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Time for New Tower

Time for New Tower
Cushman & Wakefield New England President Rob Griffin (right, with J.R. McDonald)
This is the time to build, says Cushman & Wakefield New England president Rob Griffin (right, with JR McDonald) whom we snapped at a recent meeting with some key brokers. There’s no new high-rise under construction downtown (where the overall vacancy rate is 12.6%), but it is wildly popular as a live/work/play location. With the economy growing, office vacancies are falling, rents are rising, and there are available development sites controlled by longtime players including: Boston Properties, Steve Belkin and The Chiofaro Co. With rents hitting $80/SF in the Back Bay where the vacancy rate is 5.7%, development action is likely to be in the Financial District (14.9% vacant, mostly on the lower floors) and the Seaport (15.1% vacant).
Office Moving 2012 MBOS
C&W's Dave Martel, here with Mark Roth and Torin Taylor,
Downtown specialist Dave Martel, here with Mark Roth (standing) and Torin Taylor, says that the Financial District, lagging now, is still the heart of the office market with 34M SF in 168 buildings, the best rapid transit service, and a wave of new multifamily luxury units under construction. Among several signs of resurgence is Boston Properties’ $615M purchase of 100 Federal St in March. The REIT has plans for major improvements that will be transformational, Dave tells us. Of companies leasing Class-A space, 25% are coming from outside the city, compared to just 10% four years ago. In the next three months, we’ll hear some surprising Financial District announcements, Rob says.