Event Recap: Leadership Lunch + Learn at 101 Seaport

The following blog post was written by Chloe Louise Bouscaren, Marketing and Business Development at CBT Architects.

“An Inventive Setting to Spark Inventive Thinking”

IMG_20151111_122627151On Wednesday, Nov 9th NAIOP hosted a Members-Only Leadership Luncheon at 101 Seaport Boulevard, the new home for PricewaterhouseCoopers, a multinational professional services network. PwC relocated 3000 employees from 125 High Street to Boston’s Seaport District. Shawn Hurley, the Executive Vice President and Regional Manager of SKANSKA USA Commercial Development hosted NAIOP on the building’s 7th floor, the only space that has yet to be leased. Shawn was joined by Charley Leatherbee, VP of Development; Levi Reilly, Director of Development; and Patrick Sousa, Manager of Development, who all played important roles in the success of this high-profile project.

IMG_20151111_121118778The newly constructed 17-story, 440,000 RSF, LEED Platinum state-of-the-art office building was developed by SKANKSA USA Commercial Development Team in Boston. Highlights included a chilled beam mechanical system, triple glazing curtain wall, 300 underground parking spaces, world class retail by WS Development, expansive views of the harbor and Seaport, conference and training centers, and virtually column free floorplates. 82% of the building is occupied by PwC, tenants Red Thread and Skanska will be joining them soon. NKGF’s Dave Martel and Bill Anderson are responsible for the leasing and deal negotiation.IMG_20151111_120951643_TOP

Located on what will be the new Seaport Square Green, 101 Seaport connects directly to Fan Pier Park, creating a continuous public space that reaches Boston Harbor and connects to the Harborwalk Grand civic lawn to support active recreation and public events.CBT2

SKANSKA is also currently working a neighboring 17-story office tower, 121 Seaport, as well as Watermark Seaport, a 300-unit residential complex both on neighboring parcels.CTjJnD2VAAAiuyx.jpg large

For those who have yet to hear Shawn’s presentations on SKANKSA’s developments in the Seaport and beyond, his confidence and presence is unparalleled. Shawn has an innate way of making an audience feel comfortable and that day, we all felt we were part of something big. SKANSKA is clearly making development history in Boston and Shawn and his group are leading that charge the titans of the real estate industry. Hats off gents.

Quick Project Stats
Project Cost: $290M
Project Duration: 26 months
PwC Employees: 3000 (20% more people in 12% less space)
Designer / Design Firm: Jonathan McGuiness, Jacobs Engineering Group

NAIOP’s on-going Leadership Lunch and Learn series is open only to Members and offers unparalleled access to top local real estate leaders. Attendees get an inside look at the area’s most active CRE companies and hear about their latest developments, recent activity, upcoming projects, and more. Not yet a NAIOP Member? Join today!

Clear Those Rooftops

ROOFTOPWith one of the worst winters in history, businesses are at risk for serious structural damages and possible life safety, due to accumulating snow on large flat roof tops. Because rain and ice are expected in the coming days, efforts should be undertaken now to safely remove snow from roofs. The Massachusetts Department of Public Safety has issued the following recommendations:

Dangers Associated With Heavy Snow Loads on Roofs
Homeowners, tenants, and businesses need to be cognizant of the danger posed by  heavy snow loads on roofs, and the warning signs of potential structural weaknesses. In some instances, the risks posed by accumulated snow on roofs can be mitigated by safely removing snow from roofs of both commercial buildings and homes.

Removing snow from rooftops will minimize the likelihood of structural collapse. Flat and low pitched roofs, most often found on industrial buildings, but are also used in certain home designs, are at the greatest risk of buckling under heavy snow and ice accumulations. Lower roofs, where snow accumulates from higher roofs are also vulnerable.

How to Recognize Problems with Roofs
•         Sagging roofs
•         Severe roof leaks
•         Cracked or split wood members
•         Bends or ripples in supports
•         Cracks in walls or masonry
•         Sheared off screws from steel frames
•         Sprinkler heads that have dropped down below ceiling tiles
•         Doors that pop open
•         Doors or windows that are difficult to open
•         Bowed utility pipes or conduit attached at ceiling
•         Creaking, cracking or popping sounds

Other Safety Tips
•         Ice dams can cause major damage to a home or building. Ice dams occur after a heavy snowfall, followed by several days or even weeks of very cold weather.  An ice dam is a wall of ice that forms at the edge of the roof, usually at the gutters or soffit. When it forms, the water backs up behind the ice dams and creates a pool. This pool of water can leak into your home or business and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and other areas. DPS directs consumers to the WT Phalen Insurance web site for additional information and guidance about how to cope with ice dams.
•         Clear snow away from downspouts so water has a place to go.
•         Also, please remember to shovel-out fire hydrants in\around your area in case of emergency. See the Massachusetts Emergency Management web link below for additional information about winter and fire safety tips.  http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/mema/

