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Real Estate Bisnow
January 2, 2012 
Boston Booms!

Despite dodging a fiscal cliff, we don't feel different today. Maybe it's because Boston spent 2012 already in a building boom, with starts on 22 projects valued at $1.6B. This year, the BRA approved another 37 developments (with 3,898 housing units), valued at $3.4B. Here's our look back at some top stories from the past year.
1) Meds and Eds
$350 M Longwood Center under construction, November, 2012
The $350M Longwood Center under construction in the Longwood Medical Area reflects strengths of the market: medical and educational institutions that attract highly skilled workers along with ancillary businesses. The 4.6M SF of projects now being built citywide also include: hotels, municipal, retail and office properties, and 2,010 units of housing. All told, it comes out to 8,000 new construction jobs.
2) Waterfront Watershed
Boston Global Investors CEO John Hynes and Bisnow event guest
The Seaport District hit a tipping point last year with several major leases, State Corp announcing that it will to leave the Financial District for a new 500k SF HQ under construction at Channel Center, and several big mixed-use projects being built. The momentum gained steam in the fall when the Seaport’s largest developer, Boston Global Investors (CEO John Hynes above with a guest at a Bisnow event) and partner Morgan Stanley said they will start construction on $1B in projects, including a 500k SF office in Q3 ’13. That's a big leap forward for their $3B, 6.5M SF mixed-use Seaport Square development.
3) Multifamily: As Good as it Gets
Multifamily is hitting on all cylinders with demand, rents, and property values up. AvalonBay EVP Bill McLaughlin (who's developing at the Prudential Center, the Theater District, and North Station) tells us he sees no let-up. The economy is growing, and the preference for renting is gaining traction among people who could afford to buy. Boston-based affordable housing owners are also on board. The biggest is 38-year-old Boston Capital, which was named the largest apartment owner in the country by the National Multi Housing Council for the third year in a row. It owns 157,425 apartments in 2,400 developments nationwide; 95% of the units are affordable.
4) 100 Federal: Cash Sale
100 Federal St
Boston Properties paid $615M in cash for 100 Federal St in May. The REIT bought it from Bank of America, brokered by Cushman & Wakefield. The 1.3M SF, 37-story high-rise in the Financial District overlooking Post Office Square, is 93% leased including 787k SF occupied by BofA. The Financial District has one of the city’s higher vacancy rates—12%—but its rents are still among the most lofty, averaging $38, according to CBRE Econometric Advisors. With 2,000 housing units being developed in the neighborhood, prospects are bright for Boston’s historic commercial center.  
5) Finally A New Filene's Plan
rendering of Millennium Partners $615M Filene's Plan
We'll have to wait until Valentine's Day to find the new hole in our heart because this one in Downtown Crossing has a redevelopment plan. Millennium Partners said in June that the city approved its plan to build a new $615M, 1.3M SF mixed-use project. The NY-based developer/owner/investor wants to put up a 606-foot tower designed by Handel Architects on the former Filene’s site. Also, it will restore the 100-year-old companion Burnham Building designed by none other than Daniel Burnham. The new complex will include 500 condos and rental apartments, 230k SF of retail, 200k SF of offices, and 525 parking spaces.
6) Farewell Lowell and Kevin
At NAIOP’s Annual Gala, Beal Cos president Robert Beal is with Karen Richards, who accepted the Edward H Linde Public Service Award for her late husband Lowell Richards. He was instrumental in guiding the development shaping Boston for the 21st century and was Massport’s chief development officer at the time of his death—way too soon—in February. During his 13 years at Massport, he led strategic and master planning for Logan International Airport, the East Boston waterfront, and the South Boston Seaport. The City also bid farewell to longtime Mayor Kevin White whose faith in Boston was critical in its revival from a decades-long slump during the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Upcoming Bisnow Events!
Wednesday, Jan 16, 7am-10am. Bisnow's Boston Multifamily Summit. Hear our all-star panelists break down current trends, capital markets, and the effect of new requirements in sustainability and innovation on development. Register here.
Happy New Year. Please send news and ideas to Susan Diesenhouse, susan@bisnow.com
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