It has been less than 1 year since Jamestown Properties purchased 28 buildings with over 130,000 sq ft of prime property on upscale Newbury Street. Today Jamestown is in the middle of a booming commercial property sub market with almost $2 billion in various development projects planned or in the process of construction.
Michael Phillips, chief operating officer at Jamestown said “Jamestown bought in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood because the area had long been a sound property market” and the current boom “is an added benefit”. There has been much progress in the company’s goal to further enhance the Newbury Street shopping experience. They have brought in many new retailers, started $4.7 million in renovations and will soon invest millions in building upgrades over the next 5 years.
Recently, the whole Back Bay area has become the city’s healthiest retail district according to Randi Lathrop, deputy director of planning for the Boston Redevelopment Authority. The Newbury Street retail market is now running way below the city’s vacancy average.
On Newbury Street alone, there is a 49,000 sq ft building under construction to house a multi story Chanel store along with 6 resident units. Within a few blocks of these developments there are multiple developments either in planning, construction or close to completion. Restoration Hardware plans to move into a 40,000 sq. ft. building going through renovation at present. Close by Liberty Mutual’s $300 million office building is being constructed. A major neighborhood landlord; Avalon Bay Communities is building a 28 story building with 188 residential apartments. The Berklee College of Music is constructing a $100 million tower for residential and academic usage. The Simon Group is in the planning stage with a $500 million redevelopment and expansion of the Copley Place mall. The city has just approved the Christian Science Center plan for a 1.2 million sq. ft mixed use development. Other projects in the planning stage will include offices, retail stores and residences one block away from Newbury Street on Boylston Street.
Sales are booming in the Back Bay neighborhood, with prices back up to the 2007 peak, cap rates are as low as the 4% range and asking rents going up to $80 sq. ft. and rising. Boston Real Estate professionals are concluding that companies are flocking to the Back Bay neighborhood because employees who work in the area also want to live and play in the same neighborhood. With mass transit, modern highways, shopping, dining and entertainment close by, why not?