0 The Role of Acoustics in Commercial Design

Meter to meaure acoustics of office space

Credit: Boston Globe

The average rentable square feet occupied per person has dropped as more companies offer an open work environments with break out rooms for meetings an personal calls.  This has resulted in a new market for sound engineers trying to create the delicate balance of sound mitigation.  Too many hard surfaces wont absorb sound so the engineers use technology to assist with this.

This is where a company like Acentech Inc. can help. A Cambridge acoustics consulting firm that was once part of the famed tech pioneer BBN Technologies, Acentech uses sophisticated computer-generated audio simulations called “auralizations” that make it possible to hear a building before workers ever break ground.

“Auralization is acoustic rendering,” said Matthew Azevedo, an Acentech engineer. “An architect would never tell a developer ‘Here’s the floor plan, just imagine what it’s going to look like.’ Well, we feel the same about acoustics.”

“Architects love these big, open spaces with lots of glass and exposed steel and all these wonderful hard surfaces,” Azevedo said. “Our job is to make it behave acoustically like a theater.”

You can read more about Acentech and acoustic engineering in Boston office development on the Boston Globe.

0 N2 Corridor Courting New England Israeli Business Council

office space outside of Boston at N2 Corridor

Credit: Boston Magazine

The town of Newton recently opened its doors to welcome the New England Israeli Business Council along with Governor Patrick, who had brought the council here to Newton.

Governor Patrick, along with the Israel Business Council and many members of the Newton business community attended an invite-only event to share what Boston’s Suburban innovation district, the N2 corridor, has to offer. With large companies such as CyberArck who have rooted their corporate offices in the heart of the N2 corridor in Newton, trust this move to be both critical and beneficial for their corporations.

The Newton/Needham area boasts convenience, lifestyle and most importantly, talent.

David Goodtree, a co-host of the event last week who represented the New England Israel Business Council, stated in Boston Magazine “businesses also want to be close to other talents, whether it’s engineers or sales people, or even other executives. They need more office space, and more affordable office space…that’s where the appeal of the N2 Corridor space comes in”, Goodtree argued. “It’s a prime destination for growth stage companies”.

Additional information on the N2 Corridor is available on the Boston Magazine.

0 Suburban Office Space Outside of Boston Draws Interest

233 Cochituate Road, Framingham, MA

Office building in Boston suburbs

Moving out to the burbs, who would have thought?  With innovation and technology booming in the greater Boston area, Boston proper is running out of space. With arms wide open, the suburban market place is gearing up and ready to accommodate.

Posh areas have revitalized their sleepy town centers and have agreed that designating suburban land for commercial space must be done in order to utilize the real estate properly. There is a need for housing, there is a need for social adventure, and there is s definite need for space!

Northland Investment Corporations undertook this project as they saw the pressing needs and desires. Back in August, the Town of Waltham underwent a huge makeover, from its quiet town center now being primed to focus on luring the full lifestyle package changing the stereotype of the lethargic 1950’s old school, soda pop Main Street into a modern, young and vibrant center.  When the development of Marc at Moody and Main began many questioned the intent, but this is a great way to bring flair and affordability, convenience, and energy into the region. Situated just 7 miles from the heart of Boston with some of the best transportation in the country, is a plus. A true live, work, play environment has been achieved. With more and more influence and expansion the burbs are not heading back to sleep.
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0 Office Space Boom in Boston Area Suburbs

new office building in Needham for TripAdvisor

Credit: Boston Globe

The greater Boston economy is strong with jobs, construction and capital.  Many office users are seeking value while trying to straddle the live-work-play model for their staff.  Not every company can be located within a five-minute walk of South Station, nor can they offer free parking to their employees. What we are seeing is locations that offer infrastructure, reap the benefits of today’s strong office market.

A recent Boston Globe article remarked, “the western suburbs around Route 128 are experiencing a building boom, with new headquarters for growing companies such as TripAdvisor and Vistaprint among five huge developments under construction in Needham, Waltham, and neighboring towns…The attractions of the suburbs include much lower rents and lots of choices. Moreover, the workspaces — either new or newly renovated — are far from the souless corporate boxes of the 1980s that dotted the suburban landscape. The interiors of some new offices look as if they could comfortably fit along Seaport Boulevard in Boston or Broadway in Cambridge.”

Jump over to the Globe’s website for its full article.

