0 Downtown Boston Office Market Expanding Steadily

lafayette City Center in Boston

Credit: B&T

Downtown Boston is the largest concentration North of New York City and is in the midst of strong rent growth across the Class A and B segments.  Today’s technology and creative services companies are looking for easy access to public transportation combined with an open floor plan.

From Banker & Tradesman:

For the third straight year in 2014, the Greater Boston office market recorded more than 2 million square feet of positive absorption, in a steady expansion that boosted occupancy rates at properties ranging from suburban office parks to converted warehouses and downtown high-rises.

“There’s more office product than ever and it’s getting filled in a much more dense way than ever before,” said Brendan Carroll, vice president of research for Avison Young. “If you’re wondering why the T seems more packed, or why you can’t get a cab to take you across the (Fort Point) Channel, that seems to be the reason.”

0 Boston Innovation District Multiplies

Boston Mayor Walsh announces 'Neighborhood Innovation District Committee'

Credit: BBJ

Innovation is moving beyond the Innovation District according to Mayor Walsh.  This is a great example of taking what has worked and duplicating it in other communities.

The BBJ observed that “Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced on Friday the formation of a ‘Neighborhood Innovation District Committee’ with one purpose: to expand innovation within the city of Boston. A news release states the Neighborhood Innovation District Committee ‘will seek to identify policies, practices, and infrastructure improvements to support the development of innovation districts throughout the city.'”

Additional information on the Innovation District Committee are available on the Boston Business Journal.

0 A Look Inside the MassChallenge Workspace (video)

What does today’s innovative office space look like?  Well MassChallenge has moved into their new offices in Jamestown’s building at 21 Drydock in the Seaport area of Boston.  Have a look at cool creative space designed to allows today’s innovators creates tomorrow’s new technology.



The Boston Business Journal describes the accelerator’s move, “Boston-based startup accelerator MassChallenge has officially moved from One Marina Park Drive to 21 Drydock Avenue, in the Innovation and Design Building. Over 100 startups will work in the new place from June 23, kicking off the fifth MassChallenge accelerator program.”

0 Boston Financial District: The Tech Hub?

Boston financial district technology companies

Click to view the google map

No longer is the Financial District home to money managers, law firms and accounting firms.  Now, tech firms are moving in to take advantage of the largest concentration of office space north of New York city combined with great infrastructure and competitive pricing.  Tech Firms want fault tolerant power, redundant Telco and security that can accommodate companies on one floor.  Class A towers have this option and are opening their doors and reposition themselves to attract this type of tenant.  On a tour a property manager for a Class A tower had a new issue she had never dealt with before, a broken window from a floor hockey game from a new tenant.  Problem solved, by her dedicated team of technicians, but that was a first.

An article on BetaBoston.com declares, “Boston’s Financial District, of all places, has emerged as a hotspot for the region’s tech startups.” The author reports finding “more than 30 tech companies large and small that occupy offices in the Financial District.”

The complete article, along with a complete list of tech companies in Boston’s Financial District, is available on the Boston.com offshoot, BetaBoston.com


0 AtSite Lands Innovation District Office in Boston

Boston's innovation district

Credit: Boston Globe

The Innovation District continues to grow and has become a destination location for 1st timers opening offices in Boston.  AtSite’s president and CEO says is all, “Boston’s Innovation hub is the perfect setting for our building performance solutions.”

The announcement from AtSite is featured on digitaljournal.com:

“The Boston location is in a neighborhood known for its creativity and collaboration and draws a steady stream of entrepreneurs. ‘WeWork’s biggest draw for AtSite is the emphasis on an innovative use of shared resources, in a forward leaning and collaborative way,’ said Lisa West, AtSite VP of Marketing. ‘We are really excited to be in Boston, and having our offices operated with an inspiring design aesthetic and a great location is a real win for us.'”

The full article can be found on digital journal, here.

0 Boston Emerges as State’s Tech Startup Hub

Has Boston really become the state’s capital for startups?  Well yes.  This came to be for two primary reasons; public access and cost of real estate.  Downtown Crossing, DTX, is serviced by the T’s Red, Green Orange and Blue lines.  Combined with the Silver Line and a short walk from South Station it offers employers a great recruiting tool as they vie for new talent.

