Lobby Renovations Around Town



One Boston Place

One Boston Place and One Beacon Street, two CBRE/New England-managed buildings, are undergoing lobby renovations. Both lobbies were cast in dark stone with dated lighting and sparse, uninviting seating. This buttoned-up aesthetic resulted in both lobbies being used as a thruway rather than a functional multi-purpose space. As we’ve seen with the rise of office amenities, creating an almost hotel-like environment in office buildings is appealing to tenants, invigorates previously unused space and is beneficial to employees’ well-being. Lobbies, which have previously been overlooked, are spaces that can benefit from activation, too.


One Beacon Street

Ownership at One Boston Place (TH Real Estate and Ivanhoé Cambridge) and One Beacon Street (MetLife Investment Management and Norges Bank Real Estate Management) took similar approaches when making renovation decisions: they listened to their tenants. Tenants’ comments coupled with insight from the world-renowned architectural firms chosen dictated the lobby designs. We asked the property managers of both buildings a few questions to break down how that hotel experience translates into benefitting employees. Below is the Q&A session with CBRE/NE’s Brian Allyn, Associate Real Estate Manager, from One Boston Place as well as Nate Hamilton, General Manager, and Dominic Russo, Operations Manager, from One Beacon Street.

  • How would you describe your new space vs. your old space and how is your new space similar to that of a hotel’s?

One Boston Place: With the help of architectural firm Stantec, our new space should be warm and inviting, compared with the cold and unapproachable past lobby. Our goal is for the lobby to be client-driven and equipped with a concierge service plus a plethora of seating options. We want to keep the space casual to encourage tenants to incorporate it into their 24/7 lifestyle. We’ve just secured Wolfgang Steakhouse to occupy the former bank space and we are working on introducing another retail tenant to the former Paul Bakery space. These two retail options will help to further integrate the space with Boston’s live-work-play atmosphere.


One Boston Place

One Beacon Street: Our old space was narrow and traditional. Our new space will be well-lit, inviting, bigger and comfortable. With help from our architectural firm, Gensler, we focused on picking useable furniture, expanding the space and streamlining the design.

  • What was your strategy in terms of soft products and hard products?

One Boston Place: We wanted to harness the great natural light that the lobby gets from our glass façade. We did this by bringing in a team of lighting architects to design lighting that gracefully balances out the natural light with artificial light. Additionally, we wanted to soften the space, so our architects recommended incorporating surfaces with wood rather than stone. On the soft product side, we spent a great deal of time selecting the right furniture that would be comfortable, attractive and functional for tenants to use, like that of a hotel’s. At the end of the day, if a chair is not the right height or if a table is not the right size, tenants won’t feel comfortable using the space.


One Boston Place

One Beacon Street: Our design process had a massive emphasis on making sure the furniture and décor were inviting for tenants. The chairs, couches, rugs and tables were a huge decision for us as we want them to be utilized! As you can see from the designs, the hard products are minimalistic and clean. In addition to the lobby renovation, we are also doing some infrastructure work and design improvements to the 23 columns out front (taking away the stone and replacing with metal). The redone columns will aesthetically align with the interior lobby work.


One Beacon Street

  • How are you making the space comfortable to guests?

One Boston Place: As mentioned before, our space is primarily comfort-driven. By removing the low-slung black leather couches and adding supportive chairs in softer fabrics, the space can really be used to grab coffee with a colleague, hold an impromptu meeting or use as a co-working space. We’ve added a new feature desk and relocated it to be closer to the elevators. The lobby seating was moved closer to the natural light and entrance. Currently, tenants love the interior lobby entrance to the on-site gym, so we ensured that that entrance would stay.


One Boston Place

One Beacon Street: We actually expanded the front of the lobby by 9’ and removed one of the revolving doors to add more room and light to the space. By expanding the lobby, we were able to add two large areas of seating that is out of the way from the traffic to and from the elevator banks. These additions will turn the two wings of the lobby into almost intimate co-working lounges.

  • We’ve learned so much about how art impacts employee experience. Describe the art you have planned for the lobby.

