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Detailed Plans Unveiled for New 13-Story Office Building in the Seaport

In a city where real estate in virtually every neighborhood is experiencing one of the biggest booms in recent memory, Boston's Seaport District still manages to stand out. In fact, many would argue that the real estate boom has hit the Seaport the hardest, prompting a flurry of activity over the last several years that has transformed the area in many unique ways. If Skanska USA Commercial Development gets its way, the neighborhood's Marine Industrial Park will soon have a new addition: a 13-story office building.

If you're at all familiar with the Seaport District in general and Marine Industrial Park specifically, you know that this park is mostly reserved for industrial use. It's even in the name of the park, so this makes a lot of sense. Only two parcels on the property are zoned for anything besides industrial. One of them, Q1, is where the proposed office building will be constructed. However, Skanska only recently filed its plans with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, or BRA, so it will be a while yet before we see any actual activity at the site.

In the meantime, however, Boston City Properties is happy to bring you up to speed regarding this highly anticipated project. Skanska filed the plans on Monday, August 29. It has been a few months, but no new news has been made available regarding the progress of this project. Most expect that the BRA will approve the plans. Should that happen, Skaska hopes to start construction sometime in the third quarter of 2017 and expects the work to wrap up sometime during the third quarter of 2019. Of course, these dates could easily change--especially if the BRA ends up requiring additional information and is unable to approve the project in a timely manner.

The proposed office building in Marine Industrial Park will be constructed on parcel Q1, which is a triangular section that is located just off of Drydock Avenue. It is also adjacent to the main entrance to the park, which is off of Summer Street. As it happens, the parcel is also adjacent to Parcel A, which is the only other non-industrial parcel in the park. Right now, plans are in the works to build a 411-room Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites at the site.

The new 163-foot office building will stand 13 stories tall and will have 211,700 square feet of total space. 211,7000 square feet of that space will be Class A office space, which is sorely needed in most neighborhoods but is particularly in demand in red-hot Seaport District. The building will also include around 8,400 square feet of retail and lobby space on the ground floor, which makes it something of a mixed-use development. With a new hotel just across the way, this property is sure to be in high demand as soon as it opens its doors. In fact, it will probably be completely leased before it officially opens.

The property will also include three levels of parking, which is huge is a part of the city where parking is extremely difficult to come by. The architect, SGA, has released preliminary mockups of how the building will look, and it is in keeping with the overall vibe of the area. Of course, the BRA may come back and say that the building will be too tall or that certain elements of its design don't mesh well with the rest of the neighborhood. Until the approval is issued, there is no way of knowing whether the BRA will be satisfied or not.

Skanska has already engaged in a lot of activity in the Seaport. The multinational Stockholm-based construction and development firm has offices in the neighborhood, and they are currently developing around 450,000 square feet of office space at 101 Seaport Boulevard. Around two-thirds of the space will serve as the Boston headquarters of Pricewaterhousecoopers. Skanska doesn't just deal in office buildings, however. Adjacent to the office building at 101 Seaport Blvd. is a new 350-unit apartment building, Watermark Seaport, which is expected to start leasing apartments any time.

Throughout Boston, office space is currently at a major premium. Office space vacancy rates are among the lowest in recent history. As new space becomes available, it tends to be snapped up quickly. Therefore, we can expect the proposed office building at Marine Industrial Park to be fully leased--or close to it--by the time that it opens its doors. If you own a business and would like to lease space in the new building, then, it is crucial to stay abreast of the latest developments regarding this project. When the time comes, Boston City Properties can assist you in finding the perfect space in this building or in other buildings around the city.

With two parcels from Marine Industrial Park switching to non-industrial properties, the face of this section of the Seaport is going to look a lot different before too long. Once the new hotel goes up, local businesses will have a more convenient option for visitors than before. When the new office building goes up across the street from the hotel, local businesses will have another great option to consider when looking for space in the area.

Like many Boston residents, you may be wondering when the current lack of office space will ease up. The same could be asked about the constant price increases, which are pricing out many firms from acquiring the space that they really want. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict how long vacancy rates will sit at near-record highs. With any luck, the project at Marine Industrial Park will be joined by many others, so that local businesses have more options in terms of finding suitable space. Given that the new building will offer around 212,000 square feet of office space, it should help ease the vacancy rate at least a little.

Boston's development frenzy continues unabated, and there is no end in sight. Skanska's big plans for the property at Marine Industrial Park in the Seaport district is just one example of the many great projects that are in the works here and around the city. When these projects are completed and more space opens up, many businesses are hoping that lease rates will level off along with vacancy rates. Of course, nobody wants vacancy rates to get too high, either, as this creates a whole new set of problems. In particular, investors get the short end of the stick when vacancy rates soar, as lease rates tend to tumble.

Commercial real estate in Boston can be difficult to understand. If you are an investor looking to buy profitable real estate or a business owner looking for great space in a bustling part of the city, you can't go wrong by taking a closer look at Marine Industrial Park in the Seaport. Before too long, the new 13-story office building will open its door, and there will be so many more options for Class A office space in this part of the city. If you need space more quickly than that, Boston City Properties can help. Give us a call today for more information.