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Real Estate Bisnow
January 15, 2012 
Boston Doesn't Need
PEDs to Be #1

Attend the High-Speed Rail Summit, February 11-13 in Washington, DC. The conference will feature top executives from real estate developer Stonebridge & Associates, USDOT, FRA, and Amtrak. Transit Oriented Development will be a hot topic. Registration includes networking events, reception, tours, and luncheons. Register today and save here.

Sorry, Lance. Boston CBD office leasing was #1 in the US last year, and it didn't have to cheat. (Just ask us, Oprah.) According to Cushman & Wakefield, we absorbed 1.8M SF last year in our modest 34M SF market. Throughout Boston and Cambridge, every asset class was strong in '12 and looks good for '13.
Cush Wake Massachusetts Executive Director Debra Gould
Leasing low-rise space in the Financial District drove the 3M SF of CBD leasing activity, says Cushman & Wakefield executive director Debra Gould (above). Unlike the two prior booms, when financial services or dot coms led the charge, it’s now broad based: financial services and professional services, healthcare, education, and tech. Also new: many are migrating into downtown to gain a foothold in the “war for talent,” Deb says. For instance, LogMeIn doubled its rent to move into 102k SF at 320 Summer St from Woburn. Other big tenants are signing 15-year deals to get ahead of rent increases.
US Rail (Summit) MBOS
Cush Wake Boston Senior Director for financing Jay Wagner
We snapped a pensive senior director for financing Jay Wagner at the press briefing, but don’t be fooled. He’s “extremely excited” about the ’12 performance and prospects for ’13. Lender liquidity, life blood of the industry, is flowing for investment sales and build-to-suit development. Strong credit sponsors developing new space are getting 70% LTV at a 4% interest rate. In ’13, balance sheet lenders—including banks and life companies—will allocate perhaps 30% more for CRE loans and make larger loans. A year ago, a $150M-plus loan usually required a group of lenders. Now, more big players are willing to go it alone. Therefore, Jay says larger loans, $200M and up, will be easier to secure
CushWake Mass prez Rob Griffin
Still, with lots of money on the sidelines, deals are tough to close. Cushman & Wakefield Mass prez Rob Griffin (with research director Don Noland) says uncertainty around the fiscal cliff gave him the most difficult time closing investment sales in his 32-year career. Expect to see another Seaport office property on the market in 30 days. After all, the recent $70M sale of Liberty Wharf at $825/SF is a good motivator. Also, demand for retail is back after the recessionary lull. The top draw is still for urban locations but the scarcity of Class-A product will lead investors to look farther afield and assume more risk, Rob says. The multifamily juggernaut will continue with a 3.8% vacancy rate, 4% cap rate, and 10,000 new Boston units in development.

Mt Vernon Greening Allston
Mt Vernon Properties chairman Bruce Percelay
Just try and keep up with the $118M Allston Green District. Slated to have 550 new and renovated rental apartments, an 80-unit building was topped off and demolition started for a 108-unit building in the past few days, says the developer, Mount Vernon Co chairman Bruce Percelay. The complex—bordered by Commonwealth Avenue, Griggs Street, Brainerd Road, and Redford Street—is among the largest to be developed in this section of Allston. Rents for the mid-market luxury apartments are about 40% lower than comparable downtown product, with a two-bedroom going for about $2,900. Hear more from Bruce at Bisnow’s third annual Boston Multifamily Summit on Jan. 16 (tomorrow!) in the Westin Waterfront Boston. (Register here!)

Goodbye, Holiday Parties
At the Society of Marketing Professional Services’ post-holiday holiday party last week at the Hampshire House, we snapped  Columbia Construction VP Steve Hassell. He tells us Columbia's pipeline includes building Boston Scientific’s 175k SF addition and renovation for its new HQ in Marlborough, the new Palm restaurant at International Place, and Amazon’s new offices in Cambridge. 150 other guests partied at the building, where you can still buy a new Cheers T-shirt.

We're Hiring
Okay, Boston, have your very best super sales svengali step forward! Bisnow is shouting out for its Boston-based sales & business development rock star, somebody who can put the “new” in New England. The winning candidate will attend the biggest and best events in the commercial real estate community and schmooze with the movers and shakers. Take meetings, do lunch, sure, but also innovate, build awareness and dazzle. In short, you’ll be our entrepreneurial wonder. You’ll have a college degree, 3-7 years experience, and superhuman follow-up and documentation skills. You also love Boston as much as we do. Send that resume today to careers@bisnow.com

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.
Don’t park your frog in front of a fire hydrant—it might get toad. Send groaners and story ideas to susan@bisnow.com.
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