One Boston Place: Still in the decision-making process—stay tuned!

One Beacon Street: We are happy to announce that we are incorporating light sculptures in all three of the elevator banks. The sculptures will appear like they are floating above the elevators.


One Beacon Street

For more information, please reach out to Brian Allyn from One Boston Place and Nate Hamilton from One Beacon Street.

Property Spotlight: 225 Carando Drive


Built in 1991, CBRE/New England is pleased to offer 225 Carando Drive, a ±46,148 SF building in Springfield’s Industrial A zone, for lease or for sale at $3.5 million. Previously occupied by a printed circuit board assembler, the building is suitable for high-tech assembly, manufacturing and indoor agriculture. The building is fully air-conditioned, serviced with heavy-duty power, offers parking for 100 cars and additional land.

The property is located within Carando Industrial Park, just one mile from Interstate 291 and three miles from Interstates 90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) and 91.


The building includes 25′ x 50′ column spacing, three loading docks and a clear height of 17-20′. Zoned I-2, 225 Carando Drive also offers two cafeterias and a training room.


For additional information, please contact CBRE/NE’s John Reed.

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Property Spotlight: Rising Sun Mills


Located at 166 Valley Street, Rising Sun Mills is a ±313,000 SF mixed-use complex with 135 residential units and ±130,000 SF of commercial space originally developed by a partnership of TARC and Baltimore-based Struever, Eccles & Rouse. Rising Sun Mills is easily accessible from Routes 6 and 10 as well as Interstate 95. The campus has 135 loft-style residential units and offers office tenants a parking ratio of 4.0/1,000 SF. The well-landscaped site features a waterfall, walking and bike paths along the Woonasquatucket River that also includes a fish ladder and kayak launch. In addition to the on-site Cafe at Easy Entertaining, there is an incredible selection of local and regional foods in Olneyville Square, Atwells Avenue and on Broadway. The property recently underwent lobby renovations in addition to tenant improvement projects. Currently, there is approximately 23,000 SF of commercial space available to lease with suites ranging from 2,000-18,320 SF.

The history of Rising Sun Mills started in 1764, when Rhode Island’s first paper factory was established by John Waterman, just north of the Rising Sun Mills site. By 1867, the first dam at Rising Sun was built, likely by William Fletcher to set up his worsted wool business. Fletcher’s original mill was destroyed by fire. He built the original National and Providence Worsted Millers in 1887 on the grounds of the original mill. The mills employed more than 750 people and produced more than 900,000 yards of worsted goods yearly. By 1893 Fletcher’s National and Providence Worsted Mills became the largest consumer of wool in the U.S.

National and Providence Worsted Mills_Complete imageFor leasing inquires, contact CBRE/New England’s Andrew Galvin.

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The Downtown Boston Business Improvement District’s Baggo League



One Boston Place, a Class A office building managed by CBRE/New England, joined Downtown Boston Business Improvement District’s Baggo (Corn Hole) league, which runs from July 25 to September 12. The league takes place every Wednesday from 12-2 p.m. Matches are played on the One Boston Place plaza as well as a practice court.

For those looking to perfect their game, practice is available at lunchtime at the 133 Federal Street plaza on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We also created a little quiz below to flex your knowledge of Baggo terminology, which is always helpful when looking to impress your competition.

Cornhole Quiz

To learn more about additional activities offered by the Boston BID, please contact Mike Testa.



CBRE U Event: Activation of Buildings through Amenities

As a new generation of workers will dominate the workforce by 2025, designers, developers and real estate owners need to take a proactive approach to keep up with the current and future needs of tenants. It’s no secret that amenities are being used to help attract and retain talent by property managers and employers in office buildings. Property managers are modernizing their offerings to include on-site yoga studios, outdoor space, multimedia game rooms, private chefs, healthy snacks, comfortable working/meeting spaces, guest speakers, salon services (potentially brought in weekly) and plenty more. The goals of these centers tend to vary, but include finding spaces to get fresh air, encouraging creativity and creating human connections within a building’s tenant population. Usually 30-40% of office building space is underutilized, and property managers have found that these amenities are activating spaces and making them more efficient.


