Art in and around office buildings

Not until recently has art been looked at as a Class A office building essential to help differentiate the space, engage the employees and create an environment that is fun to work in. Here are a few examples of art in our CBRE/NE-managed office buildings:

OneWashington_ForOnlineMediaRoom3One Washington: Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, a digital back-lit photo of the historic Scollay Square was revealed this February in a ceremony hosted by The Georgetown Company in the lobby of One Washington in Boston. The inspiration and design came from the architectural firm Gensler. The original photo was taken in 1942 by the late Boston Herald-Traveler photographer Leslie R. Jones. Leslie R. Jones was standing roughly in the footprint of the One Washington building and shooting towards Government Center, which was then known as Scollay Square. Leslie R. Jones worked for the Boston Herald-Traveler newspaper for 39 years starting in 1917. He started his career as a patternmaker in a Boston factory while practicing photography on the side. Jones was injured at the factory, which ultimately led to his decision to become a full-time photographer. His wide range of Boston photographs (approximately 34,000 photographic plates) can be found on the fifth floor of the Boston Public Library and are also accessible by visiting The Digital Commonwealth online ( The large installation revitalizes the lobby for all passing through to enjoy.

Riverfront Office Park, 1 and 101 Main Street, Cambridge: Riverfront Office Park, located in Kendall Square, has brought in the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum’s Corporate Program to outfit their lobby interior and window bays with new paintings every six months. This rotational program ensures that both spaces are freshly accessorized with artwork from different New England artists. The window bay installations have provided the full city block between 1 Main Street and 101 Main Street with a charming “art walk” for tenants, local community and visitors. This membership allows tenants free passes to the deCordova Museum. Patrick Giroux, Tenant Coordinator for the property, states, “The whole building, from our engineers who maintain the art walk to our tenants, is very supportive of the art. Working with deCordova has been seamless.” Currently, the lobby has 12 sculptural paintings by Cambridge artist Vanessa Irzyk. Stay tuned for their next artwork rotation in July, which will feature hand-dyed fabric installations by Geddes Levenson and more traditional oil paintings by Annie Blazejack.

101 Seaport Boulevard: The story of how 101 Seaport Boulevard amassed its outdoor sculpture is unique. Construction workers, while excavating the adjacent site’s garage, came across a 125-year-old wooden ship. The developers of the project, Skanska, commissioned Public Archeology Laboratory to investigate. Results from the investigation showed that this was a 65’ two-mast cargo schooner used for transporting lime to be used in construction. Evidence suggests that the ship was from Rockland, Maine, and was abandoned after a fire on board. From the late 1880s to the 1930s, the Seaport neighborhood was slowly filled in right over where the schooner was located. Railroads, wharves and warehouses were built on this new land.

Fast forward over 100 years and a replica of the ship is now “floating” between 101 and 121 Seaport Boulevard. You can find out more on the ship by the online app “Harbor Way” by Skanska, or by taking the Harbor Way tour. The sculpture provides an interactive experience, for employees, community members and tourists to experience the story of the schooner.

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Another option for including art in office buildings is to partner with ArtLifting, an organization that sources local art created by people living with homelessness or disabilities. CBRE’s Radnor, Nashville, Oak Brook, Houston and Dallas offices have worked with ArtLifting to outfit their offices. ArtLifting was founded to help businesses of all sizes enhance their offices with wall art or wall coverings while giving back to the community. The firm also has a corporate gifting option and a B2C line of art.


Continued life sciences demand gives the Suburban Office market a strong start to the year

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Short on time? Here are the highlights of our first quarter 2018 Suburban Office MarketView. To request the full report, fill out the form at the bottom of this post.

1 Patriots Park Rendering
1 Patriots Park Rendering 

To begin the year, the Greater Boston Suburban Office market recorded 169,634 sq. ft. of positive absorption, as considerable leasing activity in the Metro North and West bolstered the market. The Metro West continued to see significant interest from the life sciences sector, as tenants seek high-quality buildings with a cheaper alternative to comparable buildings in Boston and Cambridge. The Metro South experienced little activity, but large mixed-use redevelopment opportunities will be something to keep an eye on for the remainder of 2018. Overall, availability and vacancy decreased 40 basis points (bps) and 70 bps quarter-over-quarter, ending Q1 2018 at 21.1% and 18.2%, respectively.


Slower start to 2018, but demand is waiting in the wing


Short on time? Here are the highlights of our first quarter 2018 Greater Boston Industrial MarketView. To request the full report, fill out the form at the bottom of this post.


50 Independence Drive, Devens

After ending 2017 with almost 3.0 million sq. ft. of positive absorption, the Greater Boston Industrial market is off to a slower start with 600,000 sq. ft. of negative absorption in the first quarter. The negative growth is largely due to several large blocks finally hitting the market coupled with transactions that had not crossed the finish line in the first quarter; the negative growth is not due to wavering activity levels. Overall availability and vacancy ended the quarter at 10.1% and 6.3%, respectively, with average asking rents increasing to $8.77 per sq. ft., largely driven by the inner core markets.


Cambridge raises its own bar, as usual


Short on time? Here are the highlights of our first quarter 2018 Cambridge Office & Lab MarketView. To request the full report, fill out the form at the bottom of this post.