Tips for Businesses in Removing Snow and Ice from Roofs and Other Areas
•        If you are going to use a snow blower, make sure that it has been approved by a structural engineer to be used on a roof, and that the blower is set to a high level above the roof so as not to damage roof membrane.
•        Use a snow rake for pitched roofs (available at most hardware stores) to remove snow from your roof.
•         Start from the edge and work your way into the roof. Try to shave the snow down to a 2 or 3 inches on the roof instead of scraping the roof clean, which will risk damage to your shingles or other roof covering. Keep in mind that any metal tool could conduct electricity if it touches a power line. Also, metal tools will do more damage to your roof.
Shovel snow from flat roofs throwing the snow over the side away from the building.
Most plastic shovels are better, except for the ones with curved blades-those too will do some damage to your roof.
•        Keep gutters, downspouts and drains clean. Remove large icicles carefully if they’re hanging over doorways and walkways.
•        Wear protective headgear and goggles when performing any of these tasks.

How to Recognize Problems with Roofs in Commercial Buildings
•         Sagging roof steel – visually deformed
•         Severe roof leaks
•         Cracked or split wood members
•         Bends or ripples in metal supports
•         Cracks in walls or masonry
•         Cracks in welds of steel construction
•         Sheared off screws from steel frames
•         Sprinkler heads pushed down below ceiling tiles
•         Water puddles where it never has before
•         Doors that pop open
•         Doors or windows that are difficult to open
•         Bowed utility pipes or conduit attached at ceiling
•         Creaking, cracking or popping sounds

What to do if you have problems
•         Call your local building or fire official.
•         If there is imminent danger, evacuate the building and call 911.

What other assistance is available?
•         Many fire departments have regional technical rescue teams available to local departments in case of collapse.
•        Massachusetts Task Force 1 is an Urban Search and Rescue Team in Beverly. The team is comprised of Police, Fire, EMS and Civilians who respond to major disasters under a contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Currently there are 150 people on the MATF-1 team.

The Changing Face of Downtown Boston

The following blog post was submitted by Ally Quinby, Account Executive at Solomon McCown.

Real estate professionals gathered last week to discuss the significant transformation happening in our city’s core. The office, retail and residential sectors are all growing and working together to create a true 24/7, live, work, play environment in downtown Boston.

Even with the boom in the Seaport, Downtown is seeing an influx of new office tenants who want to be in the heart of the city. David Greaney of Synergy Investments told us that of the 70 leases his firm has completed this year, 59 of them were located downtown. And these tenants are looking at more than just the office space. Mark Smith said that Equity includes the amenities of the surrounding area on tours with potential tenants. He also told the room that tenants want comfortable, communicative environments.

All these companies have employees who want to be within walking distance of work. Despite the thousands of apartment units that are planned and currently being constructed, Bill McLaughlin of AvalonBay Communities said that the demand is there because young people aspire to live in the city; we are well-positioned to absorb the deliveries we will see in the next five to six years.

Retail is growing too. Andrea Matteson of CBRE/Grossman Retail Advisors highlighted Walgreens, Equinox, Scholars and the coming Legal Seafoods as game changers who have helped Downtown Crossing look better than ever. She said that first floor tenants are key in providing character for downtown buildings.

Foreign investment and continued development make Boston one of the U.S.’s most dynamic cities, and our panelists agreed that downtown is going to be an integral part of Boston’s growth in the coming years.

2013 Bus Tour Recap: The Suburban Transformation

The following blog post was submitted by David Fleming, Principal at PACE Communications Group, a marketing and PR firm that specializes in commercial real estate and retail.Elisif_20130501_0150

Three signs that spring has finally arrived in Boston: 1) green grass on the Esplanade, 2) the Red Sox back at Fenway Park, and 3) NAIOP MA’s Annual Bus Tour. The 11th edition of the tour took place on Wednesday as more than 250 people aboard five buses toured properties along what is suddenly one of the hottest stretches in commercial real estate in the region: the Route 128 Corridor from Needham to Lynnfield. Here’s a summary:

Elisif_20130501_0115Kickoff at Needham Crossing

  • Needham’s Economic Development Director Devra Bailin, discussed efforts to rebrand the former New England Business Center as Needham Crossing
  • Justin Krebs and Mark Roopenian described two of Normandy Real Estate Partners’ projects along the route:
    • Center 128, which will redevelop Needham’s former New England Business Center into an 825,000-square-foot “super-park,” including a Marriott Residence Inn Hotel
    • Station at Riverside, which will transform MBTA’s Riverside Station into a mixed-use development featuring 295 apartments, a 10-story 225,000 square foot office building, and a 20,000 square foot retail village
    • Mike Wilcox of The Bulfinch Companies discussed development at Needham Crossing and the branding and leasing efforts at Atrium Center. Wilcox concluded with an exciting Atrium Center video that you can see here.
    • In his market overview, Jeremy Grossman of CBRE/Grossman Retail Advisors noted the “flight to quality” among retailers, New Urbanism, the continued expansion of restaurants, the intensifying battle among grocers, and the strengthening of regional markets such as Chestnut Hill, Lynnfield, and Northborough as key trends

