“This is the world’s first public trial of robo-taxi service,” said nuTonomy cofounder and chief executive Karl Iagnemma. “This is the start of what’s going to be a technology revolution.”
NuTonomy is providing the control software guiding the six taxicabs that debuted in Singapore, modified electric cars from French automaker Renault and Japan’s Mitsubishi. Each vehicle uses lasers and cameras to observe its surroundings and steer through Singapore’s business district. An engineer from nuTonomy was in the front seat, ready to take control if necessary, and a researcher in the rear monitored the cars’ computers.
Changes in real estate keep coming, now MIT is elaborating on its plans for 1 Main Street in Kendall.
According to the Boston Globe, “University officials this week presented additional details of their plan for a reimagined Main Street, with new towers, wider sidewalks, welcoming open spaces, and clear signals to visitors that they have landed at MIT and in Kendall Square. The presentation before the city’s Planning Board on Tuesday night provided an overview of the $1.2 billion redevelopment project, which calls for converting six parking lots into offices, research space, hundreds of units of housing, and more than 100,000 square feet of retail. The six new buildings near Main would rise up to 300 feet tall.” The Globe article further explains, “City planners were largely supportive of MIT’s plan, though in a memo they expressed concern about “the scale and bulk” of some of the proposed buildings, warning that they might overwhelm pedestrians. Several members of the Planning Board agreed that the buildings appeared too imposing; some also called for more middle-class housing. But the board did certify that the plan met zoning and design guidelines.”
The pilgrimage to Boston continues as Cambridge tightens; InsightSquared and Architectural Resources will soon call Back Bay home.
The BBJ notes, “Business analytics firm InsightSquared, which just last spring moved into expanded office spaces at 160 Second St., this September will move to a 45,000-square-foot office at 4 Copley Place. The office spans two floors and is almost triple the size of Insight Squared’s 16,000-square-foot Kendall Square location…The expansion is driven by InsightSquared’s growing customer count and revenue, a company representative said. The office will also accommodate the firm’s growing employee base, which has doubled to more than 150 in the past year.”
You can real the full Boston Business Journal report on its website, here.
The deal will enable Biomed to begin renovating the buildings. They include two lab and office buildings at 200 Sidney St. and 40 Erie St., with a total of 239,000 square feet, that were leased to Vertex through this December, and another 21,000 square feet at 21 Erie St. that was leased to Vertex through May 2017.
Biomed said it will update the buildings’ entrances and lobbies, and add indoor and outdoor collaboration spaces and fitness centers. The work will begin immediately and the sites should be ready to be leased to new tenants starting in September, the developer said.
“In 2015, we estimate we could move approximately $1 billion in pre-development projects into our active development pipeline,” CEO Owen Thomas said. “Before launching any of these projects, we need to complete the entitlement and planning process and, in most cases, some level of pre-leasing.”
April fools isn’t only for the water sprayer at the kitchen sink. Some of the team at Endeavour Partners in Kendall Square were taken back when they arrived at their office on April 1st.
According to The Boston Globe, an elaborate April Fools’ Day prank was achieved by the office assistants and company chief executive Michael A.M. Davies; “more than a dozen computers and phones were replaced by typewriters, notepads, and rotary phones. Old records and copies of Life magazine were placed around the office, along with a bottle of whiskey for good measure…Neel Desai, an associate consultant, said the gag was indicative of the office culture at the company.”
Changes are on the move for East Cambridge, with a deal on the horizon for Vertex’s old HQ. According to the Boston Globe, “the deal will enable Biomed to begin renovating the buildings. They include two lab and office buildings at 200 Sidney St. and 40 Erie St., with a total of 239,000 square feet, that were leased to Vertex through this December, and another 21,000 square feet at 21 Erie St. that was leased to Vertex through May 2017.”
Boston Rents continue its upward push with four office markets leading that charge: Back Bay, East Cambridge, Financial District and Seaport. The Class A market within Back Bay is clearly leading the way, while some value still exists within the Class B market. A real driver in the increased rents is the cost of tenant improvement dollars going from shell space to fix up space. Not uncommon to see those numbers north of $75 per square foot.
Credit: Boston Business Journal
According to the BBJ, “the Back Bay’s average rents hovered over $60 last year [while]…Midtown New York commanded about $130 per square foot, and both San Francisco and Washington rents topped $75 per square foot.”
With the boost of office rents in East Cambridge, Downtown Crossing has become the new hotbed for Redline creative and tech companies with Class B rents still in the $30’s PSF.
The Boston Globe is reporting “Office rents in Kendall Square have hit an all-time high of almost $67 per square foot, breaking a record last set in 2001, according to the real estate brokerage Transwestern RBJ…Transwestern said the average asking rent on a top-tier office space in East Cambridge set a new record of $66.63 in the final quarter of 2014, edging out the previous record of $65.85 set in 2001. East Cambridge’s vacancy rate of 6.7 percent was lower than many parts of Boston’s central business district, but higher than those of the smaller office markets of South Station, North Station, and Longwood, whose vacancy rates ranged from 2 to 4.4 percent.”
Additional insight on the East Cambridge boom is available on the Boston Globe.
Creating a community for innovators to innovate might be one of the most valuable innovations in Boston. Yes, the deals that are brought to market through CIC are what the VC’s are looking for, but without Tom Rowe’s platform — the Cambridge Innovation Center — some of these ideas may have been kept on the shelf and not made it to market.
A Boston Globe article offers some insight on CIC’s direction for the future:
“In April, [founder, Tim Rowe] opened the CIC Boston, a 60,000-square-foot shared office space downtown, and it has been just a few weeks since he opened CIC St. Louis, his first out-of-state venture and the largest startup space that is not on the East or West coast. Rowe was keen to cozy up to the Midwestern city’s startup scene: He saw promise in Washington University’s health care colossus and was tickled when Boeing opened offices in the 120,000-square-foot space — one of its first occupants. Lately, he has been shuttling to and from the Netherlands as he looks to take CIC global.”
Additional details and photos from the CIC’s 15th anniversary, are available on the Globe’s website.