Recap: 2017 CBRE/New England Boston Market Overview – Part 3

Next up in our Boston Market Overview recap series, our attention turns to representatives from our Capital Markets team. Brian Doherty, Senior Vice President/Partner, and Biria St. John, Vice Chairman/Partner, reflected on 2016 and selected their draft picks for 2017.

This past year, Boston made the list for “Best Metros for Investment 2016,” breaking into the Top 10 after previously being ranked out of the Top 15.


* denotes metro previously not listed in the Top 15; CBRE Research, Global Investor Intentions Survey 2016

Draft Pick #1: Brian’s 2016 MVP = Urban Core & Value-Add Office


“Boston had the home field advantage in 2016; some huge wins for a lot of Boston-based sponsors included Paradigm at 101 Tremont and Synergy at 101 Summer. These groups had great game plans, flawless execution, plus institutional exits.” – BD

Draft Pick #2: Biria’s Multifamily 2016 MVP = Value-Add Suburban & Urban Infill


“The appeal for value-add space can be distilled down into a few key factors: fundamentals are still solid (outstanding employment market and inward migration) plus basis play that offers stability, durability, but upside with the opportunity to enhance the returns through upgrades.” – BSJ

Draft Pick #3: Biria’s Multifamily 2017 Player to Watch = Suburban Class B/C & Urban Infill


“Millennials want an authentic neighborhood and like local flavor, not the sterile environment that is anchored by national chains and looking to catch a break on the $4.00-5.00/SF rents in downtown Boston.” – BSJ


Draft Pick #4: Brian’s Commercial 2017 Player to Watch = Industrial of All Shapes & Sizes


“Looking back on 2016 and the deals we worked on, industrial product flew off the shelf. There were deep bidder pools, strong institutional interest and buyer support with multiple rounds of offers.” – BD


Draft Pick #5: Brian’s Commercial Flex Pick = Fringe Core Opportunity Plays


“Today, the market is a bit in flux with a Goldilocks Phenomenon occurring. The urban core appears to be getting more expensive by the day and the suburbs feel a bit too risky right now.” – BD


Draft Pick #6: Biria’s Multifamily Flex Pick = Unique Class A Core Assets


“Because of a shift in capital towards value-add and core-plus opportunities, there is the opportunity to pick up some high-quality core assets at slightly higher yields than a year ago.” – BSJ



Stay tuned for our next post, where we will reveal what our Rhode Island experts covered at this year’s CBRE/NE Rhode Island Market Overview.

Did you miss the beginning of our BMO recap series? Click on the following link for Parts 1 and 2.

Our Seacoast: Only (2,500 – 9,451 ± SF) Remaining at 4 Liberty Lane West, Hampton, NH

by Kent White, Principal Broker | Partner


Planet Fitness has recently leased a majority of 4 Liberty Lane West, one of the premier, Class A office buildings in the New Hampshire Seacoast. They will relocate their corporate offices in the spring of 2017. The remaining available space is located on the fourth floor and can be subdivided to accommodate one or two tenants ranging in size from 2,500 – 9,451 square feet.


4 Liberty Lane West is a four-story, ±80,000 square foot building located one of New England’s finest office parks. Its classic Georgian architecture, handsome atrium lobby, large flexible floor plates and quality craftsmanship are some of the elements that make 4 Liberty Lane West one of the most desirable buildings in New Hampshire. Surrounded by 35 private acres with nature trails, ponds, meticulous landscaping plus an outdoor patio area, this property offers its occupants an immediate reprieve from their hectic business day.


Kent White, the exclusive listing agent, feels that 4 Liberty Lane’s location and below-market lease rate, makes it an excellent alternative to the Pease International Tradeport. The property is easily accessible from Exit 2 off Interstate 95 via Route 101. Liberty Lane’s stonewall entrance is only 40 minutes north of Boston, 10 miles south of Portsmouth and 30 minutes from the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT).

For more information or to tour 4 Liberty Lane please send a message to Kent White.

A Wealth of Prospective Tenants and Nowhere to Put Them

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


  • Cambridge is not most markets. With vacant space so scarce, existing tenants that want to grow and remain in Cambridge are having difficulty accommodating a growing workforce. As a result, some landlords have taken the unprecedented step of encouraging smaller tenants to leave, so that their larger neighbors can expand within the building.
  • Asking rents for Cambridge office space continued to tick upwards, continuing their habit of setting a new historic mark each quarter.
  • Despite the lack of available office space, companies with a Cambridge presence are loath to look outside their current locations for additional space as evidenced by the largest two leases of the quarter which were both expansions by in-market tenants.
  • While lab rents dipped slightly this quarter for the first time in two years, that doesn’t mean it’s getting any easier to find space – rather, it’s indicative of the fact that the only spaces left are smaller and of lower quality.
  • The vacancy rate for lab remains low, at 3.0%, and more than a third of that empty space has already been committed.
  • The negative quarterly absorption of 92,600 sq. ft. in the lab market was almost entirely due to a single sublease space that hit the market in the form of the ARIAD availability at 125 Binney Street. That trend can be seen market-wide, with sublease spaces being much more common to come across than direct, driven by existing tenants’ reconfigurations.
  • As the Cambridge lab market continues raising the ceiling, everyone outside the city is waiting with open arms for those tenants who either can’t afford to be in Cambridge, or can’t find the space they need.


