Downtown Crossing | Discussion

cden4

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They clearly didn't put any places to sit there so that the "undesirables" won't hang out there. ARGH.
 

bluishgreen

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Lrfox

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bluishgreen

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I was about to be disappointed that the ground floor was going to be office space until I read this: "Shake Shack has signed a lease for space on the ground floor, according to documents filed in Suffolk County."

Win/win.
Thanks -- I re-worded my post, so it doesn't confuse people.
 

datadyne007

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I was about to be disappointed that the ground floor was going to be office space until I read this: "Shake Shack has signed a lease for space on the ground floor, according to documents filed in Suffolk County."

Win/win.
YES!!
 

stefal

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Anybody more versed in real estate and finance want to provide their opinion on WeWork rapidly taking over office space? I have two naive concerns.

1. The company itself seems to be going through rapid growth, but with it, burning through capital just as rapidly. They doubled their net loss in 2018. This year The We Company restructured to include WeWork, WeGrow, and WeLive. With an IPO coming up and continuous growth, isn't this a big risk for a very large portion of Boston real estate to be dedicated to WeWork in the likelihood that the company can't survive this high-spending, low-profit model for much longer? For context, their net loss was $1.9 billion after $1.8 billion in income, mostly from private investment.


2. Co-working spaces are a relatively recent trend trend (recent in the sense of becoming extremely popular). Is it not also a risk that we have entire buildings and millions of square feet dedicated to co-working spaces that may run 'out-of-style' in 5, 10, 15 years? A typical office building can be 'easily' reconfigured by the owner for open plan vs. closed plan, depending on trends/tenant needs, but this seems different to me, where WeWork is configuring spaces (and with significant upgrades/renovations, at that) for companies with sizes anywhere between 1-500+.


I don't know what the solution is here, but I am bringing up the problem because its slightly concerning, IMO. Quite obviously, WeWork is succeeding currently, especially in innovation-driven economies like Boston and NYC. I also appreciate the attention to detail they put into their workspaces. The founder was an architect before becoming the founder (the only (?) billionaire architect), so more attention is spent on design than most typical office buildings.
 

Vagabond

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2. Co-working spaces are a relatively recent trend trend (recent in the sense of becoming extremely popular). Is it not also a risk that we have entire buildings and millions of square feet dedicated to co-working spaces that may run 'out-of-style' in 5, 10, 15 years? A typical office building can be 'easily' reconfigured by the owner for open plan vs. closed plan, depending on trends/tenant needs, but this seems different to me, where WeWork is configuring spaces (and with significant upgrades/renovations, at that) for companies with sizes anywhere between 1-500+.
Slightly off thread topic, but the rule of thumb for commercial real estate tenant space cost is utilities, rent and payroll (per SF, per year):
$3 for utilities
$30 for rent
$300 for payroll

Every company is looking reduce the Total Cost of Occupancy (TCO) per employee, so you'll be primarily focusing on productivity improvements, since an incremental gain in productivity is worth far more than saving a few feet of real estate. The WeWorks are typically really well designed with lots of employee services for a relatively low cost, nominally to improve productivity. The leases are also more flexible. If those metrics continue to work, then companies will keep pushing for them.
 

JeffDowntown

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Anybody more versed in real estate and finance want to provide their opinion on WeWork rapidly taking over office space? I have two naive concerns.

1. The company itself seems to be going through rapid growth, but with it, burning through capital just as rapidly. They doubled their net loss in 2018. This year The We Company restructured to include WeWork, WeGrow, and WeLive. With an IPO coming up and continuous growth, isn't this a big risk for a very large portion of Boston real estate to be dedicated to WeWork in the likelihood that the company can't survive this high-spending, low-profit model for much longer? For context, their net loss was $1.9 billion after $1.8 billion in income, mostly from private investment.


2. Co-working spaces are a relatively recent trend trend (recent in the sense of becoming extremely popular). Is it not also a risk that we have entire buildings and millions of square feet dedicated to co-working spaces that may run 'out-of-style' in 5, 10, 15 years? A typical office building can be 'easily' reconfigured by the owner for open plan vs. closed plan, depending on trends/tenant needs, but this seems different to me, where WeWork is configuring spaces (and with significant upgrades/renovations, at that) for companies with sizes anywhere between 1-500+.


I don't know what the solution is here, but I am bringing up the problem because its slightly concerning, IMO. Quite obviously, WeWork is succeeding currently, especially in innovation-driven economies like Boston and NYC. I also appreciate the attention to detail they put into their workspaces. The founder was an architect before becoming the founder (the only (?) billionaire architect), so more attention is spent on design than most typical office buildings.
Well a hiccup in WeWork would certainly be a short term hit on office real estate in Boston (NYC, etc.)

But I honestly don't see how WeWork's build outs are any more problematic than the many iconoclastic build outs from failed (or moved on) companies that I have encountered searching for office space in Boston Proper. Companies leasing blocks of space do just as many funky things to their build outs as WeWork does.
 

meddlepal

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Having worked in a WeWork I found it to be an awful experience. Little privacy (glass walled offices) and poor sound insolation.

They're trendy and cheap (in many scenarios) right now. It's unclear what happens to WeWork when their leases expire and the management companies come for a bigger cut. They don't own any of this real estate.
 

fattony

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There is nothing trivial about redesigning between open and closed offices. I don’t see anything WeWork is doing as substantially different from any other interior buildout. It’ll be a “trend” only if it dies out. Otherwise it’s an innovation. Either way, I don’t see it evaporating overnight. If that market dries up, it’ll be slowly over time
 

cjbski

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Barnes & Noble scaffolding is down - here are some of the results.
 

Shepard

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I know @Bancars will strike me down for this, but I think you'd get a major uplift for DTX simply by opening up Washington Street to slow-speed vehicles. I'm not sure exactly why, but the picture above drives that home to me.
 

Massachoicetts

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I know @Bancars will strike me down for this, but I think you'd get a major uplift for DTX simply by opening up Washington Street to slow-speed vehicles. I'm not sure exactly why, but the picture above drives that home to me.
Either that or you would have to construct at least 5 more towers over 600ft tall including one or two over Macy's, one at One Bromfield, one at TJ Maxx and one further down to support a busier environment. Adding about 1,000 hotel rooms and ~2,000 residential units right onto Washington Street would help dramatically. If I was in control of this district. I would be pushing for the highest density possible. It would clear vacant storefronts and give Downtown Xing a new meaning.

Also it would help the dining scene in the area, maybe 4-6 new restaurants on the street.
 

cden4

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I couldn't believe how many vacant storefronts there are on Bromfield St right now. Clearly the property owners are asking WAY too much for rent. It's like a ghost town while the rest of the area is thriving.
 

Suffolk 83

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The reno looks pretty, prettay nice. It's been a long time since anything was in there so looking forward to whatever it is. Anyone have insight to what is going there?
 

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