Economics. Plain and simple.  DTX is the last real value play within the Class B market and is what most startups are seeking.  Opportunities can still be achieved with in the upper $20’s PSF while most buildings are pricing in the low to mid $30’S PSF.

Map of boston office space

Click to view or download as a high resolution pdf

The Boston Globe’s niche online business publication, betaboston.com, notes the following:

Last year…Boston accomplished a previously unheard of feat in the tech world by having more venture capital deals than Cambridge — for years the center of gravity of the startup scene in Massachusetts. And a large number of those deals went to companies located outside the Innovation District, in neighboring business zones such as the Financial and Leather districts and Downtown Crossing.

0 Why are they leaving Waltham for Boston and Cambridge?

Kendall Square commuters rely on the T to get to work in Cambridge, Ma

Credit: MIT

Why are the V.C. firms leaving Waltham for Boston?  Is it traffic and higher priced rents?  No, the customer is there.  Downtown Crossing (DTX) has evolved to being a hot bed of new technology companies that wanted a few simple items.  Rents; looking for an affordable option, DTX has Class B rents ranging from the mid to upper $20’s to the mid to upper $30’s PSF.  The swing in price is due the specific location, the build out of the space and the condition of the overall building.  In addition some buildings have a staffed lobby, while other operate on a key FOB system.

Location; emerging companies are competing for a hot commodity, talented staff.  Location becomes a huge factor what that young employee doesn’t own a car and relies on the T to get them around.  DTX is uniquely positioned at the Red, Green, Blue and Orange lines.

So, that is why the V.C. firms are moving back to the city to pay Class A rents that can start in the upper $40’s PSF and beyond?

The latest Venture firm to vacate Waltham for Boston or Cambridge? North Bridge Venture Partners.

From betaboston.com:

North Bridge Venture Partners, based in Waltham, is planning to move to Boston or Cambridge some time later this year, said general partner Michael Skok. “Our leanings are toward the Innovation District or Downtown, mostly based on entrepreneurs saying it,” Skok said.

The Betaboston.com article on North Bridge Venture Partners is available in full, here.


0 How Startups Pick their Hometowns

View of skyline

Credit: BBJ

Frequently when I meet with young companies their initial request is, what will it cost?  My reply is usually is, “ If it was free and the perfect configuration, but in Western Massachusetts, would you take it?”  The reply, “No.”

Companies that are in growth mode care about access to qualified potential employees. In the Boston market we see many companies prefer to be within the city core as opposed to be outside the city for that simple reason. The younger workforce doesn’t own or doesn’t want their commute to involve an automobile.

According to a research report on the Boston Business Journal, here’s are the three aspects that entrepreneurs say actually did sell them on their hometowns:

1. Population & talent

2. Livability

3. Strong area supply chains

The full BBJ article is available, here.

0 Boston Startups: Rent Desks from WeWork

Office buildings on Melcher st in Boston

Credit: fortpointchannelboston

Mobility seems to be the cornerstone for the general population.  Be it a smart phone or a tablet, we are on the phone and don’t wish to be tethered.  The same is true for office space; CEO’s today are looking for flexibility with a collaborative environment, not a long-term lease. Desk and office rental is the solution. Pay for exactly what you need, when you need it.

The wait is over. Boston businesses now have a new, dedicated outlet for desk rentals and office space: WeWork. According to the Boston Herald, “what separates WeWork from other “co-working spaces” is the sense of community they build…there is a sports lounge in the basement of WeWork Seaport in Fort Point, complete with arcade games, a pool table and kegs. Members also get access to WeWork companies across the country for possible partnerships.”

Additional information on WeWork is available in the Boston Herald article.

0 Price of Office Space in Boston’s Innovation District Still Climbing

How expensive is the Innovation Districtt? Well, Boston’s Innovation District has pulled neck-and-neck with Back Bay. The Innovation District has benefited from a tremendous influx of tenants that could no longer afford East Cambridge and Kendall Square. Now with prices at or above pre-crash levels, the value play is within the low-rise Class A and Class B office space in the Financial District.

Office space in Boston's Innovation district and Back Bay

Credit: Boston Globe

A managing director at Cassidy Turley, David Campbell, recently commented to the Boston Globe, “the Innovation District has offered the most obvious place for the city to grow…the Big Dig and the convention center and the Ted Williams Tunnel have really made it fertile ground for future development.”

More from Campbell is available in the full article, on the Boston Globe’s website.