The New Office Thread

stellarfun

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The Bloomberg article notes that Boston has "7 million square feet of office construction in the pipeline from 2021 to 2023, the most for a three-year period since the late 1980s".

And, "Boston remains one of America’s strongest office markets, and Colliers’ data could be a blip, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jeffrey Langbaum said. And so far, the biggest problem for office markets in cities such as New York is not demand -- it’s too much supply, he said."
 

whighlander

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From a Lechmere station discussion in the GLX thread:

Study after study has shown that putting pedestrians up on the bridge is a loser--what the 1950s thought the 1980s should look like. Overpass thinking led to downtown hamster tubes in Minneapolis, Cinci, Atlanta and they've since been acknowledged as an urban-design disaster.

1) It is way more expensive than curbing and paint
2) It de-energizes the street level retail and amenities
3) ) For the pedestrians it sucks to have to schlep up, over, and down. It imposes WAAY to much work on them: either climbing steps, trudging a long ramp, or, for ADA-compliance and freakishly expensive elevator. Time and effort wise it is like you just moved the station another block away
4) By dividing pedestrians, you then leave those at street level lesser-protected and drivers emboldened to speed.

Cars need to slow down. They need to see a street that calms them, rather than looking like an F-1 racetrack.

Things that calm:
1) fewer, narrower lanes
2) Nearby vertical visual obstructions (trees, signs, fire hydrants)
3) People. People. People.

The point of Poynton Regenerated is that putting the pedestrians "more in" the intersection" made things safer and more humane. Check it out:
Arlington -- You obviously have never been in Minneapolis or Calgary in the middle of a Midwestern Icy Cold Windy perhaps even snowy event -- the Plus 5 [Calgary meters] or Plus 15 {Minneapolis ft] makes these places habitable in the winter -- no-one is sitting down at a sidewalk cafe sipping coffee. If the pedestrians are forced to use the sidewalk in winter -- its just to hurry with their head down until they reach the next building with a Plus connection. Same-thing with underground passages in Montreal*1

By the way when I was in Louisville and Singapore -- I really valued the gerbil tubes as well -- much much more pleasant inside than sweltering with the Temp and Dewpoints both around body temp

I'll agree that you don't want of need a gerbil tube in Honolulu or San Diego


*1 Montreal from the Wiki
RÉSO, commonly referred to as The Underground City (French: La ville souterraine), is the name applied to a series of interconnected office towers, hotels, shopping centres, residential and commercial complexes, convention halls, universities and performing arts venues that form the heart of Montreal's central business district, colloquially referred to as Downtown Montreal. The name refers to the underground connections between the buildings that compose the network, in addition to the network's complete integration with the city's entirely underground rapid transit system, the Montreal Metro. Moreover, the first iteration of the Underground City was developed out of the open pit at the southern entrance to the Mount Royal Tunnel, where Place Ville Marie and Central Station stand today.


The lower floors of the Eaton Centre between the McGill and Peel Metro stations
Though most of the connecting tunnels pass underground, many of the key passageways and principal access points are located at ground level, and there is also one skybridge (between Lucien-L'Allier Metro station and Gare Lucien L'Allier). In this regard, the Underground City is more of an indoor city (ville intérieure) than a truly subterranean city, although there are vast commercial sectors located entirely underground.

The network is particularly useful during Montreal's long winters, during which time well over half a million people are estimated to use it every day. The network is largely climate controlled and well-lit, and is arranged in a U-shape with two principal north–south axes connected by an east–west axis. Combined, there are 32 kilometres (20 mi) of tunnels over 12 square kilometres (4.6 sq mi) of the most densely populated part of Montreal. In total, there are more than 120 exterior access points to the network, not including the sixty or so Metro station entrances located outside the official limits of the RÉSO, some of which have their own smaller tunnel networks.

 

whighlander

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I think this has already been covered, but why are there no proposals / renders with actual height, like 400+ ft? Is it the soil, zoning in Cambridge, FAA?

It just seems like a wide-open space perfect for some tall office / hotel / residential, far enough from any parks that could be cast into shadows, historical landmarks, dense existing residential where NIMBY's could argue whatever it is they want to argue, etc. I get that it costs a lot to build an 800 foot tower, but WTF?
Czervik -- No one really cares for tall office buildings anymore -- with the exception of some HQ or local HQ for some BIG Company that wants to emblazon its name high up [e.g. State Street]

What the typical big space user in Boston wants these days is a big big floor --so that they can partition as they need in some temporary or more permanent manner -- for example DraftKings*1, or Wayfair*2
In both cases they went for Big Floor Plates

So the real motivator for tall and thin in Boston is high end condos such as 1 Dalton or the Millennium Tower -- I doubt that you can gin-up the interest for tens of Million $ condo on top of a tower that looks over the Boston Engine Terminal

Hence the medium rise towers spec-ed by both Phillips and Sanofi in Cambridge Crossing for major HQ's

and the reconstruction of the [World Trade Center Boston aka Commonwealth Pier] with its exhibition hall to just office space by Fidelity*3

*1
DRAFTKINGS UNVEILS NEW BOSTON HEADQUARTERS AMID SIGNIFICANT COMPANY GROWTH
State-of-the-Art, Back Bay Neighborhood Location is the Largest Single-Floor Office Space in Boston
BOSTON, March 26, 2019 – DraftKings Inc., today celebrated the opening of its new Boston headquarters, with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joining company co-founders Jason Robins, Paul Liberman and Matt Kalish for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Tuesday’s ceremony celebrated the opening of a 105,000-square-foot space, which is the largest single-floor office plan in Boston and more than double the size of DraftKings’ previous Boston office. The move will allow DraftKings to accelerate its skyrocketing growth. The company, which currently has over 700 employees, saw a 65-percent increase year-over-year for employee head count. Equipped with professional production and podcast studios along with green rooms to bolster DraftKings’ focus on in-house content creation, the space also features custom and dynamic work areas designed to spark innovation and the development of new products.


