0 Winthrop Square Garage Project Faces Another Obstacle

Winthrop Square garage site

Credit: Boston Globe

The shuttered garage of Winthrop Square faces another hurdle in the quest for redevelopment.

According to the Boston Globe, “Shirley Kressel, filed [a] complaint Jan. 4 with the state attorney general [alleging] the city and its legal department have repeatedly violated municipal law in an effort to transfer the parking garage to the Boston Redevelopment Authority…Kressel is trying to block the transfer of the garage to the redevelopment authority because she fears the proceeds from the sale of taxpayer-owned land will go to the quasi-public agency. City councilors had an agreement with the redevelopment authority stipulating that the money would go into city coffers.”

You can read more on the latest hurdle facing the Winthrop Square redevelopment project on the Boston Globe’s website.

0 Office Space Now Serves as a Recruiting Tool

Trip Advisor office building in Boston

Credit: Contemporist

Office space is no longer just a place to work, but rather a recruiting tool.  Prospective employees not only are evaluating their financial compensation, additionally they investigate the work environment.  The new office model encompasses much smaller footprint per employee while many more collaborative areas.

From Boston.com

The recent TripAdvisor and New Balance office unveilings in the greater Boston area have included variations on the same theme: these buildings are necessary to attract young talent.

With their spiffy, modern, amenity-filled new digs, these companies are competing with the likes of Google, Apple, and Amazon to get the top talent in the country and the world.

0 News Office and Retail Space Added to Fort Point Project

Boston wharf road

22 Boston Wharf Rd.
(Click to view property details)

More new office space and retail is on the drawing board from Berkeley Investments at 22 Boston Wharf Road.

According to the Boston Business Journal, “Berkeley Investments has plans to add two office floors atop the Stillings Street parking garage….[along with proposing] street-level retail to Boston Wharf Road, which is a relatively short connecting road between Congress Street and Seaport Boulevard, as well as additional windows along the side of the building that abuts the Q Street park.”

The BBJ’s overview of the Fort Point project also notes, “the 241,124-square-foot property has an assessed value of $26.435 million this fiscal year, according to the city assessor. Berkeley acquired it in 2004 as part of a $97.05 million acquisition of a swath of Fort Point properties from Boston Wharf Co., a Suffolk County deed shows.”

The full BBJ article is available on its website, here.

0 Designers Wanted for City Hall Project

Boston City Hall Plaza

Credit: Boston Herald

Mayor Walsh wants your creative ideas for City Hall.  Let’s see what some of our creative thinkers will come up with.

From the Boston Herald:

Walsh announced plans to “re-envision” the plaza to make it a more inviting and attractive civic space for residents and visitors during this year’s State of the City address in January…The master plan will identify areas for improvements at City Hall and the plaza, including possible public-private ventures, historic considerations and approaches for reuse, according to the solicitation issued by the city’s Public Facilities Department. It will look at existing conditions, including land use and zoning, and develop detailed cost estimates for the recommended work and programming.

“(The) vendor will coordinate with city representatives, other stake holders and (a) community advisory council on all aspects of project,” the advertisement states. “(The) scope of work will include a visioning exercise, identifying goals and objectives, best practices for municipal services and civic spaces as they relate to Boston City Hall and the plaza.”

0 Tech Startup Progresses Architectural Renderings

iphone app for architects and real estate developers

Credit: BBJ

What will it look like? That’s the question so many property owners and developers face when first envisioning a renovation, and  thanks to Terrence Masson of  Building Conversation, we will soon be able to get a much clearer idea.  The company will allow architects and others to visualized a proposed building within the context of its surroundings.

“It does that through the camera of an iPad or iPhone which acts as a “window,” on top of which architectural design proposals are overlaid. This technology is known as augmented reality, which offers users a live view of a real-world environment combined with elements that are computer-generated,” according to a Bizjournals.com posting.

“In effect, you get to see and walk around a full-scale hologram of the proposed architecture through the iPad,” said Building Conversation’s CEO Terrence Masson, who founded the company with George Thrush, the director of the School of Architecture at Northeastern University…Masson started working on the technology as part of a Capstone project at Northeastern about three years ago.

You can read the full article on BizJournals.

