0 A Seaport Gondola Remains a Possibility

view from Gondola over city

Credit: Boston Globe

Would you ride it if they built it? Now that is the question. To tell you the truth, I personally don’t have an answer. If it was efficient and saved time, absolutely.

From the Boston Globe:

The Boston Planning and Development Agency “is planning to spend $400,000 studying transit options in a neck of Boston that has become so difficult to access that some are suggesting sailing over clogged streets…The study will likely take more than a year, and consider whether additional bus, rail, ferries, bike-share, and ride-hailing services can help. And it will also look at the polarizing proposal to run cable cars far above Summer Street as part of an aerial gondola system…The gondola proposal might sound fanciful, but a major development firm is willing to cough up $100 million for it.”

0 How Stable is Boston’s Flourishing Seaport?

Boston’s Seaport will continue to be on the forefront by planning ahead as construction and development continues. Lower-Level and 1st-floor space is no longer used for utility infrastructure, developers and landlords. New projects house these systems on the 2nd floor or the roof, where appropriate.

Seaport Square Boston

Credit: The Architect’s Newspaper

290 Congress Street, owned by Boston Properties, utilizes a water fence that gets installed should it be necessary. To-date this has only been used once in March of 2018.

From the Financial Post:

in this old city’s booming Seaport District, General Electric is building its new world headquarters, Amazon is bringing in thousands of new workers, and Reebok’s red delta symbol sits atop the new office it opened last year. Three businesses are testing self-driving cars, other dynamic companies are planting their flag, and trendy restaurants and apartments have gone up virtually overnight. But after bad flooding during a storm this past winter, critics wonder whether it was a bright idea to invest so much in a man-made peninsula that sits barely above sea level.

Environmental activists warn much of the district, transformed from a wasteland of surface parking lots, rotting piers and abandoned rail yards into an economic engine and one of the city’s most expensive neighbourhoods in a matter of years, simply isn’t prepared for the long haul.

 

0 Host of Ferries Heading to Boston Harbor

Getting from here to there across Boston Harbor is poised to get a little easier in the coming months.

Ferry on Boston harbor around Seaport

Credit: Boston Globe

The Boston Globe recently highlighted three ferry services that could be available to commuters in and around the Boston Seaport in the coming months:

  • Wynn Resorts…hired Charlestown-based Boston Boatworks to build three ferries. The goal is to cart about 40 riders at a time to and from its Encore Boston Harbor resort casino in Everett, scheduled to open next year.
  • A commuter ferry between the Seaport and Lovejoy Wharf North Station is expected to launch as soon as September, providing easier passage to the Seaport for commuters from the north.
  • The Institute of Contemporary Art will soon launch a ferry from its Seaport museum to East Boston, where it’s opening a secondary campus in June. This service, however, isn’t commuter-friendly; spokeswoman Colette Randall said passengers will need either a ticket or membership with the ICA to board.

0 Boston Seaport Ferry Trial Set to Begin

Boston financial district office space

Credit: Boston Business Journal

Are you looking for an easier way to Boston’s Seaport? The ferry is coming! OK, it’s a trial, but at least it’s a start.

According to Banker and Tradesman, “the trial service – with ferries making the trip to Fan Pier in approximately 13 minutes – was originally projected to launch in fall 2017. Related Beal committed to pay $794,000 and a $500,000 grant from Massachusetts Department of Transportation will cover the rest of the dock project, [Rich McGuinness, deputy director for waterfront planning at the Boston Planning and Development Agency] said. The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority will oversee the trial service operation, which will be partially funded by corporate subsidies.”

Additional information is available on the BBJ.

0 MassMutual Plots 300,000 SF Office Building on Parcel E

Springfield office building

Credit: Boston Business Journal

The Seaport in Boston is not only home to tech, life science, law firms and luxury condos, but now with be home to MassMutual with room for 1,000 workers. The new office building will be a 300,000 SF building on Parcel E.

Roger Crandall, MassMutual’s chairman, president and CEO “said the decision to expand in Boston and upgrade its Springfield office followed ‘a thorough strategic assessment of our operations and footprint.’ Following that, MassMutual ‘concluded that our home state of Massachusetts is the best place for us to grow and thrive over the long term’…The Boston office will be developed on property MassMutual jointly owns with The Fallon Co., a Boston-based real-estate development firm. Fallon Co. and MassMutual together acquired the Fan Pier development zone in 2005 for $115 million, and Parcel E has remained undeveloped since.”

