NAIOP Bus Tour: 10 Facts Learned on the Trial Run

The following blog post was submitted by Duncan Gratton, Senior Managing Director, Principal at Cassidy Turley FHO.

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of NAIOP’s Bus Tour, and as the Vice President of the Bus Tour Committee, I had a hand in planning and designing it. The 2012 Bus Tour, What’s Big and Breaking in Greater Boston, is a fast-paced live market update on some of the most dynamic markets in the area, including Boston’s Seaport, Fenway, Longwood and Cambridge.

The actual date of the Bus Tour is May 2, but this week – along with Bus Tour Captains and NAIOP staff – I went on a dry run of the route. We saw a lot of projects breaking ground and learned several interesting facts from the knowledgeable Bus Tour Captains! Here are the ten I found most interesting:

  1. The largest private construction project in the US is located at Fan Pier. The Vertex buildings are 1,100,000 SF and $900,000,000!
  2. Three of the largest academic/medical clusters in the US are located in Boston. They are:MGH/Partners

    Longwood Medical/Harvard

    Boston Medical Center/Boston University

  3. Kendall Square in Cambridge was supposed to be the original site of NASA. After JFK was assassinated, Lyndon Johnson became President and being from Texas, he chose Houston as the new location.
  4. Boston University is one of the largest landlords in Back Bay/Fenway. They control over 1,000,000 SF of commercial and non-academic real estate.
  5. There are three new life science buildings under construction in Kendall Square (Pfizer, Novartis and Broad Institute) and two new office buildings (Biogen Idec). All are 100% leased.
  6. Rents in Kendall Square and the Seaport District have jumped over 10% in the last 12 months.
  7. New apartment construction is booming – at least six new projects are underway or about to start in Boston!
  8. New Balance has announced plans for four new buildings at Brighton Landing, including a new 250,000 SF world headquarters building. In addition, they are planning a 345,000 SF sports facility that will include a hockey rink and track.
  9. Harvard is constructing an ‘Innovation Lab’ in the former WGBH buildings on Western Avenue in Allston.
  10. Boston University has announced that construction will commence this summer on a new lacrosse stadium on Babcock Street, thanks in part to a $3,000,000 donation from New Balance.

I hope you will join us on May 2 to learn more about What’s Big and Breaking in Greater Boston. Get a sneak peek of what’s in store.

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