0 Digitas Leases 200,000 RSF at 40 Water St. in Congress Sq.

Office building at 40 Water Street

Credit: Banker and Tradesman

Digitas is on the move, literally; the ad agency DigitasLBi recently signed a lease at 40 Water Street to lease 200,000 RSF.

According to Banker and Tradesman, Digitas has “been shopping for office space for more than two years, with its 200,000-square-foot lease at 33 Arch St. set to expire in 2017. Related Beal is renovating 40 Water St. to make way for open-format offices topped with a 6-story glass addition and tree-lined roof deck overlooking Post Office Square.”

More information is available on B&T.

0 Boston Office Market Closes 10th Consecutive Quarter of Positive Absorption

Boston office market trends

Credit: TransWestern.net

The Boston Office market continues ahead with its 10th positive quarter of absorption.

From TWurls.com:

Greater Boston’s office market closed its 10th straight quarter of positive growth, albeit at a much slower pace than the 15-year record high of 2 million square feet absorbed during second-quarter, according to “officeSTATus — Q3 2015,” a new research report from Transwestern | RBJ. Despite tenants absorbing only 36,000 square feet of office space during third-quarter 2015, the market has seen a robust 3.6 million square feet of positive absorption during the past 12 months Ë•’ a more accurate indicator of market strength.

“We were unlikely to maintain the pace that was set during the second quarter, which had the highest absorption rate since the dot-com boom in 2000,” said Northeast Research Director Chase Bourdelaise. “An important contributor to the robust 12-month absorption growth is the continued positive gains to the region’s office-using employment, which has increased 12.0 percent since 2009.”

0 Pedestrian Connector Omitted from final John Hancock Tower Proposal

rendering of new John Hancock tower in Boston back bay

Credit: Boston Business Journal

The folks on the design teams of John Hancock’s new 26 story towers decide not to include the pedestrian bridge in their final plans. Do you feel the design for the top of the tower is too forward?

From the BBJ:

When John Hancock notified the city of its intent to build a 26-story tower at 380 Stuart St., a pedestrian connector linking the new tower and John Hancock’s existing office complex at 200 Berkeley St. was up for consideration…But on Tuesday evening, the project’s design team discussed the shaping of the tower and tapering it down to the ground, creating pedestrian walkways between Stuart and Stanhope streets as well as creating a rooftop terrace that could be rented for private functions. The pedestrian connector was not included in any of the design discussion…When asked about its whereabouts, the design team said: “The bridge is gone.”

0 New Boston Skyscrapers will Make — or Brake — the Skyline

Copley square office buildings in Boston

Credit: Boston Globe

The greater Boston audience has an opinion about just about anything, including our skyline. This poses a challenge to Boston’s strongest developers and architects to reshape our city into something elegant, energizing, and functional.

From the Boston Globe:

No matter how elegantly they may be paved or planted, urban plazas are boring, windy, and little used, especially in weather like ours. The Prudential, back before its Arctic plazas were filled in with shopping arcades, was a good example. The Federal Reserve Bank, next to South Station, is another. It’s a handsome, eloquent Diva tower behind a plaza that has the charm of a recently abandoned battlefield.

As far as the public is concerned, cities aren’t made of buildings and plazas, anyway. Cities are made of streets and parks. From the point of view of urban design, the buildings are there to shape those public spaces and feed them with energy.

0 Silicon Valley Takes Note of Boston Innovation

cover of startup pub that touts Boston as an innovation hub

Credit: BBJ

Not only do we in Boston believe that we have a flurry of startup activity, other across the country believe so as well.

Here’s a quote from the BBJ that represents this perspective on the Hub:

“At almost every tech event I’ve been to in 2014, everyone ranging from entrepreneurs and investors to politicians has talked about the booming innovation scene in Boston, and how Boston needs to tout its successes.”

The complete Boston Business Journal article is available, here.

0 What will it cost me to move into my new office space?

Humboldt moving, logoWhat would it cost to move your company from Downtown Crossing in the Financial District to the Seaport?  Let’s assume you are in 3,600 rentable square feet and moving into something similar.

