“New Downtown” Will Bring New Technology Companies, Retailers, Restaurants & New Life to the City of Boston

by Web Collins, Executive Vice President/Partner of CBRE/NE’s Valuation & Advisory Group

Historically, the center of the City of Boston has not had a name. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) frequently used the term “Financial District.”

The Financial District traditionally was at the corner of State and Congress Sts., caused by the presence of such bank buildings as Merchants National Bank, The National Shawmut Bank and State Street Exchange. In one sharp, sudden move in the 1970s, the Financial District took a 90° turn and “marched” down Congress Street to the Fort Point Channel.

The BRA also used the term “Retail District,” referring to the corner of Washington and Summer Sts. Department stores, including Gilchrist Co., Filenes and Jordan Marsh Co., were the key properties anchoring three of the four corners. Other than North and South Station, there were no other anchor points in the city. The overall result was that come 6:00 pm in the evening, activity ceased on Boston’s streets and the center of the city “rolled up its sidewalks.”

Back on July 9, 2012, the Banker & Tradesman front-page article was titled: “Fading Into Obscurity: Neglected, Old Fashioned And Increasingly Dull, What Will Become Of Boston’s Financial District?”

The purpose of this article is to tell the story of what two short years to mid-2014 has created within the city, and to predict what will happen in the subsequent three years, bringing us into 2017.

To read the rest of the article covered by New England Real Estate Journal, click here.

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