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WeWork Joins Boston Startup Madness with Two Shared Offices

24 Jan 2014, 5:50 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Judging by the number of large companies that recently moved into Boston’s buzzing Financial District or are building their own high-profile business centers in the fast-growing Seaport District, the Hub is one of the cities that almost fully recovered from the economic downturn. While this translates into big cash revenue for the city, low vacancy rates and soaring rents have forced small-sized businesses to reconsider their options for office spaces.

WeWork – shared office space for startups

Just like in Detroit, where business incubator TechTown recently opened a shared work space, the startup scene in Boston is thriving and helping local entrepreneurs develop their businesses at a faster pace and lower costs. WeWork, a New York-based “boutique office space” firm that empowers entrepreneurs and startups by providing a collaborative community and services, will open two shared work spaces in Boston in February. According to the Boston Business Journal, the Hub will be the seventh city where the company provides startup-focused office spaces; the other WeWork locations are operating in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

By expanding its presence in Boston, WeWork hopes to reflect the growing entrepreneurial energy of the city. The two shared offices will target freelancers and emerging businesses and will be located at 754 Atlantic Avenue near the South Station and at 51 Melcher Street in the Seaport District.

WeWork locations across the U.S.

For $45 to $400 per month for a private desk or $550 to $3,000 for private offices at the WeWork location in Boston, entrepreneurs will have access to amenities such as high-speed internet and Wi-Fi, private phone booths, conference rooms, lounges and indoor bike storage.

Other companies that offer shared office spaces for startups in Boston include Workbar (which is seen as WeWork’s direct competitor because it is located across from South Station), the Cambridge Innovation Center, Bolt in Downtown Crossing or Start Tank, a business incubator backed by PayPal.

Images via WeWork



Apartments and Retail to Replace Vacant Bowling Alley in Dorchester

10 Jan 2014, 5:36 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Lucy Strike Residence Project in Fields Corner, Dorchester

Phoenix-based Lucky Strike Development is planning to enliven the former Fields Corner bowling alley in South Dorchester which was closed in 2007 after serving the neighborhood for five decades.

Located at 281-289 Adams Street at the corner lot of Park, Adams, and Lincoln streets and within walking distance from the newly renovated MBTA Red Line Fields Corner T-Station, the blighted facility would be completely razed to make room for a mixed-use building and an adjacent parking lot with 14 spaces.

According to the Project Notification Form (PNF) that was recently filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the $6.33 million Lucky Strike Residency Project will encompass 31,410 square feet, of which 7,900 will serve as ground floor retail space.

“The exterior of the new structure will be a combination of brick, large glass windows and clapboard; a decorative design will reveal elements at the top of the structure. The first floor front and both sides of the building façade will be brick with large glass windows to provide the front with a main street feeling,” the developer revealed in the proposal,

Lucy Strike Residence site plan in Fields Corner, Dorchester

adding that the project will provide more family-friendly shopping experiences to neighborhood residents and increase the quality of life within the community.

Designed by Davis Square Architects of Somerville, the three-story building will have 22 rental apartments—19 market rate and three affordable units—above four commercial spaces which could be sold to prospective business owners. The project design also calls for improved lighting to better serve the community, as well as a 1,200-square-foot open garden space at the corner of Adams and Lincoln streets.

A community meeting was scheduled by the Boston Redevelopment Authority for January 15 at the Kit Clark Senior Services at 1500 Dorchester Ave.

Renderings courtesy of Lucky Strike Development, LLC via BRA



BRA Approves $63 Million Dorm for Emerson College

30 Dec 2013, 8:59 am

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

As the Menino administration is coming to an end, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) has been busy unloading a number of development projects from its plate before Mayor-elect Marty Walsh and his staff step in on January 2.

Emerson College Dorm – 1 – 3 Boylston Place – Boston

One of the projects that were unanimously approved by the BRA during the December 19 meeting is a new residence hall that was proposed by Emerson College back in June. According to the revised Project Notification Form (PNF)—a scaled down version of the original plans submitted last summer, which called for a 260,000-square-foot building with 750 beds and retail space—the student housing project will replace a 24,631-square-foot parcel located at 1 – 3 Boylston Place off Boylston Street in Downtown Boston. The property was purchased by Emerson College in March 2010 for $3.85, according to data from PropertyShark.com. The site contains two red brick buildings slated for demolition or reconfiguration, as required by the design plans. As previously reported by the Boston Business Journal, the development site is located in a popular nightspot in the Cultural District and is currently occupied by a nightclub and two taverns until March 2015.

