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The Deal Sheet

As a new South End tower starts to rise, the crowded field of multifamily developments is getting even more jam packed. (Legendary broker Mr. Rogers reminds us, "It's a beautiful day for a neighbor." He handles all leasing for King Friday.)

At 275 Albany St, a $185M, 380-unit apartment complex developed by Normandy Real Estate Partners and Gerding Edlen, the foundation has been completed and the core will soon start to appear. Planned as hotels but changed to all apartments last year, it's being built in the busiest Boston multifamily market since ‘06. Boston issued 50% more building permits in '13 than '12—7,601, the US Census Bureau recently reported. But Gerding Edlen prez Kelly Saito tells us he isn't overly concerned. For decades, there was little development in this corner of the South End, and he believes the demand will remain strong there and in the overall market. Furthermore, every developer granted a permit may not build at this time. What's most important is to understand the likely delivery of units over the next several years and to manage the market with “conservative” expectations for rent growth and lease-up, he says.  

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This wave of activity isn't just exuberance; it's a response to a demographic revolution, says Prof. Barry Bluestone, director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern. Developers are building for the rapidly rising number of childless households—Millennials and empty nesters. Since the number of people in each household is smaller, the housing units can also be smaller. In the early 2000s, two-thirds of the homes built in the state were single-family houses; now two-thirds are in multifamily projects, he tells us.


This week, Forest City Boston and Hudson Group North America will start marketing for Radian, their $130M multifamily rental in Chinatown at 120 Kingston St with first occupancy planned for May. The 26-story high-rise is at the site of the former Dainty Dot building. 


Bay Path College in Longmeadow will build a 56k SF, two-story Center for Graduate Studies in Health Sciences on an 11-acre parcel in East Longmeadow. MassDevelopment provided $19.5M in financing through the sale of tax-exempt bonds to Peoples Bank, United Bank, and NUVO Bank & Trust Co. 


Credit Suisse paid $50M on behalf of a private client to Colonnade Properties for 400 Atlantic Ave overlooking Boston Harbor. Cushman & Wakefield repped the seller and found the buyer for the 100k SF brick-and-beam office building that was built in 1890.


At Equity Office's 125 and 150 Cambridge Park Dr at the Alewife T-stop, BitSight signed on for nearly 12k SF; Boston Scientific's Rhythmia leased 20k SF; and Intuit's QuickBase 61k SF. The location, once considered on the outskirts of town, is now much more mainstream and the vacancy rate in the 460k SF EO complex has fallen from 52% in '11 when Equity acquired it to 7%.


Insulet Corp, a maker of medical devices, leased 90k SF at 600 Technology Park Dr in Billerica in a relo from Bedford where their space was 60% smaller. The company is ramping up to meet demand for its new, smaller insulin pump for diabetes. Cassidy Turley was the broker in the deal. 


Burlington's cache is elevated to that of Brussels and Barcelona, at least where Euro icon PAUL Bakery is concerned. The famed maker of baguettes, quiche, and other treats leased 2,600 SF at Nordblom's 3rd Avenue in Burlington, a retail-walking street now under construction. The landlord's Doug Wynyard managed the transaction. 


NES Financial has leased 4,800 square feet for its regional office at 1099 Hingham St in Rockland, a 60k SF building. The Grossman Cos repped the landlord, while Rockland Haverstraw and Mohr Partners repped the tenant, a California-based financial management and advisory firm. 


Galileo Press, a publishing house, and Johnston Associates, a consulting firm, have each leased 4,200 SF at Campanelli's Heritage Landing in Quincy. The landlord repped themselves; DTZ repped Galileo and Transwestern RBJ repped Johnston.


Robotti & Rosa Photography leased 2,500 SF at the Walpole Station Business Center at 100 Elm St in Walpole. The landlord, Burlington-based Manzo Co, repped itself. The center is a 315k SF mixed-use complex near the town center built in 1897 and expanded in 1951 and is adjacent to the commuter rail station.


Beware weight watchers… Mike's Pastry leased 1,000SF at 11 Dunster St in Harvard Square for a six-seat café and bakery. The 67-year-old North End shop famous for its cannolis expects to do a mostly take-out business 


Post Road Residential secured $68M in financing from First Niagara for a 328-unit multifamily development to be built in Everett at the site of the former Charleston Chew factory, dark since the ‘80s. The three-building complex will include two new buildings as well as one renovated building.


Neighborhood Of Affordable Housing (NOAH) of East Boston closed on $11.8M in loans for the acquisition and adaptive reuse of the historic Sitkowski School in Webster into 66 affordable apartments for residents age 55 and over. Built in the early 1900s and expanded in 1920, the three and four-story brick building downtown served as a high school and middle school and has been vacant since ‘05. MassHousing is the lender.


Les Hiscoe, COO of Boston-based Shawmut Design and Construction, has been promoted to president. He'll provide strategic direction and oversee the company's financial performance and revenue growth. Under his leadership, Shawmut opened its first West Coast office in LA last year.

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Our 2014 Boston
Real Estate Forecast

Get the scoop on what's ahead at Bisnow's 2014 Boston Real Estate Forecast on Feb. 26. Our expert panelists will tell you what's next for Boston, from hip new neighborhoods to buzzworthy projects and technologies. Hear how you can benefit from the Vertex lease (Boston's largest ever), how you can tap into the upcoming multifamily rush, and which big players are coming to town. Register today!

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