Amazon has 19 options to look at that have between 100,000 – 200,000 square feet of available space — now or in the near future — from East Cambridge to the Seaport and the Financial District to Back Bay.
As of today the availabilities would be in the following buildings:
Amazon already has a large and growing presence in Kendall Square, but is eying downtown Boston in part because it has cheaper rents and more available space than in nearby Cambridge. It would also join a string of tech companies that have set up shop downtown, helping to reinvent the traditional business district as a hub for a new industry.
“Downtown Boston already has tremendous street cred in the tech world,” said Brendan Carroll, head of Encompass Real Estate Strategy, which tracks Boston’s office market. “But Amazon moving in would be a really big thing.”
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.
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.
Google Fiber agreed to acquire a company called Webpass, an internet service provider based in San Francisco that already serves Boston, Miami and Chicago, among other cities. ..Webpass, which offers residential internet service for $60 per month, says it has tens of thousands of customers across five major markets in the U.S. Google’s service is $70 per month, according to its website.
Google Fiber, a subsidiary of parent company Alphabet offers internet speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second. It already serves cities such as Kansas City, Nashville, Atlanta and Austin. By comparison, Verizon FiOs offers internet speeds of up to 500 megabits per second.
As several prominent development companies angle to buy the nine-building package [Boston University is selling in Kenmore Square], they are weighing a delicate question: how to redevelop them — as any new owner would be likely to do — without blocking or moving the sign so it is no longer so visible from so many places around the city.
Moving the sign and replacing 660 Beacon with a taller building wouldn’t be difficult, said Arthur Krim, a faculty member at Boston Architectural College and the sign’s unofficial historian. But move it much, and the views would be altered forever.
“Sightlines would be skewed,” Krim said. “Anything above 15 stories and it’d be hard to see up there at all.”
The Ames Building is a skyscraper located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is sometimes ranked as the tallest building in Boston from its completion in 1893 until 1915, when the Custom House Tower was built. However, the building was never the tallest structure in Boston. The steeple of the Church of the Covenant, completed in 1867, was much taller than the Ames Building. Nevertheless, it is considered to be Boston’s first skyscraper.
Located at 1 Court Street and Washington Mall in downtown Boston, the Ames Building was designed by the architectural firm of Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge inRichardsonian Romanesque and paid for by Frederick L. Ames. It is the second tallest masonry load bearing-wall structure in the world, exceeded only by the Monadnock Building in Chicago, completed that same year. It is thirteen stories high with a three-story granite base and sandstone and brick. The sandstone is from the Berea formation in Ohio and was supplied by Cleveland Quarries Company. Construction was completed in 1889, but interior work was not completed for occupancy until 1893. It became the corporate headquarters for the Ames families’ agricultural tool company.
The Ames Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 26, 1974.
“The deal crosses the $1,000 per square foot barrier, with the 706,862-square-foot, 25-story 500 Boylston St. selling for $1,068 per square foot, and the 519,608-square-foot, 22-story complex at 222 Berkeley St. selling for $1,029 per square foot. Just a handful of deals have crossed that mark in Greater Boston’s sales history,” according to a BBJ article.
You can read more on the sizable transaction on the Boston Business Journal’s website, Bizjournals.com.
Despite Boston’s development boom, big chunks of office space are scarce right now. As of Oct. 1, there were 17 tenants looking for 50,000 square feet or more of top-end office space in downtown Boston, according to real estate firm JLL, and just 11 blocks big enough to house them. That means buildings with room are drawing interest.
Three would-be tenants have proposed leasing all 180,000 square feet that Boston Properties has at 120 St. James, in the base of the old John Hancock Tower, president Douglas Linde told analysts recently. The space PWC left behind for the Seaport, at 125 High Street, also went quick. And Goodwin Procter’s soon-to-be-former home at 53 State has seen strong interest.
One addition to that list may soon be Skanska, offering “brand-new space with all the bells and whistles.”
The office market for growing companies appears to be expanding beyond traditional office markets such as Back Bay, Seaport and Financial District to Fenway. This is due to Samuels & Associates offering what companies want and need; cool creative space without a long term lease. New formed and funded companies are in most cases unable to make long term lease commitments, Hatch Fenway is designed to bright that gap between shared space and direct space.
Software startup Appcues has moved from Cambridge to a 2,100-square-foot office at Hatch Fenway, the startup space created by real estate developerSamuels & Associates this summer…the company started out in WeWork co-working space before moving to 300 square feet at 25 First St. in Cambridge. Late last year, the company raised $1.2 million in seed funding from Atlas Ventures and other investors…The company needed space to grow and had looked all over: Downtown Crossing, the Leather District, Kendall Square, Lechmere, Cambridge, the Seaport’s Innovation District. But Kendall Square has become “so office park-y,” Kim said.
“We like getting out of the office and going to interesting places,” he said. “The Fenway just has such a diverse array of restaurants, a movie theater right downstairs. Everything is convenient.”
Is your company on the hunt for new office space in Boston? The vacancy rate overall in Boston in just above 13% which means there are many desirable options.
The BBJ notes, “the Boston office-building real estate market is on an uptrend, with rates rising more than 5 percent in the last year in nine out of the 12 of the city’s submarkets, and vacancy rates nearing a eight-year low in the second quarter of 2015, according to a JLL’s Office Insight report…But, by the same token, a 13.1 percent vacancy rate in the Boston market means there are is still a lot of prime commercial office space available to be leased.”
You can view the BBJ’s list of commercial buildings with the most available office space, here.