Elisif_20130501_0215Bus Tour Highlights

Six tour buses, escorted by members of the MA State Police, traveled along Route 128 beginning in the Needham/Newton area and ending in Lynnfield. Here are a few highlights:

 

Elisif_20130501_0268Lunch and Learn at MarketStreet Lynnfield

The tour stopped in Lynnfield for lunch at MarketStreet Lynnfield, a 680,000 square foot mixed-use development currently under construction. Inside a space that will become a Shoe Market store, WS Development’s Tom DeSimone and National Development’s Ted Tye shared details of the joint venture scheduled to open in August 2013.

When complete, MarketStreet Lynnfield will include 395,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, 80,000 square feet of office space, 180 residential apartments known as Arborpoint at MarketStreet, and the 9-hole King Rail Reserve golf course.

Elisif_20130501_0282Voices on Tour

I caught up with a few people on tour. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Tom DeSimone, partner, WS Development: “There’s no better way to understand real estate than to actually be there. The NAIOP Bus Tour gets you closer to the real estate by providing an introduction. Then you can go back and look at whatever may have peaked your interest.”
  • Ted Tye, managing partner, National Development: “It’s great to people out here having a nice day, getting out from behind their desks, and seeing some projects that are being built. And, it’s incredible that in 2013 that we actually have things being built.”
  • David Chilinski, co-founder and president, PCA: “The best part of the NAIOP Bus Tour is that you really get a sense of what’s happening and, importantly, what’s new in the marketplace.  We all know the tried and true properties, but the tour lets you see new projects as well as cases where people are reinventing or adding to projects. That’s the importance of this tour.”
  • Sarah Walker Weatherbee, managing director, Keller Augusta: “You get a sense of history as well as what the future holds for the Boston-area markets like the ones we saw today. And, the networking that the Bus Tour enables is unique to NAIOP—that really makes the day exceptional.”


While here, please read David’s important post below about National Development’s Roseann Sdoia, who was seriously injured in the Boston Marathon bombings. David includes a link to
Roseann’s Recovery Fund for those who wish to donate toward expenses for Roseann’s treatment and recovery.

Seaport, the hottest neighborhood in Boston – Part Two

In yesterday’s post I looked at the history of Boston’s Seaport Area and the new Innovation District, with insights from last week’s “Windows on the Waterfront” program. Today I finish up with a closer look at residential and retail activity, Liberty Wharf, and what to expect next as projects make the move from drawing board to construction site.

The Silver Line helped Boston's Seaport become a viable destination to work, shop, play, and live.

Interest in residential use dates back to artists’ lofts in Fort Point Channel, which  eventually led to Beacon Partners’ development of Channel Center with over 200 new condominiums.   Then came the award-winning FP3 residences and restaurants developed by Berkeley Investments.

It was Liberty Wharf, though, that brought a whole new group of visitors to the Seaport with its 70,000 sq. ft. office and retail development that includes Legal Harborside, Del Frisco’s, Temazcal Tequila Cantina, and Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar & Grille. Two-hour waits and a vibrant neighborhood buzzing with excitement are the result. Ed Nardi, working with Massport and the Jimmy’s Restaurant family was able to produce a concept that not only satisfied stakeholders, but far surpassed their expectations.  Hot off this success, Cresset recently committed to purchasing another property in the area for redevelopment.

In an excellent overview of the neighborhood’s history and future promise, architect David Manfredi gave the NAIOP audience a summary of the last 10 years of development in the area:

  • Work:    2.3 million square feet of new office space
  • Live:       750+ new residences
  • Play:      +4.7 acres of new public park and the extended Harborwalk
  • Visit:      1,639 guest rooms
  • Learn:   ICA & BCEC
  • Dine:     40 restaurants, cafes, food venues
  • Shop:    Louis

What’s coming next?

  • 1,160,000 square feet of innovation space
  • 1,500+ residences
  • BCEC expansion
  • More restaurants, cafes, food venues
  • 360,000+ square feet retail

New apartments are arriving with John Drew and HYM Development at Waterside Place, Steve Karp with Hanover Company at Pier 4, and John Hynes at Seaport Square. Innovation centers for start-up companies will be built by Drew and Hynes. And retail is finally on the drawing board for Waterside Place and a major joint venture with W/S Development at Seaport Square.  Who will get the first supermarket?  Both companies report they are currently in talks with grocery chains.