During CBRE/New England’s July CBRE U event, a group of CBRE/NE employees met with Visnick & Caulfield’s Marilyn Shen and CBRE/NE’s Vicki Keenan to discuss the revolutionary Convene amenity center at One Boston Place, a building that CBRE/NE manages on behalf of TH Real Estate and Ivanhoe Cambridge.


The Library

Using the three Rs—relationships, readiness and retention—and the top three reasons why landlords are providing the extras—activation, health & wellness and real estate efficiency—our property management team realized back in 2016 that One Boston Place needed to elevate their offerings. Through analyzing the tenants, the neighborhood and the physical office building space, Convene, Visnick & Caulfield and CBRE/NE were able to create this amenity center that employees and visitors want to maximize to its fullest.


The Commons Nourish

On a purely aesthetic level, the center hits the millennial nail on the head down to the coffee table books and mid-century modern moss green side chair. The state-of-the-art center mixes copper finishes with velvet seating and bright white touches—ideal for an ‘Instagrammable’ corporate reception. These design touches are not a coincidence. While they are high-end and a bit of a nod to an aspirational lifestyle, they are also surprisingly inviting, comfortable and energizing. The aesthetic, mixed with the all-you-can-drink freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and Tate’s cookies (plus a variety of other fun beverages and snacks), contributes to the welcoming vibe of the space. You could almost see this setting in a boutique hotel or perhaps in your (or a fashionable friend’s) home. This idea of res-com brings a new air to office buildings. Gone are the cheap carpeted flooring, fluorescent lighting and ceiling tiles.

One Boston Place_Terrace 2

The Terrace

The smartly designed 15,000 SF Convene space at One Boston Place includes a private outdoor terrace and six meeting rooms, which can accommodate up to 175 guests. The outdoor terrace overlooks the historic Old State House and functions as a space for employees to take a breath of fresh air during the day and a cocktail reception venue during the evening. In the cooler months of this New England city, the library provides a comfortable and unique space for hosting a wide range of events. The venue also includes a full kitchen with dishes that are rotated seasonally. Like the well-designed space, their menu is also curated to give way to a more holistic and approachable setting with farm-to-table dishes.

To find out more about the Convene amenity center at One Boston Place, contact Gina Cusano.

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NAIOP South End by Foot Tour


Jonathan Greeley

Last week NAIOP hosted a guided tour through South End’s latest projects in all stages of development. Jonathan Greeley, Director of Development Review at the Boston Planning & Development Agency, kicked off the opening discussion with, “we are in the middle of a building boom… on any given day there are 124 construction projects in Boston.” It was evident, within the first five minutes of the tour, that a significant number of those construction projects are in the South End. This particular area in the South End was once a factory corridor and is now turning into a live-work-play community.


Harrison Albany Block Site


The tour started at the Harrison Albany Block development and then wrapped its way through the old Flower Exchange site and then into Ink Block. While some projects were fully operating, such as the AC Hotel by Marriott at Ink Block, some sites were about to begin construction, such as Nordblom and CIM’s 321 Harrison.


Todd Fremont-Smith, Senior Vice President of Development and Director at Nordblom, spoke about the 321 Harrison development, a project that will be built atop the existing 1000 Washington parking garage and connect to the current office building. CBRE/New England spearheads the leasing efforts for both 1000 Washington and 321 Harrison. The developers hope to break ground in early August and deliver the ±235,000 SF project in Q1 2020. Situated within a hub of new residential and retail developments, 321 Harrison will enhance the ‘work’ experience in the South End’s live-work-play environment. In addition to a roof terrace to take in the beautiful views of Boston, the LEED® Certified Silver office building will include a cafe with outdoor seating, fitness center and outdoor balconies. Take a closer look at the façade of the building to see how the architect, SMMA, incorporated the building’s street number (hint: panels).

RNDR_Pike Elevation

321 Harrison Façade

For more information, check out the 321 Harrison website. For leasing inquiries, contact CBRE/New England’s David Fitzgerald, Eric Smith or Kristen Blumetti.

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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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