According to Humboldt Moving and Storage, you can use the following as a guide:

• The cost per square foot would be $3.00 + for an average, and it is usually + on a commercial office move.
• This does not include packing, crating, panel systems, or any special services.
• Tenants will usually perform their own packing.  Rental crates will average around $5.00 each.  Figure 3-6 crates per person.  Legal and accounting firms will require more due to paper record keeping.
• Workstations will usually run $200 plus each to disassemble and reassemble.
• Based on a 25 person office with 20 workstations your move would cost $15,300.00 or $4.25 per square foot.

cost of moving offices in Boston

0 Office Market ‘As Good as it Gets’

market report logo

Credit: CoStar

If you need office space or are looking to expand or renew at your existing location, consider now. The market is clearly in favor of the landlord and is expected to continue in that direction. Investors are reaping the benefits, while tenants are looking for options with competitive rents.

Hans Nordby, managing director of CoStar Portfolio Strategy, described the commercial real estate environment as “the prettiest picture you’re likely to see in this economic cycle. If you’re waiting for ‘as good as it gets,’ it’s probably today in terms of year-over-year office employment growth being so pervasive.”

Boston office tenants absorbed over 350,000 sf of space in the 3rd quarter, lowering vacancy to just over 10 percent.  Class A rents rose to $51.80 per SF.

Additional information on the national market are available on CoStar.com.

0 Commuting to Boston: the reality of Mass. Pike Traffic

Mass Pike commute in to Boston

Credit: wikimedia.org

I meet with evolving, growing companies each day, looking to house their corporate office in Boston  Commutes are a factor of life in our city, and to-date, I have yet to see a company avoid Boston due to commutes.  Our infrastructure needs to be maintained and upgraded and yes it is frustrating, but I will continue to traverse the Pike, leaving earlier in the morning to beat the rush.

The BBJ offers the following for context:

“The toll-paying commuters lost two lanes last August (one each way) as much-needed repair began on the Commonwealth Avenue bridge. This is no minor inconvenience: The project, a $22 million job, is supposed to take two years….The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has been trying to soft-sell this traffic travesty, and they recently produced a heap of data using a real-time traffic tracking system indicating that the average inbound delay is about 10 minutes during rush hour. Although the data doesn’t jibe with most motorists’ experiences, even 10 extra minutes adds some 2,500 minutes a year to the average motorist’s commute, or 5,000 minutes (or 83 hours, or two full work weeks) over the life of the bridge repair project.”

0 Boston Office Motif is Open and Shared

modern office space in boston

Credit: The Boston Globe

The look and feel of today’s office space is dramatically different than what we saw just 10 years ago.  Collaborative is the new norm and private offices are a thing of the past.  Gone is the bowling alley of offices replaced by open spaces with exposed ceilings.

Drawing a parallel between the modern workspace and online social behavior, the Boston Globe notes, “in a fast-paced high-tech world where community seems to be more valued than privacy, the office partitions have come down in the name of collaboration and quick exchange…Offices are being designed to offer slightly cramped but open spaces to create “collision zones” for employees, where conversations get started and ideas get hatched. Status-based work areas have gotten the pink slip as companies envision cross-departmental, even cross-industry alliances. And why have a meeting around a gigantic table when you and a few co-workers can set up shop in a booth — not so different from one at Denny’s. Sound much different from your office? Just wait.”

The Boston Globe article is comprehensive and worthy of a read; it’s available on the Globe’s online real estate section.

0 Office Rents Influenced by Proximity to Bike-Share Kiosks

Bike-share in Boston

Credit: CityPhile

So as you consider where you would like to locate your new office what often comes up is area amenities.  One such amenities is Bike-Share, and if you plan on being near one, expect to pay a premium in your office rents.

From Banker & Tradesman:

“Boston has the highest percentage of residents who walk to work of any major U.S. city at 15.1 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Bike commuting is a small but rapidly growing niche, rising from 1 percent in the 2000 census to 1.7 percent in the community survey, which spanned the years from 2008 to 2012….Hubway has a variety of payment plans designed to appeal to everyone from tourists to everyday commuters, ranging from $85 for an annual membership to a $6 pass for 24-hour access. Ridership has topped 500,000 trips since this year’s program began April 2, with a fleet of 1,300 bikes at 139 stations in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville, according to Alta spokeswoman Emily Stapleton.”