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Boston's Booming

Boston's Booming
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino
Harvard will break ground on the ambitious technology center it's been planning for years in Allston, Boston Mayor Menino told the crowd at the recent Massachusetts Building Council breakfast at the Westin Waterfront. Already ?12 is a good year for construction with Boston starts on 35 projects valued at $3B, creating 6,000 construction jobs. That compares to $2.4B in starts for all of ?11 and $1.5B in '10. Referring to the federal government?s '90s-era Hope VI housing developments, he says now it only makes a ?miniscule? contribution to housing creation; it's ?lost its mission.? But, Boston is booming. ?In 19 years as mayor, I?ve never seen such excitement about coming to Boston.?
Bernkopf (Hot Air2) Intex
MBC prez and JC Cannistraro prez John Cannistraro
MBC prez and JC Cannistraro prez John Cannistraro says his firm is installing HVAC and plumbing systems at state facilities in Danvers and Wrentham, including energy saving co-generation plants. Cannistraro is also installing mechanicals and plumbing for the new Vertex HQ on the waterfront. Indeed, according to the mayor, Vertex may have more than offices and labs at the $900M complex. It may also bring in some manufacturing. The mayor noted that another improving submarket is Downtown Crossing, which has bright prospects since Millennium Partners took over the old Filene?s site. The next frontier, he says, is East Boston, where two projects will soon start.
Reznick (Know) JBOS
Northeast Council of Carpenters? Mark Erlich
The Northeast Council of Carpenters? Mark Erlich (left with beard) says his union is becoming more optimistic about job prospects and expects more good news later this year and in early '13. In ?14, he hopes that unemployment among his members will be down to 10%. Now, it's still high at about 25%, but much better than the 40% in '09. He cautions though that a portion of the improvement reflects a shrinking number of union carpenters since some have retired and others have left the industry.
Studio Troika partner Robert Elfer
Studio Troika partner Robert Elfer tells us his firm is designing space for the shoe maker Puma. The German firm is moving its global marketing HQ to 60k SF on the 11th floor of One Congress St from its longtime digs at the Design Center in the Marine Industrial Park on the Boston waterfront. The construction contract went out to bid on Friday for a September completion. Studio Troika is also doing several TI jobs for dental and medical offices around the region. Meanwhile, Robert tells us his own firm is likely to move to the Seaport from Malden to accommodate its growing staff. From his vantage point, the Boston economy has been ?cranking? for a year.