The North Station market is growing up. Yes, it is still home to The Garden, but with 2.5 million square feet of new developments, it is poised to rival any Boston submarket.
Unlike the Seaport, it offers a commuter rail hub in North Station, light rail service from the Green and Orange lines, and Interstate 93 – making it a commuter’s dream.
Banker&Tradesman reports, “by 2020, the addition of more than two and a half million square feet of new development promises to reshape the neighborhood with the inclusion of retail, office and hospitality developments…It will also include market-rate and middle-class housing, which will contribute to Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s goal of creating 56,000 new units by 2030. Growth has been so explosive that the city is developing a North Station Area Mobility Action Plan to account for the thousands of commuters, residents, visitors and arena-goers that ebb and flow in and out of the area daily.”
Transportation is a key driver to a city’s economic success. Former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis met with Gov. Charlie Baker to discuss a underground rail connection between North and South Station.
“It’s important to understand that both South and North station are getting increasingly congested,” [Former Governor Michael Dukakis] said. “We’re getting perilously close to a point where we’re not going to be able to get any more trains into those stations. Both of them, by the way. The answer from the [MBTA] over the course of the past few years, under administrations of both parties has been that we ought to expand South Station and add another seven tracks. We are paying consultants, even as we speak, to plan that for $1 billion or $600 million for seven tracks—that’s insane. Nobody in the railroad business is expanding 19th-century stations, they’re connecting them. There must be 50 major cities, all over the world, that have the same problem we do, and they’re connecting them. That’s exactly what we should do, not spend any more time on this foolishness about expanding South Station, it won’t solve the problem.”
To get from North Station to South Station, Amtrak and commuter rail passengers must travel through the city via other means— there is no commuter rail directly between the two stations. The North-South Rail Link, proposed by former Governors Dukakis and Bill Weld, would connect both stations, uniting both stations and bringing passengers North, as far as Maine.
The first phase, for which HYM submitted documentation on Monday, is a 45-story, 486-unit residential tower located along New Sudbury Street and a 43-story, 1 million-square-foot office tower located at the corner of New Chardon and Congress streets…HYM’s original plans had the office tower at 600 feet, and a hotel parcel at 275 feet, but those plans were revised in August 2013 to a 528-foot office tower and a 157-foot hotel. The Boston Redevelopment Authority approved the project in November 2013.
HYM’s project aims to connect Boston’s Bulfinch Triangle, Government Center, the West End, the North End and Beacon Hill with a near five-acre development area. It’s slated to be among the largest construction projects in the city — which itself has seen a fair number of cranes in the past few years — and at full buildout will include six new buildings with 812 residential units, 1.1 million square feet of office space, 85,000 square feet of retail space and a 196-room hotel.
The integration of transportation, services and infrastructure is paramount to a city’s success. Boston’s North Station is now benefiting by receiving $400K towards a transportation plan that will look at short and long term solutions.
Banker&Tradesman reports, “the nine-month project will encompass the West End, Bulfinch Triangle and Government Center, where nearly 8 million square feet of commercial and residential projects are expected to be completed in the next few years…The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and the city’s transportation department are overseeing the project designed to analyze the existing network and future needs…The $400,000 is expected to cover the entire cost of the project, BRA spokesman Nicholas Martin said.”
When fully built out, Boston Garden will be a 1.87 million-square-foot mixed-use development with a residential tower and an office tower sitting atop a multi-level podium connecting North Station and TD Garden to Causeway Street…The project’s first phase is a $285 million steel-and-glass podium named “Champions Row.” Beyond creating a transportation hub for North Station commuters as well as crowds at TD Garden, the “Champions Row” podium is slated to include a Star Market grocery store; a 20,000-square-foot sports bar that can hold up to 500 patrons; a 50,000-square-foot entertainment venue that could seat up to 1,000 people; a movie theater; a bowling alley; and additional retail space.
Dollars keep coming into Boston’s Class A and B markets. The latest is into the North Station market by Bridgeton for $24.5M. Office Rents in the Class B market are hovering around the $40 mark depending on timing, term and T/I.
A B&T article reports, “New York-based private equity fund Bridgeton Holdings has acquired a hotel and retail building across from the TD Garden for $24.5 million…The five-story, 54,000-square-foot building is located at the corner of Causeway and Friend streets. Ground-floor tenants include Qdoba, North Station Liquors and the Ace Tickets studio used for Celtics pre- and post-game shows on Comcast SportsNet.”
You can read additional information, on B&T, here.
Government Center is an area in downtown Boston, bounded by Cambridge, Court, Congress, and New Sudbury Streets. Center Plaza sits on the gateway and the new owners are poised to make a splash with their vision.
“The plans are going to be a very noticeable level of improvement on the retail arcade,” [said Kevin Kuzemchak, senior vice president for Shorenstein.] “We want to take what is now a fairly dark monotonous experience and add new lighting and storefronts where we can, signage, and hopefully install High Line-esque landscaping to the entire arcade and break it up into different zones.” Office lobbies will be expanded and moved closer to Cambridge Street.
Invesco is the new owner of 226 Causeway Street for $476.68 per square foot. Tenants include the following:
• Oxfam America
• Grant Thornton
• Boston Celtics
• March Communications
According to the BBJ, “the property was sold by Spear Street Capital, a real estate investment fund with offices in New York and San Francisco. Spear Street acquired 226 Causeway St. in 2011 for $43 million…First-quarter office rents averaged $32.95 in the North Station neighborhood, with 4.5 percent office vacancy, according to JLL.”
Boston Properties is moving forward with 2 major projects located at 2 transportation hubs. Back Bay Station is the proposed spot of a new tower development, while North Station will benefit from the same.
The real estate investment trust said this morning it has entered a joint venture to acquire the air rights for the 377,000-square-foot initial phase of the North Station redevelopment. It also has signed a 44-year extension on its lease for the Clarendon Street parking garage with the state Department of Transportation, part of a larger proposal to build two towers containing offices, residences and retail above Back Bay Station. As part of the agreement, Boston Properties will take over management of the renovated station, which serves the Orange Line subway and several commuter rail lines.
Boston Properties is on the move in North Station with a $10.9 million new site at 80 Causeway Street. Boston Properties plans to build 2-million square feet including low-rise offices with a familiar facade.
Banker & Tradesman reports “new renderings by Gensler Architects show a pair of office buildings facing Causeway Street including one with oversized windows resembling the exterior of the old Boston Garden, which was demolished in 1998…Boston Properties is partnering with the Jacobs family, owners of the TD Garden and Boston Bruins, on the mixed-use project.”