The following blog post was submitted by David Fleming, Principal at PACE Communications Group, a marketing firm that works with CRE companies to promote properties and help lease space.
The 2014 NAIOP Massachusetts Bus Tour,“Changing the Game in Boston Real Estate” lived up to its name as attendees got an up close look at game-changing development projects across the city. The tour covered dozens of new and redevelopment projects in Allston, Brighton, the Fenway, Back Bay, the South End, and the Seaport/Innovation District.
Here are just a few highlights:
Game-Changer in Brighton: NB Development’s Boston Landing
The tour kicked off in Brighton as attendees watched a presentation on NB Development’s exciting new Boston Landing project. NB Development Group managing director Jim Halliday, HYM Investment Group founder Tom O’Brien, founding principal of Elkus Manfredi Architects, David Manfredi, and others provided an overview of the spectacular transit-oriented, mixed-use project.
When complete, Boston Landing will feature 650,000 square feet of office, 180 hotel rooms, 65,000 square feet of retail, a world-class indoor track facility, a dedicated MBTA commuter rail station, and significant public space. A game-changer in Brighton, for sure.
Skanska & WS Development Star at Seaport Square
At the Boston Innovation/Seaport District, attendees visited another game-changer, Seaport Square. Here, Skanska USA is building three projects totaling close to 1.2 million square feet. Project partner WS Development is responsible for bringing the ground level retail to each building.
Brian Sciera of WS Development explained the company’s mission at Seaport Square is to create energy and excitement where buildings meet the street. To WS Development, energy means retail. And, fashion retail, in particular.
“The backbone of any good retail district is its fashion component,” said Sciera. “Fashion brings that energy to the street by driving interaction between people and buildings.”
Sciera said WS Development is in discussion with several well-known retailers, but was not at liberty to disclose names.
The Skanska USA buildings at Seaport Square are:
- 101 Seaport: located on Parcel L1 across from the Boston Innovation Center, the office tower will be the new Boston headquarters for PwC
- 121 Seaport: located onParcel L2,the 17-storybuilding willconsist of 400,000 RSF of office space and ground level retail
- Watermark Seaport: located on Parcel K, the project will consist of a six-story building and 17-story residential tower, including 346 luxury rental units and 25,000 square feet of retail (Watermark Seaport is a JV with Twining Properties)
Fenway’s Other Big Papi: Samuels & Associates
When you’re talking about development in the Fenway Triangle, you’re talking Samuels & Associates. With more than $1 billion invested in the neighborhood, Samuels is Fenway’s other Big Papi.
Just down Boylston Street from The Trilogy and 1330 Boylston, the NAIOP tour buses rolled by Samuels’ latest two projects: The Van Ness and The Verb. The Van Ness is a 22-story, 320-unit apartment building that’s under construction and will be home to downtown Boston’s first Target. And, recently underway, The Verb is a 43,000-square-foot boutique hotel project at the site of the former Howard Johnson’s.
At the Landmark Center, bus tour attendees were treated to lunch by area favorite Tasty Burger. Samuels’ Joel Sklar and Peter Sougarides were onhand to discuss the company’s Landmark Center expansion project, which they described as a complete “rethinking of the former Sears building.” In addition to renovating the interior, updating infrastructure, and removing the above ground parking garage, Samuels plans to create a “world class food market” anchored by Wegman’s.
By adding the Landmark Center expansion to development projects The Van Ness and The Verb, Fenway’s other Big Papi has struck again.
A Game-Changing Tour
Highlighted by Boston Landing, Seaport Square, and the new Fenway Triangle projects, NAIOP Massachusetts’ “Changing the Game in Boston Real Estate” bus tour lived up to its name—and then some.