Estimated to cost $63 million, the LEED Gold Emerson College Boylston Place designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects will provide housing for approximately 407 students in single and double occupancy rooms with shared bathroom facilities. The 18-story building will also include resident assistant rooms and a resident director’s apartment, as well as an entrance lobby, laundry facilities, mail room and other support spaces.

Founded in 1880 as a “school of oratory” by Charles Wesley Emerson, Emerson College is a private university exclusively dedicated to communication and liberal arts. With around 3,500 enrolled students and only four on-campus dormitories—the Piano Row, Little Building and Colonial Building located on Boylston Street and the Paramount Center located at 555 Washington Street— Emerson College has seen a 10 percent increase in applications from 2013 to 2013. The new Emerson College Boylston Place residential hall is expected to address the need of housing space for the university’s growing number of students.

Rendering via the Boston Redevelopment Authority



Two Mid-Priced Hotels to Add 510 New Rooms Near the Convention Center

20 Dec 2013, 7:55 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The Hub is set to become a top convention destination as two hotel projects broke ground last week on D Street in the South Boston Waterfront, directly across from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Aloft Hotel and Element Hotel – South Boston Waterfront

Mayor Thomas Menino, Mayor-elect Marty Walsh and representatives of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), CV Properties and Starwood Hotels & Resorts attended a joint groundbreaking ceremony for the new mid-priced hotels that will add 510 rooms not only to the area near the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center but to the city as a whole.

“This is the first of several groundbreakings we hope take place as we push Boston and Massachusetts towards being among the top meeting and convention destinations in the world”, said MCCA Executive Director James Rooney in a press statement.

The two privately owned and constructed hotels—an Aloft Hotel with 330 guest rooms and an 180-room extended stay Element Hotel—will be built on land acquired by the MCCA and commercial real estate development and investment company CV Properties of Boston along with Starwood Hotels and Ares Management as major equity partner.

According to Boston.com, the $140 million projects located at 371-401 D Street were approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority in May this year as the first phase of the $2 billion expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Both hotels are expected to open in 2015.

The Aloft-branded hotel will be a modern style building with fewer amenities specifically designed for short stays and targeting the younger generation of travelers. The hotel building will also include a business center, meeting rooms and retail space on the ground floor.

The Element Hotel will operate as a duplex-like, extended stay hotel providing a larger pool of amenities such as kitchen space, fitness center, bike-share and recreation spaces.

The MCCA estimates that the two hotels will generate more than $5 million in annual taxes after opening, as well as 370 construction jobs and 175 permanent jobs.

Rendering via the Boston Redevelopment Authority



$45 M Expansion Project to Add 94 Rooms to Hotel Commonwealth

13 Dec 2013, 5:20 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

 

The owners of the Hotel Commonwealth located in Boston’s historic Kenmore Square at 500 Commonwealth Avenue received the green light for a $45 million expansion project that will increase the building’s existing capacity of 149 guest rooms by 60 percent. 

As previously reported by the Boston Business Journal, the developer behind the project is Kenmore Hotel, LLC—an affiliate of hotel management, investment and development company Sage Hospitality of Colorado—which purchased the luxury boutique hotel in 2012 for $76.5 million from Boston University. The development team also includes Columbia Construction and Mortenson Development.

The seven-story, LEED certifiable addition designed by Group One Partners will replace a 23,000-square-foot open air parking site at the rear of the hotel which faces the Massachusetts Turnpike and Fenway Park. In addition to the 94 hotel rooms, the expansion project also includes three floors of private valet parking for 216 vehicles, a large ballroom, an outdoor terrace facing Fenway Park, five meeting rooms, and private event space.

Expected to open in mid-2015 after roughly 13 months of construction, the 133,400-square-foot structure is anticipated to generate nearly 100 construction jobs and 25 permanent jobs to support the operations of the new hotel facility, and approximately $1.03 million in annual property taxes for the City of Boston.

 

Rendering via Boston Redevelopment Authority







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