You can read the full Boston Business Journal article on its website, here.

0 Commercial Office Markets to Watch in 2018

Office towers in Boston

Credit: Commercial Cafe

Boston has strong fundamentals and looks for increased rent growth in 2018.

Here’s a 2017 Assessment from Commercial Cafe:

Boston averaged between 11% and 12% office vacancy in 2017. Desirable tech submarkets are priced at a premium here, while emerging submarkets often offer discounts–the overall average asking rent in tech submarkets is priced at a 16% premium in East Cambridge (where inventory has decreased).

The Boston market also retained positive absorption, as vacancy dropped 0.4 percentage points to 12.0 percent last year. Large tenant move-ins have driven the 2017 Boston CBD market, with major shifts including Natixis Global Asset Management’s move into its new 150,000-square-foot headquarters at 888 Boylston St. in the Back Bay.

0 Seaport Square Project May Yield Waterfront Library

Rendering of potential Boston waterfront Library in Seaport

Credit: Boston Globe

The Seaport is poised to get a library, but let’s wait to see if it materializes in Boston’s booming commercial real estate sector.

From the Boston Globe:

[State Representative Nick] Collins, a Democrat who represents South Boston, is among those who have complained that the burgeoning district is being built without enough of the places — like a library — that make a neighborhood feel like home. As WS Development finalized plans to put housing, office buildings, and retail on 12.5 acres of parking lots, Collins pressed the developer to add a library to the project, known as Seaport Square.

But when the Boston Planning & Development Agency approved the developer’s plan Nov. 16, it required two performing arts centers, but no library. That same week, however, Collins inserted a provision into a large state bond bill that would set aside $10 million for “creation and construction of a Boston Public Library branch on the South Boston Waterfront.”

0 Is the Seaport Gondola How You’re Getting to Work Tomorrow?

Gondola in city, like Boston

Credit: Curbed Boston

Is getting to work taking too long since your office has moved to Boston Seaport? If so, the Seaport’s solution to your congestion could be a gondola system, according to Boston City Councilor Michael Flaherty.

From Biznow:

Millennium Partners has proposed a Summer Street, cable-propelled gondola network running from South Station to a property one of its subsidiaries owns in the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park, the Boston Herald reports. As many as 71 10-passenger cabins could move as many as 4,000 passengers per hour in and out of the Seaport, where traffic is notoriously congested.

“A lot of commercial entities are struggling with whether they’re going to renew their leases or they want to come here, because it’s hard to get in and out,” Flaherty said on the Herald’s radio station Wednesday. “The gondola [system] … solves that.”

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0 Water Transportation Would Suit Seaport District

Ferry in Boston Harbor

Credit: Banker and Tradesman

Water shuttle service simply makes sense to accommodate Boston’s daytime and nighttime population growth and resulting transportation demands. The benefits of water travel from North Station to the Seaport would be a welcome alternative for many within our workforce; complaints of snarled traffic access during business hours are common refrains among Seaport commuters. Additionally, the reactivation of Track 61 from Back Bay to the Seaport will contribute to further traffic relief.

From B&T:

The 2015 South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Plan specifically recommended ferry service between Fan Pier and North Station, due to the need for improved regional access to the jobs and activity in the Seaport district. The report called water transportation “an untapped resource to open up new channels of transit ridership to/from North Station, the downtown, and coastal communities to the north and south.”

0 Fort Point Pedestrian Bridge to be Restored by GE

Fort Point office buildings

Credit: Boston Globe

GE unveils a glimpse of our industrial past with renderings to the new pedestrian bridge at their new world headquarters in Boston’s Seaport. The new bridge will be used as four separate lounges and quiet working spaces for GE employees.

From the Boston Globe:

Consistent with its historical design, GE expects to keep a green wall on the east side of the bridge. But the bridge’s west side, facing downtown, would look quite different. The windowless facade, currently shielded by corrugated metal, would be replaced with banks of tall windows. The interior — oddly shaped at 40 feet long by 7 feet wide — is to be used as four separate lounges and quiet working spaces for GE employees.

The bridge was once an important link between buildings in the old New England Confectionery Co. complex. But it has long since outlived its original function. It now extends between one of two old brick buildings that GE will occupy and another former Necco building, currently owned by Synergy Investments. The Synergy-owned office building will remain walled off from the GE bridge.