by Web Collins, Executive Vice President/Partner of CBRE/NE’s Valuation & Advisory Group
Many years ago prior to being at CBRE/NE, I was a development partner of Trammell Crow. One of our partner meetings was in Toronto, Canada with the topic of “The Impact of Rapid Transit on Development.” We all know what is happening within the Seaport area of Boston as the direct result of the central artery being placed underground, creation of new infrastructure and the creation of the Silver Line.
The Importance of the MBTA Silver Line
The real estate expression “where traffic breaks, business makes” is what is happening today. In the Seaport area, major development is taking place around such MBTA Silver Line stops as Court House Station, World Trade Center, Silver Line Way and the Design Center. The Silver Line was built in sections with Phase I being South Station to Logan Airport. Fan Pier at Court House Station is a booming success, with two-thirds of the project committed or built out. Seaport Sq. will follow with the new PricewaterhouseCoopers building as a start and under construction. The World Trade Center was leading-edge, built in advance based on the vision of Fidelity’s Ned Johnson.
Herald St. to Dudley Sq. Roxbury is the key section of Phase II. South Station to Dudley Sq. went into operation in July 2002. The total cost was $37 million. The start of the South End is South End station at the Herald Street station.
Unlike the South Station to Logan Airport connector, section two of the Silver Line is above ground. The Silver Line is a “bus rapid transit” system with articulated buses, dedicated bus lanes, GPS enabling traffic signal changing and typical bus stops treated as stations. The “stations” are modern in all respects and include heat for Boston’s cold winters. As observed when in Toronto, new development or major redevelopment occurs around rapid transit stations.
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