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January 19, 2010 
 
 
A NIGHT OF REAL ESTATE VISIONARIES

 
Though we consider finding our polling place tonight enough of a challenge, ULI Boston and the attorneys at Goulston & Storrs insisted on some extra advanced planning last week, namely “The City in 2050.” A roomful of developers, contractors, planners, designers, public officials, and lawyers stretched to envision how Boston can be bigger and better in four decades.
 
G&S land use attorney Matthew Kiefer, ULI Boston’s Stephanie Wasser, and ’09 Boston mayoral candidate Sam Yoon

G&S land use attorney Matthew Kiefer, ULI Boston’s Stephanie Wasser, and ’09 Boston mayoral candidate Sam Yoon. Moderator Matt’s take: the challenge for land-constrained Boston is to grow its population while remaining a historic and walkable city. The Hub’s ace in the hole: leading edge universities and hospitals equip it as a center for innovation.

Boston Redevelopment Authority planning director Kairos Shen

To those looking longingly at China for models of growth, Boston Redevelopment Authority planning director Kairos Shen has some advice. Know “what Boston is and what it can be”;we’ll never be Shanghai and shouldn’t try. But smart growth here means investing in the city and its infrastructure: public transit, parks, community amenities, and events. Kairos says it’s time to think of new buildings not as solitary entities, but as multidisciplinary projects, components of the urban mix.

Serrafix’s Doug Foy (left with James Shanley of Newburyport

As a panelist, Serrafix’s Doug Foy (left with James Shanley of Newburyport) says that “betting on innovation means betting on our cities.” To prepare them for growth, we’ll need a massive new transportation system that fosters town centers. But, Virginia, when it comes to investing in bricks and mortar, there is no Santa. Launching a big, new construction program would require new dollars. This longtime environmental advocate says that imposing a carbon tax might be one way to go.


LEED 4 PHARMA
 

Bristol-Myers Squibb, making its largest RE investment ever at the $750M, 300k SF Ft. Devens manufacturing complex, earned its first LEED designation last month. Its biopharma lab and office went Gold. The building will reduce greenhouse gas emissions (doesn't BMS make a drug for gas emissions, too?) and save on energy costs with its lighting, heating and cooling systems, water, and materials use. BMS also hopes that its just completed new factory at Devens will win a LEED green light sometime this summer, a rare feat for a biopharma manufacturing plant.


AN OPTIMISTIC DEVELOPER
 
Bulfinch Co.’s Mike Wilcox and CBRE’s David Pergola, Sr

Bulfinch Co.’s Mike Wilcox, whom we spotted at a recent market forecasting event with CBRE’s David Pergola, Sr., is looking forward to Q4 2011. That’s when Forrester Research will move into a new 200k SF office being built at Bulfinch’s Cambridge Discovery Park. The investment and development firm is repositioning the old Acorn Park on Rt. 2 that once housed Arthur D. Little consultants. The Forrester office is part of an 820k SF master plan to redevelop the site, walking distance from the Alewife T stop. Bulfinch teamed up with Richards Barry Joyce to market the park. Bulfinch also recently completed a gut renovation in Waltham for the New England Organ Bank’s 40k SF HQ and medical facility.

 
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