The Boston real estate market is collectively on the rise, with six impending towers set to stand at least 300 feet. None of these projects are massive in scale on their own, but combined, they fortify Boston’s continued presence on the world’s real estate stage.
The combined projects include office, retail and residential space for lease.
Curbed Boston highlights the elements comprising the project’s relative stout within the traditionally ‘height-averse’ market:
One Congress – the tallest new office building in Boston since the 590-foot One Financial Center opened in April 1984
Bulfinch Crossing residential tower – residential spire is expected to stretch to 480 feet and 45 stories, and to include 368 apartments and 55 condos.
1000 Boylston – 484-foot, 32-story residential, retail, and parking tower over the Massachusetts Turnpike.
Hub on Causeway – 1.87 million mixed-use square feet on and around TD Garden and North Station—includes a 498-foot, 38-story tower.
Back Bay Station tower – 1.26 million square feet of residences, offices, retail, and other space around and atop Back Bay Station.
Fenway Center – Includes a residential-office-garage tower of 305 feet.
Two years to three months. This is that the lead time TAMI [technology, advertising, marketing and information] tenants are working with when they are in-market, looking for office space. Given this, Landlords needs to offer spec suites for immediate occupancy to accommodate the market opportunity.
Here’s a remark from Colliers International Executive Vice President Kristin Blount in Bismpw, on the velocity of current real-estate transactions:
“Tenants used to be in the market way far in advance of a lease expiration or their renewal notice time period,” [Colliers International Executive Vice President Kristin Blount] said. “Because their business is changing more rapidly than before and the newer kind of TAMI [technology, advertising, marketing and information] tenants make up a lot of growth, the speed to market and need to move quickly is something that is really important to them.”
Additional information is available on Bisnow’s website, here.
The Hub on Causeway’s office tower was originally approved to rise 420 feet and span 668,000 square feet. Boston Properties is seeking approval now to build a 24-story tower rising 495 feet at its highest occupiable point, spanning 651,500 square feet. The project’s architect is Gensler.
“The design team has made an effort to move away from a conventional glass clad tower,” the notice of project change filing states. “The overall massing of the building has been reshaped to respond not only to internal tenant needs but also to better integrate the structure with the scale and texture of its immediate surroundings.”
Class A landlords are continuing to update and upgrade their assets to address the evolving needs of today’s tenant. The 402-foot, 41-story Class A tower at One Post Office Square was built in 1981 and is 832,000 rentable square feet with a typical floor plate of 18,221 square feet.
Credit: Banker and Tradesman
A recent Banker and Tradesman article speaks to the proposed transformation, noting the office “tower in Boston’s Financial District will get a new glass facade, a roof deck and terraces and an illuminated rooftop glass “lantern”…On the lower levels, a three-story glass pavilion will add 52,100 square feet of retail space and an 8,800-square-foot restaurant…An 18-story addition replacing the existing garage on Oliver Street would [also] contain automated parking and additional office space.”
Boston is riding the crest of what city officials say is the biggest building boom in its history, with cranes lifting glassy towers into place and raising the city’s unassuming profile. The surge of construction is also plunging some of its most cherished sites into deepening shadow, testing state laws that have long balanced economic development with protection of sunlight and open space.
The concern is not merely about preserving a glimpse of sky in the increasingly vertical downtown or about the risks of darkness to plants, historic buildings and even humans. It is also about whether the city is going down a road of no return by trading away, one piece at a time, its intangible assets, like sunlight on its signature parks and public access to its gleaming waterfront.
“Going higher is a fix to a lot of different things, from the housing shortage to taking the heavy load off the freeways into our city,” Perry Brokerage Director of Intelligence Brendan Carroll said.
Despite claims it has reached peak prices, Boston is still the third-most expensive city in the U.S. to rent. It has a cost of living nearly 40% higher than the national average, and low supply is keeping prices high. Cities around the world are in similar situations and have taken to building up as a way out of housing crunches.
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.
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.
Acquired under a 99-year ground lease almost four years ago, the 26-story, 206,625-sf building should yield “way over” $700 per sf by one account, possibly eclipsing $725 per sf by other sources.
Observers say they anticipate 177 Huntington Ave. will draw from a wide geography of heavy hitters…One factor likely mitigating the 177 Huntington Ave. mark in that area is the leasehold structure of ownership, a format certain funds are unable to pursue. Either way, it appears Beacon is in line for a hefty return on the asset.
1 Federal Street is headed for the sales block by Eastdil Secured. The building is expected to trade in excess of $682 per square foot.
According to Realert, “the 38-story tower is 98% occupied, with a weighted average remaining lease term of almost seven years. The largest tenant, law firm Morgan Lewis, occupies 301,000 sf on a lease that runs until 2023. Records-management company Iron Mountain is leasing 133,000 sf until 2024. Others tenants include Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, Oppenheimer & Co. and U.S. Bank.”