0 Synergy Sells Two Class B Office Buildings in Boston for $75m

Class B office building in Boston

Credit: BBJ

Trades continue in Boston’s Class B sector with the sale of 99 Chauncy Street and 101 Summer Street to TIAA from Synergy Investments for $75 million.

A recent article on the BBJ’s website notes, “Synergy sold the historic assets for a combined $75 million to a unit of TIAA, a New York-based teachers’ union pension fund with $889 billion in assets under management, according to Suffolk County deeds. Synergy’s ownership partner in the properties was Indepencia PE, a Chile-based investment advisor. The $75 million sale price is four times the combined $18.7 million Synergy invested in 2010 and 2011 to acquire the properties.”

Additional details about the class B office building sales are available on the Boston Business Journal, here.

0 Boston Heliport will be Discussed at Mid-November Hearing

Boston has not had a heliport since 1999 and City councilors plan to hold a public hearing November 16th to discuss the topic.

Downtown Boston site for Helipad

Credit: Boston Herald

From the Boston Herald:

Boston city councilors will hold a public hearing Wednesday on plans to create a commercial heliport in the Hub after a call for more information by the councilor who helped ground plans for a similar site eight years ago.

City and state officials promised to create a commercial helipad as part of their $120 million incentive package to lure General Electric to Boston from Connecticut. But the project has stalled among concerns about corporate incentives and MassDOT budget concerns.

“Establishing a helipad would likely lead to an influx of helicopters to the area, which would impact noise, air pollution and safety concerns in our neighborhoods,” the order reads.

0 Developers Move to Luxury to Offset Escalating Labor Cost

Construction laborers work on an office building in Boston

Credit: Boston Business Journal

Due to the great recession we have fewer skilled labor working in the construction trade industry and as a result that cost has increased significantly. On a sampling of construction projects, the cost of labor could account for 40 – 60 percent of the overall project cost.

According to Bizjournals, “the result is a shortage in the supply of skilled labor in the building trades, a trend that’s enabled everyone from mechanical contractors to steel manufacturers to punch their ticket when it comes to selecting the most attractive jobs at the most competitive rates. That in turn is turbo-charging the cost of construction and, in turn, a preference among developers to favor big, luxury projects to better recoup their costs and lock in attractive returns.”

Additional information is available on the BBJ’s website.

0 Is this the end for Boston’s Famed Citgo sign?

Boston Fenway skyline

Credit: Boston Globe

Boston’s iconic Citgo sign might go dark after the building is sold.

From the Globe’s website:

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.”

0 Boston Ranks Fourth Among U.S. Cities in Jobs

Elevated view of Fenway office buildings

Credit: Boston Business Journal

Boston falls in the top 5 for best city for a job in the U.S.  Some of the hottest opportunities are: nurse practitioner, applications developer and sales development representative.

A recent report from Glassdoor “ranked Boston the fourth-best city in the U.S. for jobs. Last year, Boston was No. 15 on the list, sandwiched between Dallas-Fort Worth and Minneapolis-St. Paul…According to the report, there are 121,498 job openings in the Boston area with a median base salary of $67,500 and a median home value of $387,400. Some of the hottest jobs in Boston include nurse practitioner, applications developer and sales development representative.”

At the top of the list for best U.S. cities for jobs was San Jose, California (No. 1), followed by San Francisco (No. 2) and Seattle (No. 3). Washington, D.C. was No. 5 on the list.

0 BRA Wants the Lights Dimmed on Boston’s Seaport

Fan Pier in Boston across the water

Credit: B&T

How bright is too bright for Boston’s Seaport?  It appears that what has been proposed in the design phase is significantly dimmer than post construction and the regulators are rethinking approvals going forward.

From Banker&Tradesman:

The Vertex Pharmaceuticals headquarters’ “eye-catching arrays have met with mixed reviews in a city that often views changes in the skyline with suspicion.”

“Personally, I loathe the lighting on those buildings,” said Michael Davis, co-chair of the Boston Civic Design Commission. “We like interesting, progressive architecture, but subtlety is important and the new lighting we’re getting on the Fan Pier, no one would call subtle or sophisticated.”

Now, Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) officials are asking the developer to tone down the light show.

0 Seaport ‘sausage parcel’ at 399 Congress sells for $36M

The sausage parcel in the Seaport sells for $36M. Where is this?

Sausage Parcel site in Boston Seaport

Credit: BBJ

According to the BBJ, “the 0.7-acre site at 399 Congress St. in Boston’s Seaport District…is a long, thinly shaped site — almost like a link of sausage — that’s sandwiched between the confluence of East Service Road, Congress Street and what’s now Boston Wharf Road in the Seaport.

You can read more about the Sausage Parcel site at 399 Congress on the Boston Business Journal, here.

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Seaport Office Space

0 Boston Office Market Maintains Impressive Growth

Boston real estate Innovation

Credit: JLL

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.

0 ‘First’ Boston Office Skyscraper gets New Owner

Ames building court street in Boston

Credit: Wikipedia

The Ames Building at 1 Court Street will be getting a new owner. The building is known as the Boston’s “first skyscraper”.

From Wikipedia:

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.[2] 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.[3]

The Ames Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 26, 1974.

0 Boston Office Sale Sets High-Water Mark for the Year at $1.3B

500 Boylston Street office building back bay

Credit: BBJ

The office and retail real estate border by: Boylston Street, Berkeley Street, St. James Avenue and Clarendon Street has traded hands from Equity Office to Oxford Properties for $1.29 billion.

The addresses include 500 Boylston Street and 222 Berkeley Street in Boston’s Back Bay.

“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.