Reebok, the athletic shoe and apparel company, plans to shift about 700 employees from Canton to a new headquarters in the city…Reebok president Matt O’Toole said the company is still reviewing a few sites in Boston, all in existing buildings and accessible to southern suburbs and mass transit.
O’Toole cited two reasons for the move. Adidas wants to “clarify the roles” of its offices in the United States. And Reebok wants to be in a vibrant urban area where millennials are eager to work and live. The average age of Reebok employees in Canton is under 30, and many live in Boston already, he said.
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.
The revitalization of the old continues as 40 Water Street makes its debut.
Scott Pollack, principal with Arrowstreet, said in a BBJ article, “It seemed like a real opportunity to serve an interest in the market that otherwise really isn’t being served at the moment.” The block of buildings is situated near Post Office Square, in between Milk Street and State Street — a relatively “dead” block, Pollack said, but one that could be jump-started with new activity…“It is amazing for someone who walks back and forth on this one block from Milk Street to State Street how dead it is,” Pollack said. “The intention of this project is to open it back up and really reconnect these two significant parts of the downtown.”
Banks continue to move employees into smaller workspaces, with the industry average now 150 square feet per employee, down from 225 square feet in 2009…many banks are [also] choosing to relocate offices. Only 25 percent of the financial services office deals tracked by JLL in 2014 were lease renewals, while 46 percent were relocations.
That trend is likely to continue in Boston, with three major financial institutions responsible for 33 percent of the total active requirements in the market. But the result likely will be a net decrease in occupied space.
Putnam Investments and Wells Fargo are in the market for 280,000 and 220,000 square feet, respectively, while BNY Mellon is seeking to downsize to 350,000 square feet. And available build-to-suit parcels in the Seaport District provide competition to existing office towers in the Financial District.
What’s new at International Place? The donuts have arrived, but get there early!
Photo Illustration by BRA; original image courtesy of The Boston Globe
The opening of Kane’s Handcrafted Donuts at International Place was marked by “a doughnut throwdown worthy of celebrity chef Bobby Flay. Kane’s, which does its frying and baking out of its Saugus store, brought in a batch of its finest…Kane’s has been around since 1955, but it is opening just its second store Wednesday in a tiny 700-square-foot location at street level of Chiofaro’s building,” a Boston Globe article reports.
Peebles Corp. was chosen over two rival bidders to develop Parcel 13, a rectangle of state-owned air rights at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Street that stretches over the Massachusetts Turnpike. Peebles now needs to win both state and city approvals to move ahead with the project…The proposed development, designed by Handel Architects of New York and about a block long, would include a 156-room hotel, 88 condominiums, 138 parking spaces, community areas, and 26,000 square feet of retail space. The building’s footprint would stretch from Mass. Ave. to Dillon’s Restaurant & Bar on Boylston Street and would feature a distinctive squiggle shape.
100 Cambridge Street has a buyer. Intercontinental is a Boston-based real estate firm that focuses on acquisitions, asset management, portfolio management, finance, development, construction management and property management.
“That’s what we’re hearing,” says one market observer who maintains suitors were drawn to the opportunity listed by Colliers International “in droves” for a unique 590,000-sf facility that includes commercial tenants and state agencies occupying a tower that was revamped from an aging state-occupied structure into a mix of private and public space a decade ago. The initiative has lower levels housing multiple agencies and high-rise floors leased to top-name companies including Cannon Design, a nationally known healthcare architect in 27,500 sf on Floor 14 and law firm Prince Lobel occupying the 21st and 22nd floors. American Student Assistance fills 151,000 sf on six floors and Massachusetts General Hospital is on a trio of leases expiring from April 2015 to June 2016.
The great Boston Fire started on November 9th in 1872 that started on the corner of Kingston and Summer Streets which is now the heart of Downtown Crossing (DTX).
The historic significance of the fire’s aftermath of the city’s commercial development is noted in The Daily Times:
On this day in 1872, a fire in Boston destroyed hundreds of buildings and kills 14 people. In the aftermath, the city established an entirely new system of firefighting and prevention. The fire also led to the creation of Boston’s financial district…The business community saw the burned area as an opportunity to expand its presence downtown. The city’s financial district was established where the fire had hit hardest and Boston soon became a key business center of the late 19th-century United States.
Boston Properties is selling; should we be worried? No, we are seeing may other institutional investors pouring dollars into the Boston Class A office market.
The Boston Business Journal offers some historical context on Boston Properties’ market activities, “A Bloomberg reporter recently noted that the last time this happened, the company cashed out of significant real estate holdings just before the 2008 crash…[however] In their Boston presentation to investors, Boston Properties executives sounded anything but alarmed about markets. An unofficial transcript made available by Bloomberg to subscribers quotes company leaders speaking effusively about the Cambridge and Waltham markets and positively, if in a more-reserved manner, about the Boston market for high-end tenants.”