Recap: CBA’s Women in Commercial Brokerage Roundtable Event

CBAEvent1The Women in Commercial Brokerage series is part of the Commercial Brokers Association’s (CBA) larger diversity initiative “to create a more diverse pool of candidates for careers in commercial real estate brokerage.” Their June 20th event, Women in Commercial Brokerage Roundtable, was hosted at CBRE/New England’s 33 Arch Street 10th floor cafe and focused on work/life balance. The event was moderated by our Alison Powers and the panelists included Kerry Hawkins, Senior Director at HFF, Molly Heath, Executive Vice President at JLL, and Kate Lien, Senior Director at Cushman & Wakefield. In addition to being successful brokers, each of the panelists are mothers and had a variety of tips for the budding audience.

This event came on the heels of a CBA panel lead by Dune Thorne, Partner at Brown Advisory, where she stated “70% of valedictorians are girls, yet only 4% of S&P 500 CEOs are women.” With that powerful quote in mind, Powers kicked off the discussion with a mission, “30 years from now our goal is to have these same women, and even more, in this room.” Hawkins, Heath and Lien each brought different perspectives and advice for how to get more women in the room, support your career, your family and yourself. Topics discussed included taking maternity leave, managing the day-to-day home/work schedule, handling after work events, and maintaining a good support system at work and home.

The evening concluded with more open dialogue between panelists and attendees. Powers wrapped up the conversation with, “Keep coming to these events. Spread the word about the committee. These conversations were powerful tonight.”

Stay tuned for another Women in Commercial Brokerage CBA event in September.

Property Spotlight: 1240 Soldiers Field Road


1240 Soldiers Field Road is located in the heart of Brighton, Massachusetts. The ±32,635 SF building is currently home to The Skating Club of Boston; however, the 1.97-acre urban transit-oriented development site can support a variety of uses.

Given the site’s proximity to Harvard University, Cambridge and the City of Boston, we expect a great deal of interest. Allston-Brighton is one of the hottest markets in Greater Boston and this site is special. – Mark Reardon, Executive Vice President/Partner at CBRE/NE

Aerial1240 Soldiers Field Road is in the City of Boston’s Allston-Brighton Neighborhood District (the “A-B District”) and the Western Avenue/Soldiers Field Community Commercial 1 (“CC-1”) subdistrict. This subdistrict designation is aimed at diversifying the commercial environment and therefore allows for a wide range of uses including office, retail, medical and residential, as well as hospitality. This location provides unparalleled access to dynamic labor pools, unmatched amenities, and the rare opportunity to develop one of Boston’s remaining sites in an extraordinarily active and hot market.

The site’s neighborhood includes a plethora of new offices, research facilities and residential developments. As pictures below, recent developments include the Charlesview Residences, The Continuum, Harvard Innovation Center and Telford 180.

1240 Soldiers Field Road is directly on the Charles River and is minutes from downtown Boston, Logan Airport, Cambridge, the Mass Pike, and Interstates 95 and 93. The site is also located in proximity to Greater Boston’s most prestigious colleges and universities including Harvard University, Boston College, Boston University, MIT and Northeastern University. Additionally, the property is in walking distance to numerous restaurants, hotels, fitness centers, retail and coffee shops. Within a five-mile radius, the area has a growing employee base of over 873,000 employees and 45,840 businesses.

For additional information, please contact CBRE/NE’s Mark Reardon, Chris Skeffington or Matt Furey.

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Property Spotlight: Union Point

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In the age of seeking that perfect live-work-play environment, Union Point has gone where no other New England development has before. Below are Union Point’s seven differentiators:

1. Fast Track Permitting: Union Point expands across three Massachusetts towns: Weymouth, Rockland and Abington. Potentially, development could have been a headache for those wanting to build their own facility. However, SouthField Redevelopment Authority (SRA) was established within the three host communities to serve as the one-stop shop for all land-use and development decisions. This seamless approval process takes only 65 days.
Fast Track Permiting Photo
Fields.PNG2. Sports Complex:
Union Point offers a brand-new, 25-acre outdoor and indoor sports complex, which features four lighted turf fields for soccer, lacrosse, rugby and field hockey. Two of the four fields can be covered with air-supported structures for year-round use. In addition to the turf fields, the complex will house a miniature replica of Fenway Park, gymnasium, outdoor basketball courts and street hockey rink. All sports facilities are accessible for Union Point residents and surrounding communities. In addition to sports leagues run by Union Point, Global Premier Soccer, Laxachusetts and Boston Rugby Club also will utilize the space. The facility will also house a restaurant, which will be perfect for pre-game fuel and post-game celebrations.

3. Access to Boston: Union Point is an easy 20-minute drive (a mere 12 miles) to Boston. No car? No worries. Union Point also has its very own MBTA Commuter Rail Station providing access to South Station.

Outdoor.PNG4. Urban Feel with Instant Outdoor Space:
With over 50 miles of hiking and biking trails located on the campus, residents, visitors and employees can easily step into the beautiful Massachusetts woodlands. The development also plans to have over 1,000 acres of open space surrounding and spaced within the dense urban city.

extraPic25. Focus on Smart Technology:
Since Union Point is being built from the ground up, the development is planning to incorporate smart technology into the energy, water, lighting and transportation systems. For example, the streetlights will have sensors that track sounds, light and other conditions. This may seem trivial, but the data could actually be used to monitor traffic, alert the police of suspicious activity and even help drivers find parking spots. Additionally, there will be reliable free wi-fi everywhere as well as heated sidewalks.

ExtraPic16. Thinking Globally & Acting Locally: The developers of Union Point want to stay true to the New England vernacular while incorporating global touches, too. For example, the well-curated retail mix will include a range of Boston-based brands and national retailers. Additionally, Union Point’s future implementation of rooftop farms will also help to enrich the local vibe. Down the road, partnerships with academic and cultural institutions will be developed to make academic programs readily accessible to the community, helping to bring a global perspective to the city.

7. Events:
From farmers markets to concerts to sporting events to food truck rallies, Union Point will be a vibrant 24/7 community. The Hangout, one of Union Point’s entertainment outlets, recently opened and has live music Friday-Sunday with a rotating group of retailers and food trucks.


For more information, check out the Union Point website. For leasing inquiries, contact CBRE/New England’s Mike Ripp or Steve Clancy.


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.