0 Mass Unemployment: Lowest Since 2000

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Looking for a job?  Come to Boston where our unemployment is the lowest in nearly 17 years.

According to a BBJ report citing the Executive Office of Labor and Development, “the state’s unemployment rate stood at 2.8 percent in December, the lowest it has been in 16 years…the rate fell from 2.9 percent in November, marking the sixth consecutive month that Massachusetts unemployment has decreased. The state added an estimated 6,600 jobs last month, according to the agency. Across 2016, Massachusetts added 75,000 jobs.”

More information can be found on the Boston Business Journal.

0 Winthrop Square Skyscraper Faces Size Reduction

From flight paths to shadows, Winthrop Square continues to make headlines as the newest proposed tower in the Boston Financial District. Some speculate that the tower height will be reduced by 4 – 6 stories to lessen the impact.

Winthrop square office tower in Boston

Credit: Boston Globe

According to the Boston Globe, “A tower that tall, a Massport official wrote, would interfere with operations at Logan, blocking a popular takeoff corridor and probably leading to more noisy air traffic over Boston’s northern and western suburbs. Massport would object to anything taller than 710 feet on the site, which sits about two miles west of the airport.” The globe article continued, noting “cutting the tower by 65 feet would lop four or five stories off the 60-story tower, probably not a deal-killer for a project estimated to cost $1 billion. But that could reduce the city’s payday. Under Millennium’s deal with the BPDA, $50.8 million of the $152.8 million purchase price is tied to the sale of condos in the tower.”

For more information, jump over to read the full Globe article.

0 French Restaurant Planned for Masonic Temple in Boston

Boston restauranteur Ed Kane

Credit: Boston Business Journal

Some street corners looking to be changing in Boston and with the city wide reduced speed limit we can now appreciate some of the new destinations. Ed Kane is looking to create a new destination at the corner of Boylston and Tremont Street to offer French cuisine.

From the BBJ:

According to an agenda for a meeting next week of the Downtown Boston Residents’ Association, entrepreneur Ed Kane wants to open a full-service French restaurant and cafe in the space, which is just off the Boston Common. Kane’s company, Big Night Entertainment Group, owns a group of restaurants and nightclubs in Boston including Red Lantern, Empire and Gem.

0 Walsh Has Visions on ‘Boston Building Boom’

Office space for commercial development in Boston

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.

0 Digitas Leases 200,000 RSF at 40 Water St. in Congress Sq.

Office building at 40 Water Street

Credit: Banker and Tradesman

Digitas is on the move, literally; the ad agency DigitasLBi recently signed a lease at 40 Water Street to lease 200,000 RSF.

According to Banker and Tradesman, Digitas has “been shopping for office space for more than two years, with its 200,000-square-foot lease at 33 Arch St. set to expire in 2017. Related Beal is renovating 40 Water St. to make way for open-format offices topped with a 6-story glass addition and tree-lined roof deck overlooking Post Office Square.”

More information is available on B&T.

0 Final Proposals Named for Northern Avenue Bridge Redesign

Rendering of Norther Ave. Bridge redesign

Credit: Boston Business Journal

The Northern Avenue Bridge has arrived at the final 4. Next to follow are the RFP’s from the City of Boston.

From the BBJ:

The city of Boston and the Boston Society of Architects announced the winners of a competition Thursday that would reimagine the Northern Avenue Bridge, the now-closed dilapidated structure that serves as a link between downtown and the burgeoning Seaport District.

The four winning ideas — chosen by a jury assembled by the city and the BSA — range from a plan to place an elevated civic space in the middle of a revamped bridge to one that places a “greenhouse where botanical gardens flourish year round.”

You can read more about the final four Northern Ave. Bridge proposals on the BBJ.

0 Range of Boston Offices Considered for GE HQ

GE Fort Point Seaport offices

Credit: Boston Business Journal

The selection for GE’s site didn’t come without evaluating many other options that ranged from Back Bay to North Station.

From the BBJ:

Boston officials initially considered 20 development sites, both a mix of private and publicly owned buildings and land parcels, to pitch to GE. And first on the list that Boston officials considered was Fort Point’s “100 Acres Area” — a master-planned effort to transform the existing surface parking lots around the Procter & Gamble/Gillette plant, and GE’s ultimate final choice for its permanent headquarters locations.

The sites were eventually narrowed to seven final options, five of which were located in the Seaport District, in a Dec. 1 pitch book to GE (NYSE: GE) executives. GE’s ultimate choice for a headquarters — a 2.5-acre plot on the Fort Point Channel owned by Procter & Gamble Co. — was not highlighted in the final pitch book.

0 Clover to Open Restaurant at 160 Federal Street

Clover restaurant in Boston

Credit: BBJ

Clover is taking on more bricks and mortar with their recent lease signing of retail space at 160 Federal Street at the corner of Federal and High Street.  The building has recently been acquired by Beacon Capital.

According to the BBJ, the “long-vacant retail space [is] located less than half a mile from Clover’s recently opened brick-and-mortar location at 27 School St. and its Dewey Square food truck spot…The ground-floor location at the corner of Federal and High streets spans 2,797 square feet has been vacant since American Express vacated the space in 2013. It’s currently being built out for Clover and will be ready for occupancy by spring or summer, said Dave Downing, director of leasing and development for GraffitoSP who handles retail leasing at 160 Federal St.”

The full Boston Business Journal article is available on the BBJ website.

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 BBJ Posts Interactive Map of Boston’s Largest Construction Projects

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.

Boston real estate development map

Credit: BBJ