Boston Properties at REITWeek
At NAREIT’s REITWeek, our New York reporter wasn’t hurt too much to learn that NY is third of four in Boston Properties CEO Owen Thomas’ ranking of his firm’s markets. San Francisco has it all he says: net absorption, gross absorption, deliveries, and rent growth (and our heart, we left it there). Boston’s Cambridge submarket has virtually no vacancy, and rental growth is spilling over to nearby Waltham, where the REIT is considering more development. NYC has pockets of strength, says Owen, but its tech market simply isn’t where San Fran and Boston’s are. DC is the weakest, Owen says, considering relatively weak government and legal industries.
Funding also differs in each market, says president Doug Linde. Market conditions alone have driven cranes to San Fran. In Boston, investors’ return expectations have lowered, pushing rents for new properties closer to rates for existing buildings. In those conditions, tenants are opting for the new builds (even tech firms are pre-leasing). In NYC, the World Trade Center has risen with incentives, and Hudson Yards may also see a carrot on a stick, too. And in DC, the REIT is talking to a buyer for its Avenue apartments and has Patriots Park (100% leased to the GSA) on the market.