The hotel question still lingers.  With the Waterfront Renaissance Hotel in foreclosure, it is clear the market is not ready for a new hotel right now.  Some feel the elephant in the room is the BCEC expansion and that new hotel(s) will be dependent on the deal cut with the convention center.

As for the office market, as Charles Reid from Boston Global Investors indicated, there are a lot of parking lots right now and it will take some time before the Financial District feels the pinch as the Seaport lots get transformed into new development.  Other than build-to-suits (e.g. Vertex), spec development is highly unlikely in the near future.  However, there are some large blocks of space coming up for renewal in downtown – it’s possible one of those businesses could decide to relocate to a new state-of-the-art building in the Innovation District.

The bottom line is that the Innovation District has come a long way from the days when Anthony’s, Jimmy’s, and the No Name were the only major draws to cross the Fort Point Channel.  And while it may be a long way from its final build-out, there is no doubt this hot new neighborhood is here to stay.

Seaport: The Hottest Neighborhood in Boston

If attendance is any indicator, the record-breaking 700 registrants at NAIOP’s “Windows on the Waterfront” event confirmed that the newly-rebranded Innovation District in the Boston Seaport district is indeed hot.  This is the year when the long-awaited neighborhood became a reality, spurred in large part by two key events – Vertex’s initial commitment to lease two buildings ( 1.1 million sq. ft.)  on Fan Pier, and Cresset’s opening of Liberty Wharf to the wild acclaim of restaurant and bar aficionados.

Windows on the Waterfront

An aerial shot from David Manfredi's presentation

However, as the NAIOP audience learned, that is just the beginning for development in this area. In an outstanding overview of the neighborhood, David Manfredi described the “promise” of this new district as:

  • A vibrant, new mixed use neighborhood
  • A neighborhood driven by innovation
  • A place to live, work, play, shop, dine, learn and visit

Helping developers fulfill that promise are several massive infrastructure improvements over the past decade, including: access to a redeveloped highway system that includes the Big Dig; an upgraded Logan Airport; expanded water transit; and the construction of the Silver Line.  Add to that the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), the Federal Court House, the beginning of a local park system and Harborwalk, the ICA relocation, and the city’s energetic branding of the Innovation District, and it’s hard to imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to be there!

At the event, Mayor Menino indicated that the city did not want the development of this area to be rushed, avoiding a cold, uninviting commercial zone.  He wanted, and now sees forming, a 24-hour, mixed use area that will attract both families and entrepreneurs.

Despite the large amount of available, buildable land adjacent to downtown (rare for most cities), the redevelopment of this enormous land mass has taken quite a while to get moving.  Early in the last decade, Seaport Place developed 1 million sq. ft. of office space and a full service hotel.  Another 600,000 sq. ft. came along with Manulife’s headquarters.  The next few years were fairly quiet for commercial development, until Joe Fallon built the first office building on Fan Pier, a speculative 526,000 sq. ft. tower at One Marina Park Drive.  Fallon had previously developed the 465 unit Park Lane apartments and partnered on the convention center’s Westin Waterfront hotel.  Soon after, the 470 room Renaissance Hotel was built.

Read more about the city’s hottest neighborhood in Part Two tomorrow – use the buttons at right to subscribe by email or RSS.  Among the topics: residential and retail uses, Liberty Wharf, and what’s next for the Seaport/Innovation District.

Mandates Not the Tool to Increase Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

In a recent blog, How Many Miles Per Gallon Does Your Building Get? The Ratings Game Comes to Buildings, NAIOP member Seth Jaffe of Foley Hoag makes some observations about the recent report issued by the Institute for Market Transformation.  The report describes the existing efforts to rate the energy efficiency of commercial buildings in the country.

Although I appreciate the reasonable dose of skepticism that he expresses, I am a bit more doubtful of the intent of the pilot program originally drafted by our state Department of Energy Resources.  The DOER report, issued in December 2010, states that the intent of an energy rating program is to devalue properties that are less energy efficient (e.g. older building in Gateway Cities) so that there would be an “incentive” for owners to upgrade their buildings prior to financing or sale. This is not the same goal as providing information so that a building owner can make the best economic analysis to determine which energy efficiencies make financial sense.

The decision to invest in building upgrades is dependent on a number of factors including market rents, educated tenants, costs and benefits of efficiency measures, availability of capital, competition, etc.

New buildings are now much more energy efficient than their predecessors.  Developers over the past five years have produced many buildings with LEED certifications.  That said, we all know that the big challenge is with less efficient existing buildings.

However, the best incentive for upgrading that building stock will be an improving economy.  As demand for space increases, rents move up, energy costs continue to rise, and the price of efficiency technologies drop, we will see a major investment in building upgrades.

As we have said before, mandates are not the answer.  The market will lead the way and there is no doubt that, on this particular issue, regulators will do more damage trying to push businesses into expenditures ahead of their economic feasibility.