It’s the beginning of baseball season, and like many recent years, the Red Sox are the defending World Series champs, the Patriots are the reigning Super Bowl Winners, the Celtics are in the NBA playoffs and the Boston Bruins are in the NHL Playoffs. And, if you know any Boston sports fans they won’t miss a chance to remind you of the above.
Lesser known, however, is that Boston also makes a solid argument for being one of the East Coast’s tech capitals.
Software firm Salesforce is reportedly in talks to make a major leasing-development play, expected to take up a major portion of the 690-foot tower that Hines is proposing over the South Station transportation hub, according to Bisnow reports. It makes sense, since Hines built the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco and has another one planned for Chicago. Salesforce already has a presence in Boston’s Back Bay, Burlington and Cambridge.
This potential deal would just solidify Boston’s argument for being one of the most important East Coast tech hubs. It’s certainly vital to the metropolitan area and its commercial real estate market.
A Cushman & Wakefield report released last year, Tech Cities 2.0, says that technology makes up 10 percent of Boston’s employment base, tying it for fifth-highest in the nation in that statistic. It was third in the nation from the second quarter of 2017 through last year’s third quarter, with just under $11 billion in venture capital going to Boston-area firms. And between 2010 and last year’s second quarter, office-rent growth jumped about 40 percent, making it eighth-highest rental market in the country.
Tech growth has obviously played a big role in the Boston office market’s formidable performance. Class A rents, at $63 per square foot at the end of 2018, were the highest ever, according to a Colliers International report. Meanwhile, class B is also reportedly at an all-time high, at $50 per square foot. Overall vacancy rates were a super-low 9.2 percent, down 1.4 percent from the end of 2017.
Besides the potential Salesforce Tower above South Station, the Boston skyline has another major office tower underway. Underway is Winthrop Center, a 1.6-million-square-foot building in the Financial District that will rise 691 feet. MP Boston is reportedly spending $1.35 billion on the construction of the complex, which is set to include 750,000 square feet of offices and 500 condo units.
Meanwhile, many tech companies are reportedly looking for space in the Boston area, which Colliers said has 6.9 million square feet of active demand. Apple, Wayfair and WeWork are among the major players currently leasing or looking for more space.
If it keeps up this pace, Boston will rival New York City and the Washington, D.C., area as an East Coast tech center.
About GRS Group
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