0 Northern Avenue Bridge will be Restored for Motor Vehicle Traffic

northern avg bridge leads to seaport office buildings in Boston

Credit: B&T

The Northern Avenue bridge built in 1908 is recommended to get another lease on life.  The bridge is one of the last remaining swing bridges in New England and is an engineering marvel to watch when it’s in motion.

The bridge was not only designed for pedestrians and cars, but also the Union Freight Railroad.

A study on the Seaport, referenced in Banker&Tradesman, cites the following:

The overall volume of commutes into the Seaport will increase 63 percent by 2035…The study committee’s consensus: restoring the three-lane bridge, with one lane dedicated for motor vehicles. Pedestrian and bicycle access also would be preserved.

“There was some concern in the pedestrian and bicycling community about opening it up to traffic,” said Rick Dimino, CEO of Boston-based planning organization A Better City Inc. “But at the end of the day, there was pretty substantial support that the bridge needs to be opened up to traffic again.”


0 Boston Landing Station Has Official Groundbreaking

Boston newest commuter rail station groundbreaking occurred today.  Metro West commuters can add another stop to the local train service starting in the fall of 2016.

rendering of Boston Landing station

Credit: ArchPaper.com

Residing on the MBTA’s Framingham/Worcester Line, B&T notes “the Boston Landing station is projected to cost between $14 million and $16 million and is funded by New Balance, which also funded the $500-million mixed-use complex in Brighton anchored by the 250,000-square-foot New Balance headquarters, near the station…The Warrior Ice Arena, the new practice facility for the Boston Bruins at Station Landing, will be completed in September 2016. The development will also include 80,000 square feet of retail space, a 175-room boutique hotel, housing and an athletic facility. It has approvals for an additional 450,000 square feet in office space.”

You can read the full article on Banker & Tradesman, here.


0 Boston Residents can Monitor City’s Development Projects

CoUrbanize logoWhat is going on over there?  That is one question that gets asked time and time again about commercial developments in Boston. Looking to track the Hub’s developments? Now there is an App for that.

According to the BBJ, “Boston residents will be able to track local projects, find meeting times, and submit online feedback through a new online forum hosted on Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development website and at CoUrbanize.com. The move, the city said, would increase transparency in the development process for city-owned land and city-funded housing developments…The city of Boston is using the CoUrbanize platform to catalogue information about city-owned land and buildings available for development, in addition to collecting information about affordable housing developments in which the city has an investment.”

The full article is available on the Boston vertical of the BizJournals website: BizJournals.com/Boston.

0 Faneuil Hall Renovation Detailed

Faneuil Hall marketplace renovation

Credit: BostInno

Faneuil Hall is looking to make some changes.  A 180 room hotel, freshened up food court and a shake up of existing tenants.

From Bostinno.Streetwise:

The updates to Quincy Market, which include the new retailers, the hotel and more developments, are all part of Ashkenazy’s plan to make Faneuil Hall more attractive to those living in Boston…we also learned that Faneuil’s notorious brick walkways could be repaved with smooth granite, with benches replaced by movable chairs, drastically changing the marketplace’s familiar and historical facade – but making it easier to walk, especially for those in heels.

Past coverage of the impending changes in Faneuil Hall have filtered in from both the Boston Globe(in September) and the New York Times (in early December). While today’s City Council meeting was held in regards to the impact on pushcart vendors in Faneuil Hall, the conversation focused on the many alterations slated for the marketplace. The redevelopment is in its early stages, and some of the proposed changes would require the BRA’s Article 80 review.

0 Boston Tops US in CMBS Loans

745 Boylston Street office building in Boston

Office Building at 745 Boylston Street in Copley Sq.

Boston leads New York, D.C., Chicago and L.A. not only in the bid for the 2024 Olympics, but also for CMBS loans.

The Boston Business Journal is reporting the “percentage of Boston-area commercial mortgage backed security real estate loans with late payments is its lowest in months and is among the best in the country, according to new data from real estate information provider Trepp,,,According to Trepp, 2.84 percent of Boston-area CMBS loans were 30 days delinquent or more as of the end of November. A year ago, the rate was 4.02 percent. The decline has been more or less steady, with slight increases a few months…The Boston-area compares especially well with other major U.S markets.

You can find more information on the BBJ’s website.