Rendering of Millennium Tower in Downtown Crossing
Ron Druker of The Druker Company wonders, is it luck or skill with successful real estate projects?
Condos are a tricky business, especially compared to the reliable apartment…there’s a limited window for selling the units, Ron tells us. The developer who misses it can have trouble. Even when the project goes according to plan, Ron says, the risk is high and the reward may not be great. Sales can be strong, but the revenue is booked as ordinary income, which means that taxes can take a big bite. He says he was lucky twice: with The Heritage on the Garden in Back Bay and Atelier 505 in the South End. “I’m not sure I would be so again and choose not to tempt fate.” He’s also not about to build a big office/mixed-use project on spec.
You can read the full article on Bisnow’s website, here.