Technology and Life Science Firms Drive Demand Despite Large Blocks of Sublease Space

The Suburban Office market held steady in Q3 2016 as new deals coupled with companies continuing to expand outpaced renewals across the various submarkets. While demand felt spotty through the summer months, there are more than 4.3 million sq. ft. of active requirements currently in the market. Not surprising is that demand continues to be driven by TAMI (Technology, Advertising, Media and Information), life science and healthcare companies and less by traditional professional services firms.


3 Batterymarch Park – Quincy, MA

The Greater Boston Suburban Office market recorded 30,600 sq. ft. of positive absorption in Q3 2016 and saw vacancy decline by 20 basis points (bps) to 17.4% quarter-over-quarter. The sublease market continued to tick upward, rising another 20 bps quarter-over-quarter, a direct result of several large availabilities (50,000 sq. ft. +) coming to market as firms look at ways to operate more efficiently.


A few highlights from Q3 2016 include:

  • In the Metro North, after a rocky start to 2016 with a number of large blocks of space brought to the market, the Route 3 North submarket rebounded for the second straight quarter with more than 58,000 sq. ft. of growth in Q3 2016. ConforMIS will lease 45,000 sq. ft. at 600 Technology Park Drive in Billerica and CaseNet will renew and expand by 11,000 sq. ft., occupying 40,000 sq. ft. at 36 Crosby Drive. The vacancy rate in the submarket is down more than 250 bps since the beginning of the year, ending the quarter at 25.1%.
  • Along Route 128 West, Waltham saw a steady stream of sizable activity in Q3 2016 and recorded more than 180,000 sq. ft. of positive absorption. Tesaro finalized plans to renew and will expand while life science companies continue to be active in the Route 128 West region with Biogen leasing 112,000 sq. ft. at 225 Second Avenue in Waltham.
  • The Route 495/Mass Pike West submarket was hit the hardest this quarter with three sizeable subleases (Bose – 250,000 sq. ft.; IBM – 88,000 sq. ft.; Clearsult – 52,000 sq. ft.). As a result, sublease availability in the submarket jumped 300 bps quarter-over-quarter to 5.0%.
  • The Metro South submarket was relatively level statistically in Q3 2016, recording 25,000 sq. ft. of negative absorption. Batterymarch Park in Quincy continued its strong leasing efforts in 2016 with the announcement that Sentient Jet will relocate its headquarters to 3 Batterymarch Park from their current headquarters at 100 Grossman Drive in Braintree. Steady demand in Quincy over the past year has driven down the vacancy rate 300 bps year-over-year to 13.9%.

If you would like a more in-depth look at the Greater Boston Suburban Office market, please contact Suzanne Duca to receive our Q3 2016 MarketView.

Back-to-School Special: PIC Spotlight

Mentoring programs have been on the rise over the past decade as larger business organizations are finding that giving back to local communities can also go hand-in-hand with the positive growth of company culture and commitment.


McClory reviews marketing materials with Santiago

CBRE/New England’s Taidgh McClory, Managing Director of New England Brokerage and a Partner within the firm, recently signed on to participate in the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program, sponsored by the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC). The program’s mission is to strengthen Boston’s communities and its workforce by connecting youth and adults with education and employment opportunities that prepare them to meet the skill demands of employers in a changing economy.

PIC is the city’s Workforce Development Board and school-to-career intermediary. The mission of the PIC is to strengthen Boston’s communities and its workforce by connecting youth and adults with education and employment opportunities that align with the needs of area employers.

McClory was matched with Nick Santiago, a Boston Latin School graduate (Class of ’16) who has enrolled in his first year of college this fall at Tufts University. As a freshman in college, one is subjected to a variety of influences and opinions, which can often steer a student to aspire higher towards a career path decision. Nick spent time with Taidgh assisting on projects that would expose him to general aspects of the commercial real estate industry. His experience was timed perfectly, allowing him the opportunity to learn under the wing of someone who has seen a lot of growth himself within the CBRE/NE organization.

“This is CBRE/New England’s first year participating in the Mayor’s Summer Jobs program. The PIC team has been fantastic to work with from candidate interviewing through placement. Most companies may be hesitant to welcome high school students as interns; however, I am amazed at the high caliber of high school students that we interviewed and value the time I had with Nick this summer,” noted McClory.

For more on the Mayor’s appointed council and the Workforce Development Board, take a look into the Boston Private Industry Council’s (PIC) resources online at


2016 Summer Interns: It’s Almost Time to Say Goodbye