0 Re-invigorating the Watertown Arsenal Area

Athenahealth in Watertown Arsenal

Credit: athenahealth

Athenahealth is planning to re-invigorate the historic Watertown arsenal and the area with the addition of restaurants, retail stores and an internal expansion. In the process, they also seek to create an 1,800-car garage on the west end of the campus. With the addition of amenities, downtown Tenants will be attracted to the area due to its cost effectiveness, accessibility to Boston and public transportation as well as the ability to provide parking for employees. This should have a positive overall impact on businesses moving to the area and office space in surrounding markets such as Needham and Newton.

From Watertown’s Wicked Local coverage:

“The new owners of the 29-acre former Army complex wants to add restaurants, retail stores and increase the size of their corporate headquarters. In the process, they also seek to create about seven acres of open space by removing surface parking and moving it into an 1,800-car garage on the west end of the campus.”


0 Watertown Office Market Undergoing Rapid Change

watertown MA

Credit: ProgrammableWeb.com

Pleasant Street in Watertown is undergoing rapid change in regards to new construction and the purchase of existing buildings between there and Waltham. It is becoming a hotbed for CRE investors and start-up tech firms are beginning to trickle in from Cambridge because of how competitive the market is.

Maybe this trend will continue to push out into Greater Boston and will have a long term effect on Needham and Newton office space?

0 The Belclare in Wellesley Takes Shape

Wellesley office building Belclare being built

Credit: Wicked Local

The Wellesley Inn Site, home to a future re-development of Class A residential condominiums, is finally making progress after it has sat vacant for nearly a decade. Maybe this will motivate Ownerships along the Washington Street corridor to capitalize on the “highest and best-use” for their property. With a future influx of residents coming to the area, perhaps local developers will see the need to build additional office buildings in Wellesley and the strong markets surrounding such as Needham and Newton.

Wicked Local offers the following quote from John Warshaw, developer of Belclare in Wellesley:

“It was a bit of a challenge at the beginning to get people interested,” [Belclare developer Jordan Warshaw] said, “Once it got going there’s been great momentum.” After only a few months on the market, Warshaw said that nearly half of the new units were spoken for. Eight months into construction the residential units are nearly sold out.”


0 DeFazio Park in Needham: Talks of New Building Swirl

MSBA logo

Credit: Massachusetts School Building Authority

Looking for new office space in Needham? A new multi-family development? A new neighborhood? These are just a few of the questions that local Needham residents have been wondering since discussions have progressed about reconstructing the Hillside school.

According to Wicked Local, “the Hillside school reconstruction project is moving into feasibility phase after an affirmative vote last week by the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

The full Wicked Local article is available on Needham.WickedLocal.com.

0 Needham Crossing Progressing

Needham Crossing development

Credit: prnewswire

The Town of Needham is experiencing a boom in development. With an abundance of newly-constructed office buildings in Needham, recent zoning changes as well as the state’s add-a-lane highway project –- which will include on- and off-ramps for Route 128 at Kendrick Street -– Jeremy Freid, a partner in the suburban arm of Boston Realty Advisors, believes said change will send positive signals to the business community.

A Needham Times editorial on WickedLocal, Let Needham Crossing thrive, includes a progress report on the commercial development:

“The biggest boon to Needham Crossing came in late 2012 when TripAdvisor agreed to move its headquarters there after Needham Town Meeting approved $1.8 million in tax breaks for the company in exchange for construction of a new headquarters and the hiring of 250 additional employees over five years. The new headquarters is slowly coming to fruition. Its steel frame is already up, and the project is moving toward a 2015 completion date.”

0 Boston Suburban Office Parks get Reinvented

Owners and developers across Eastern Massachusetts are seeking to reinvent the suburban office park. In communities such as Waltham, Newton and Needham, developers are adding restaurants, hotels and other amenities to replicate the idea of “live, work, play,” which is an increasing popular attraction in the city. Needham’s soon-to-be largest office tenant, Trip Advisors, will benefit directly from this “live, work, play” attraction.

Wells Avenue office park in Newton, MA

Credit: The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe quantifies the divide between Boston’s urban and suburban landscapes:

“Along Interstate 495, the vacancy rate for Class A offices is hovering at nearly 18 percent, compared with 11.5 percent in Boston and less than 6 percent in Cambridge. Commercial rents are depressed. Offices lease for only $20 per square foot in the region, less than half of what similar space fetches in Boston and Cambridge, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, a commercial real estate firm.”