New England City Scoop: Construction Starts in Boston
With roughly 14 million sq ft of new space currently being developed—in addition to 40 million sq ft of permitted projects that have not broken ground— “Boston continues to be ripe for construction,” Brown says.
Housing, labs, hotels and speculative office space are in demand, as is transit-oriented development, spurred by the MBTA Green Line extension.
One significant trend in Boston is adding new retail and public space to existing buildings. For example, Perkins+Will is adding a 9,000-sq-ft open plaza to the east side of 100 Federal Street in the Financial District. Currently under construction, the project will include food and beverage options as well as space for activities and shows. Brown says his firm’s design is “infusing more retail and interior public space that’s necessary for Boston’s volatile weather.”
Other recent examples of reinventing spaces include adding an Eataly marketplace to the Prudential Center and an enclosed winter garden to Copley Square’s Neiman Marcus store. “We’re also seeing reworked buildings from the 1970s-1990s add retail into lobbies when they used to be separate,” Brown notes.
Brown also says ride-sharing services are “changing how we build and plan for parking garages in new workplaces. I expect the impact of this to be a new reality in five to 10 years.”
Firm in Focus
Bond Brothers Inc.
145 Spring St., Everett, Mass.
CEO: Edward A. Bond Jr.
What’s New: The firm is nearly finished constructing the renamed Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre and Boston University Production Center. The facility unifies the College of Fine Art’s School of Theatre programs in a multifunctional, 75,000-sq-ft building. The project includes a black box theater, high-bay spaces for scenery and prop construction, costume shops, offices, studios and a two-level subsurface parking garage. The angled design and facade of the building incorporates glass panels from Spain, prefabricated ultra-high performance concrete from Canada and aluminum composite panels. A privately held, fourth-generation construction management and general contractor, Bond Brothers (BOND)has more than $500 million in annual revenue, 670 employees and offices in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.