Developers in Boston forged ahead amid nationwide turbulences caused by the ongoing pandemic, thanks to several factors boosting development activity. The life sciences sector, which dominates the metro’s real estate landscape, has proven to be resilient in the face of COVID-19, while powerhouses such as Amazon, Google and Philips are boldly expanding their footprint within the market.
According to Yardi Matrix, office completions in Boston totaled 2 million square feet in 2019. Meanwhile, between January and June 2020, close to 1.5 million square feet of office space came online in the metro. And as of June, some 12.9 million square feet of office space was under construction, with 2.9 million square feet expected to come online by year-end, potentially bringing 2020’s total deliveries to 4.4 million square feet. The table below highlights the largest projects underway, based on Yardi Matrix data.
10. 325 Main St.
In January 2020, Boston Properties broke ground on 325 Main Street, a 420,000-square-foot office development in Cambridge. Scheduled for completion in late 2022, the 16-story building will include 42,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The development is located in the heart of Kendall Square. Google will anchor the building, expanding its Boston presence by 362,000 square feet.
9. Kendall Square at MIT – 314 Main St.
MIT Investment Management Co. started construction on the 425,000-square-foot Cambridge project in April 2018. The 17-story asset is part of the Kendall Square at MIT development and is expected to come online at the beginning of 2021. Turner Construction Co. serves as the general contractor, while New York-based Weiss/Manfredi provides architectural services. The building will be home to the MIT Museum, the MIT Press bookstore, Boeing’s Aurora Flight Sciences research unit, as well as companies including Apple and Capital One.
8. Cambridge Crossing – Parcel G
Another building taking shape in Cambridge is DivcoWest’s Cambridge Crossing – Parcel G, a 450,895-square-foot, two-building project scheduled for completion in September 2021. Bank of America provided a $791 million construction loan, which also funds the development of Cambridge Crossing – Parcel H. Located on 22 acres at 350 Water St., Parcel G is part of DivcoWest’s 45-acre Cambridge Crossing, the redevelopment of a former rail yard at the intersection of Cambridge, Somerville and Boston. The mixed-use project will also include a new retail neighborhood, an 11-acre public park and 2,400 residential units.
7. Cambridge Crossing – Parcel EF
The 504,000-square-foot development is the largest upcoming office project within Cambridge Crossing. Construction of the nine-story development started in February 2020, with completion scheduled for September 2021. Square Mile Capital Management financed the construction with a $366 million loan. Situated at 250 Water St., the science and technology building will include three below-grade parking levels and will have direct access to two MBTA stops.
6. Boston Seaport – 111 Harbor Way
WS Development is currently developing the 525,000-square-foot office building in Boston’s Seaport Innovation District. The 17-story property is slated for delivery in February 2021, with Citizens Financial Group providing $435 million in construction financing. At full build-out, the Gensler-designed project will also feature 81,000 square feet of retail space. Amenities include Harbor Square Park, a 1-acre privately owned public space. Amazon has preleased the building’s entire office component, which is expected to accommodate 2,000 employees. Additionally, the e-commerce giant received $5 million in tax breaks from the city.
5. The BEAT
A joint venture between Nordblom Co. and Alcion Ventures started redeveloping the former Boston Globe headquarters at 135 Morrissey Blvd. in June 2019. The new project, dubbed The BEAT, consists of the renovation and repositioning of the former 695,000-square-foot building, funded by $252.7 million in construction financing provided by Oaktree Capital Management. Upon completion, scheduled for December 2020, the three-story property will feature office, industrial and retail space, designed to attract creative office, technology, light manufacturing, warehouse and life science tenants. John Moriarty Associates serves as the contractor and Stantec is the architect.
4. One Congress at Bulfinch Crossing
Carr Properties, National Real Estate Advisors and The HYM Investment Group broke ground on One Congress at Bulfinch Crossing in June 2019. Upon completion, scheduled for December 2022, the 44-story tower will add 977,249 square feet of premier office space to downtown Boston’s inventory. The new building at 1 Congress St. was designed by CBT Architects and Pelli Clarke Pelli and will include a 1-acre rooftop garden. State Street will anchor the building and will occupy 510,000 square feet.
3. Hub on Causeway – Office Building
Boston Properties teamed up with Delaware North in the development of another downtown Boston asset in 2016. The 1 million-square-foot Hub on Causeway – Office Building is scheduled for completion in June 2021 and will spread across 31 floors, which will include two floors of retail space. Designed by Gensler, the building’s construction was financed by loans from Bank of New York Mellon and First National Bank of Omaha.
Located at 100 Causeway St., the project is the final phase of the nearly 2 million-square-foot Hub On Causeway project, which includes a cinema, a 1,500-seat concert venue, a hotel, an apartment tower and the expansion of the 2.5-acre TD Garden. The project’s office component will be anchored by Verizon.
2. South Station – Phase 1
The 1 million-square-foot project was supposed to break ground in 2008, but development stalled due to MBTA concerns. Hines started construction on the 51-story development in January 2020, with completion scheduled for June 2024. Children’s Investment Fund financed the project’s development with an $870 million construction loan.
Situated at 650 Atlantic Ave., the asset is being erected atop Boston’s South Station complex, the largest railroad station and intercity bus terminal in Greater Boston. At full build-out, it will include an additional retail component and 166 apartment units.
1. Winthrop Center
The largest upcoming office building in Boston is the 1.5 million-square-foot Winthrop Center. Millennium Partners broke ground on the $1.4 billion development in October 2018. When completed, the 691-foot project will be the fourth-tallest building in Boston, and will include retail space and a massive residential component.
The 53-story project is slated for completion in January 2022. Situated in Boston’s Financial District at 115 Federal St., the Handel Architects-designed tower will also enhance and revitalize the nearby Winthrop Square.