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Seaport's Next Big Dig

Seaport's Next Big Dig
As hot as leasing and development is in the Seaport Innovation District, this week’s construction start for the $120M, 236-apartment Waterside Place is the first multifamily building to get under way there this year.
cranes on-site at Waterside Place
It’s been an long time coming for the developer. Drew Co CEO John Drew tells us that the cranes, which just arrived on-site, will begin digging after the holiday on Monday (few people realize that cranes need the 4th off too, they are very patriotic). For John, it’s taken eight years of planning, designing, and re-designing before dirt will finally start flying for the 20-story glass clad Waterside Place residences at Congress and D streets, adjacent to the World Trade Center Silver Line T stop. During the two years of construction, Drew will pay Massport $200k/year in rent for the three-acre site. Once the project is completed, payments rise to $300k/year. Suffolk is managing construction of the TRO Jung l Brannen design.
Reznick (Industrial) MBOS
Drew Company CEO John Drew
John told us that what stopped the original plan (a $600M retail mixed-use project) is the same thing that convinced him to pull the trigger now: the economy. In ’04, ’05, the plan for a 500k SF retail complex with some housing and a hotel, collided with a slowing economy. Now, John tells us, a vibrant Boston economy convinced him, his equity partner JP Morgan, and his lender,Citizen’s Bank, to move ahead. In Boston, CRE rents are up, supply is low, demand is rising and unemployment is below the national average. John’s long been a fan of reviving the Boston waterfront. In the mid-1980s, he and Fidelity Investments developed the World Trade Center; in ’98, the Seaport Hotel; in ‘00 and ’02, two office mid-rises.
Waterside Place, PI
John says that in a week or two, he expects to see piles being driven for Phase I of Waterside Place, just steps from his past Seaport projects. The building will feature luxury apartments  renting for $2,500/month for a one-bedroom to $2,700 for a small two-bedroom. It will also have 7,000 SF of plug ‘n play incubator offices and 10k SF of retail. John says he’s now marketing the retail space, targeting a pharmacy and grocery for much of it. A tentative plan for Phase II includes: perhaps 40k SF of retail, a hotel or 150 more apartments. The Drew Co also manages the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center Building in DC.