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Real Estate Bisnow
The largest commercial real estate publication in the United States.
   
January 4, 2011 
 
 
Surprised by Multifamily

 
Sure, multifamily rentals are booming, but even Winn Development president Larry Curtis (below in suit) is surprised at how quickly tenants are snapping up his new moderately priced apartments. Hear more about this hot market from Larry, a panelist at Bisnow’s Second Annual Multifamily Summit on Thursday Jan. 12, Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. Register here!
 
Winn Development president Larry Curtis and staff
Last summer, Winn completed the conversion of the historic Ditson music publishing building on Mission Hill into 62 mixed-income rentals, and leased all within 60 days. At an average $2,000/month for a market rate two-bed, two-bath, the apartments are at least half the price of the many luxury units being developed in Boston. Last week, Larry closed on 23 buildings scattered throughout blighted sections of Providence’s West End that he’ll rebuild into 83 apartments. What’s the appeal of Winn apartments? Larry says they build market-rate apartments for regular working people earning $50k/year to $100k/year.
 
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Bisnow
Coolest Cribs
 
Intercontinental Real Estate Corp CEO Peter Palandjian
We're on a mission to find the best-looking offices that you real-estate types call home. Accordingly, we snapped Intercontinental Real Estate Corp CEO Peter Palandjian standing between two pieces of the “junk” art that make his Boston office fun for visitors and inspiring for staff. The Melanie Taylor Kent “Wimbledon” cartoon cell depicts tennis stars with an inset of Peter and his wife, Minou. (Peter played on the pro tour, late ‘80s). To his left is the bronze statute “Entrepreneur,” one of several business-themed objects by J.A. Rennert. But no ladder tumbling for Intercontinental; it looks for low-risk deals in managing $2.4B in CRE assets. This summer, it invested $215M to purchase a 770k SF former data center in New Jersey that it’s renovating into the new US HQ for Novo Nordisk, a core deal with a value-add upside.
 
Intercontinental's Bill Bonina, Paul Charos, Joe Sweeney and Sabrina DiStefano
If anybody needs to hang a picture, they keep a hammer available. Asset management team members Bill Bonina, Paul Charos, Joe Sweeney, and Sabrina DiStefano aren’t worried about the 4,000-pound hammer made of discarded equipment parts overhead. As with the other office art—Teamwork, A Deal is a Deal, Missing Piece, Business as Usual, A Step Up—it’s fuel for the big job at home. They oversee about 17M SF of assets: rental apartments, offices, life science, and retail.
 
Verizon's Inner Sanctum
 
Nelson Black Cow managing principal Brad Black
Nelson Black Cow managing principal Brad Black leads us through the mosaic tile walls and curved sliding door entry to Verizon’s new 60k SF Technology Innovation Center in Waltham. Is liftoff to outer space imminent? Actually, the violet-lit rotunda ushers us onto a grand piazza for a journey that’s all about ideas, fueled by pioneering 4G LTE technology (the most advanced wireless broad band) to create new products: the washing machine that turns on by wireless remote or the flatbed truck fit-out to track shipments and receivables. Brad designed this interior (completed in June) to create living labs downstairs where Verizon techs work with developers of new apps and offices upstairs that liberate Verizon scientists and engineers from stale cubicles to encourage out-of-the-box thinking.
 
Verizon Waltham collaboration space
This collaboration space (like much of the interior) features organic shapes, colorful accents, lounge furnishing for chats and marker board painted walls where great ideas materialize. The orange cloud overhead says this is a place to stop, talk, and think. On the other side, the open floor plan offices reverse the old pattern. Now, most of the desks and labs are around the sunlight perimeter with a few glass walled offices and conference rooms inside. The overall effect of the new building interior is WOW.
 
Technology & Art Marry
 
Kling Stubbins Sarah Springer
Talk about theatrics. We snapped Kling Stubbins' Sarah Springer who tells us about Autodesk’s stunner of an office in Waltham (opened in ‘09). Its geometric ceiling art floats up to the third floor and tinted glass conference rooms seem to be suspended in mid-air. She says the LEED Platinum interior is more than eye candy. It’s living proof of the technological feats that Autodesk’s BIM software (Revit) can perform. Without its 3D mapping, it would have been too complex and expensive to create the ceiling which is artistic and functional. Between the engaging eucalyptus shapes is space for dozens of track lights and projectors used in customer presentations.
 
Autodesk's Steve Boulas
Facilities coordinator Steve Boulas manages the building, which is Autodesk’s world HQ for AEC software. The interior has won lots of industry awards, from IIDA New England’s Best Office (30k SF to 80k SF) for 2010 to Interior Design Magazine’s Best of Year and Business Week/Architectural Record’s Good Design is Good Business. But Steve isn’t resting on the building’s laurels. Besides performing routine maintenance last week, his team constantly monitors and tweaks the systems to maximize performance and minimize energy consumption. Before the interior build-out, Autodesk knew it wanted to go for LEED Platinum. Sarah says that made for fast decision making about materials (eucalyptus is sustainable), energy conservation measures and systems (daylight dimming sensors).
 
Gorin's Office Home
 
H.N. Gorin prez Roz Gorin (here with colleague Kim Paikos)
H.N. Gorin prez Roz Gorin (here with colleague Kim Paikos) says since she spends most waking hours in her Back Bay office, it's like a home that reflects her eclectic taste and decades of art collecting. An 1840s breakfront is the centerpiece for the “living room,” while an antique table with 1840s Irish chairs welcome visitors into her private office and a 100-year old Indian Donghia rug covers the reception area.
 
H.N. Gorin prez Roz Gorin
But Roz, who two weeks ago closed on a 200k SF high-end fish freezer in Elizabeth, NJ, also collects contemporary art. The rare Warhol originals in the foyer (like Mao on the left and Kermit the Frog on the right) are accompanied throughout the office by the works of other stars like Ellsworth Kelly and Bryan Hunt, as well as newcomers like Mass College of Art student Jay Thieffe. His pink and black ceramic high heels sit on the living room coffee table. They say, “Welcome. Expect the unexpected."
 
We wish everyone a Happy New Year and are on the lookout for your great ideas. Please send news to Susan Diesenhouse, susan@bisnow.com.
 
 
 
 
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