*2 Wayfair
HQ 600,000 sq ft in One and Two Copley Place on several floors


in addition to Copley Place they decided to join Draftkings in the 500 Boylston complex [2 originally separate buildings -- built a couple of years apart -- now integrated by a new developer]


Wayfair Taking 395K-SF at Oxford’s Boston Complex
June 22, 2018
Toronto-based Oxford Properties received a lease commitment from online furniture retailer Wayfair Inc. for 395,000 square feet at 500 Boylston St. and 222 Berkeley St., a pair of adjoining towers in Boston’s Back Bay. The deal would rank as the market’s second largest so far this year, behind Amazon’s 430,000-square-foot office lease in Boston’s Seaport District.
Wayfair plans to house up to 4,000 employees at the location, with occupancy set to commence early next year at the 25-story 706,862-square-foot Back Bay complex.




*3 Fidelity
WTC [Commonwealth Pier] as it is today



WTC after renovation

WTC [
 
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Czervik.Construction

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Thanks, W! I am in no way height fetishing, and agree that big floor plates allow you to do more with the space, but sooner or later you will run out of open horizontal space and have to start knocking things down. Lab buildings can only go about ~12 floors before the costs get wacky and with all the lab demand (and office demand), I would imagine you would want to build taller for office and residential to make up for the lab building height limitations.

Maybe this is not yet a problem and will not be for the foreseeable future for Boston/Cambridge, but I see lots of demo going here a la JP Morgan knocking down an entire tower to replace it with another, taller building as an extreme example (and the Millenium in Times Square) and lots of buildings being demo'd on the west side, LIC and Brooklyn to make way for newer developments.

Heck, there are several 700+ plus foot tall rental buildings that have gone up wedged between the UPS and FedEx warehouses, Port Authority bus terminal with buses coming and going all day and night, the noisy west side highway, and the massive, sprawling entrance/exit to the Lincoln Tunnel. 10 years ago, "nobody lived west of 9th Ave", now it is where some of the most expensive rental buildings are located. And there are 2-3 more 700 footers breaking ground as we speak.

I guess what I am getting at is it seems, at least in this development, that they are not thinking about how much pent up demand is actually brewing under the surface in the area that will come real in 10 years from now.
 

stick n move

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I guess what I am getting at is it seems, at least in this development, that they are not thinking about how much pent up demand is actually brewing under the surface in the area that will come real in 10 years from now.
Thats what Volpe, Suffolk downs, Dot ave, Broadway, Andrew sq, JFK, Bayside/Harbor Point, Allston Yards, Beacon yards, the other 75% of the Seaport, Fenway, South Bay, pike parcels... etc are for.
 
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whighlander

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Thanks, W! I am in no way height fetishing, and agree that big floor plates allow you to do more with the space, but sooner or later you will run out of open horizontal space and have to start knocking things down. Lab buildings can only go about ~12 floors before the costs get wacky and with all the lab demand (and office demand), I would imagine you would want to build taller for office and residential to make up for the lab building height limitations.

Maybe this is not yet a problem and will not be for the foreseeable future for Boston/Cambridge, but I see lots of demo going here a la JP Morgan knocking down an entire tower to replace it with another, taller building as an extreme example (and the Millenium in Times Square) and lots of buildings being demo'd on the west side, LIC and Brooklyn to make way for newer developments.

Heck, there are several 700+ plus foot tall rental buildings that have gone up wedged between the UPS and FedEx warehouses, Port Authority bus terminal with buses coming and going all day and night, the noisy west side highway, and the massive, sprawling entrance/exit to the Lincoln Tunnel. 10 years ago, "nobody lived west of 9th Ave", now it is where some of the most expensive rental buildings are located. And there are 2-3 more 700 footers breaking ground as we speak.

I guess what I am getting at is it seems, at least in this development, that they are not thinking about how much pent up demand is actually brewing under the surface in the area that will come real in 10 years from now.
CV -- Cambridge Crossing finally has a mission

It began as an old Railroad Yard that was just sitting there waiting for redevelopment -- then it was going to mostly be housing with some non-specific office space

Now they have realized its the ideal place for spillover from Kendall -- specialized office, labs, and Company HQ campuses that either can't afford Kendall or want bigger floor plates, or a Campus type environment

Not saying you are a member of the "Kram it Together and Taller is always Better Squad" -- but there are definitely some folks on the AB Forum who are in that camp

Ultimately, once you are out of the realm of "any-old-office will do" -- the developer and the architect have to please the customer particularly on these Build to Suit -- Purpose-Built structures such as Sanofi and Phillips
 

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