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250 North Street, Cambridge Crossing

The Cambridge Office market maintained its unquestionable status as the premier office submarket in Greater Boston in Q1 2018. Vacancy fell to 3.8% market-wide, and availability finished at 11.9%. These types of numbers are to be expected, but average asking rents saw a major jump that put them on a new level—even by Cambridge standards. Due in large part to actively marketed new construction bringing an influx of premium space to the market, rents rose from $70.18 per sq. ft. in Q4 2017 to $80.52 per sq. ft. by the end of Q1 2018. In East Cambridge, they reached $93.17 per sq. ft. While landlords in other markets may not be able to command anything near these prices, Cambridge owners don’t have much cause for concern. The city’s tenant mix is increasingly dominated by deep-pocketed life sciences and tech giants who are more than up to the challenge.

Not all the storylines followed the usual path, though. The largest lease of the quarter was significant not only in its size, but because of its location. Philips leased a few blocks of space in rapid succession, totaling over 334,000 sq. ft.—but not in the heart of Kendall Square, as one might expect. Instead, this space was taken at 250 North Street, the first building to break ground at DivcoWest’s 4.5 million sq. ft. Cambridge Crossing development near Lechmere. Like many projects in the Boston area, the area formerly known as North Point had been a development pipe dream for many years. A lease of such magnitude from a blue-chip company is validation that this area’s promise is finally coming to fruition. When complete, Cambridge Crossing will feature 2.1 million sq. ft. of office and lab space, 2.4 million sq. ft. of residential, 100,000 sq. ft. of retail, and 11 acres of open space.

The story of the Cambridge Lab market in the first three months of 2018 should not come as a surprise. The market is as tight as ever, with no signs of changing. Demand remains in the stratosphere, with 2.4 million sq. ft. of active requirements, while only 161,000 sq. ft. are currently vacant. Largely bolstered by new projects under construction, 1.2 million sq. ft. is being marketed for future occupancy—still half the amount of demand. Tenants looking for space in the Cambridge Lab market run the gamut from household names seeking well over 100,000 sq. ft. to homegrown start-ups looking for less than 10,000 sq. ft. For companies large and small, the allure of this market remains unparalleled in the life sciences industry.


Boston rolls into 2018 as hot as ever

BostonDowntown_arrowsShort on time? Here are the highlights of our first quarter 2018 Downtown Boston Office MarketView. To request the full report, fill out the form at the bottom of this post.

The Downtown Boston Office market continued its stretch of significant growth in the first quarter. Demand came from local tenants, which continued to expand organically, as well as out-of-market companies that want to call Boston home. The market started 2018 on fire, posting 765,000 sq. ft. of positive absorption after ending 2017 with more than 1.2 million sq. ft. of growth. While this is an extremely impressive start to the year, it doesn’t fully capture the market’s activity, as more than 1 million sq. ft. has recently been committed by several large users looking to make major commitments in the city.


140 Northern Avenue Rendering

Agility remains top-of-mind for companies more than ever, particularly when it comes to decisions affecting real estate. This is further evidenced by the growth of co-working companies, who continue to lease-up large availabilities throughout the city. In the first quarter alone, more than 250,000 sq. ft. was taken up by co-working firms, including household names and new entrants to the market. Just a few short years ago, space occupied by co-working operators made up less than 1% of the overall inventory. Today that number has grown to 2.5%, more than doubling.




Recently Completed Transaction: One Campbell Street, Pawtucket, Rhode Island

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We are pleased to announce the sale of One Campbell Street to RJP Packaging for $1,150,000. Daniel Cregan, a member of our Rhode Island Industrial & Logistics Advisory & Transaction Services team, represented the seller, Imperial Packaging. One Campbell Street is a 47,450 SF industrial building located on 1.42 acres of land in the desirable Industrial Highway area of Pawtucket. The site has good access to Interstates 95, 195, 295 and 495. The building includes 40 parking spaces, five dock-height doors, 14-20′ clear height and a 5,000 SF office area.


CBRE/New England’s Rhode Island Industrial & Logistics Advisory & Transaction Services team is comprised of knowledgeable real estate experts who have a proven track record in serving the full spectrum of industrial services. Our global service platform offers expertise in supply chain logistics, manufacturing, R&D, warehousing and distribution, and land measurements. Supported by up-to-date knowledge of local, regional and national industrial markets, we offer unparalleled levels of experience and expertise on behalf of both occupier and landlord clients.


CBRE/New England Research Highlighted at State House Day


On Thursday, April 12, our Évianne Netherwood-Schwesig’s research on the 495/Metro West market was displayed at 495/MetroWest Partnership’s annual State House Day. The 495/Metro West market extends along the Interstate 495 corridor from Westford in the north to Foxborough in the south, and spreads east-west along Route 9 from Natick to Shrewsbury. While once primarily an industrial economy, the area today supports a broad spectrum of white-collar occupiers, including a growing cohort of tech and life science companies.
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A high-level overview of Évianne’s findings is below:

  • Although 2018 began in the red, absorption was positive in three of the four preceding quarters. Continued healthy tenant demand indicates that the market is on solid footing.


  • Vacancy has declined steadily over the last three quarters, as increasing numbers of tenants look for affordable alternatives outside the Boston urban core.


  • 495/Metro West rents have seen modest growth in recent years, as is to be expected as the market gains attention. However, rents remain at a dramatically better value than in the Boston urban core, where rapid growth has driven the rental gap even wider.

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  • Specific 495/Metro West company statistics can be found below:

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To read more about Évianne’s findings, click here.