The New Retail Thread

kmp1284

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I thought they were already starting to explore building on this site...
And they probably determined that with a softening economy, higher interest rates and weaker demand in virtually all sectors plus perhaps a desire to focus all of their efforts on 171 Dartmouth that it made more sense to get a retail tenant for ten years or so.
 

stick n move

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And they probably determined that with a softening economy, higher interest rates and weaker demand in virtually all sectors plus perhaps a desire to focus all of their efforts on 171 Dartmouth that it made more sense to get a retail tenant for ten years or so.
Virtually all sectors… except housing. They could build a residential tower (or two) here and have no problem at all selling out because there is still tens of thousands more units neeeded to meet demand.
 

kmp1284

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Virtually all sectors… except housing. They could build a residential tower (or two) here and have no problem at all selling out because there is still tens of thousands more units neeeded to meet demand.
Not quite. The high end market is all but dead and on top of the existing inventory that’s not selling there’s a lot of new inventory coming on in the next few years that the market will struggle to absorb. Just because there’s a crisis at the bottom of the market it doesn’t mean there’s parallel demand at the top. Not to sound like an a-hole but the analysts and decision makers at Boston Properties have an infinitely better handle on the market than you or I.

Oh by the way, you’re not getting a tower here. BXP will almost certainly keep it to the scale of the Mandarin or maybe 888.
 
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Vivanna

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Not quite. The high end market is all but dead and on top of the existing inventory that’s not selling there’s a lot of new inventory coming on in the next few years that the market will struggle to absorb. Just because there’s a crisis at the bottom of the market it doesn’t mean there’s parallel demand at the top. Not to sound like an a-hole but the analysts and decision makers at Boston Properties have an infinitely better handle on the market than you or I.

Oh by the way, you’re not getting a tower here. BXP will almost certainly keep it to the scale of the Mandarin or maybe 888.
Just curious, what other new high end inventory is coming on line? I know St. Regis is delivering this year (60% sold), and Raffles is delivering next year (70% sold), I wouldn't consider The Parker high end, I'm sure I'm missing some others? Thanks.
 

kmp1284

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Just curious, what other new high end inventory is coming on line? I know St. Regis is delivering this year (60% sold), and Raffles is delivering next year (70% sold), I wouldn't consider The Parker high end, I'm sure I'm missing some others? Thanks.
I was mainly thinking St Regis, Raffles, Winthrop Center and in a few years the condos at SST. There’s also still a lot of inventory at places like Echelon, One Dalton and the Sudbury plus there’s virtually no action in the high end resale market. As for St Regis and Raffles being mostly sold, I’ll believe that when I see it.
 

AndrewOnTheMBTA

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I'm surprised this didn't stay a high end store /dept store still. It's outfitted for it, I think tourists and high-income folks would serve it well. The first Nordstrom in Boston or another high end retailer would've done alright. I'm not mad about a sporting goods store though - there's like not enough in Boston.
 

bigpicture7

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I was mainly thinking St Regis, Raffles, Winthrop Center and in a few years the condos at SST. There’s also still a lot of inventory at places like Echelon, One Dalton and the Sudbury plus there’s virtually no action in the high end resale market. As for St Regis and Raffles being mostly sold, I’ll believe that when I see it.
I know we haven't always seen eye to eye in the past, but in all respect and seriousness with the following question, how much of this reduced high-end market activity in Boston do you believe is somewhat temporary (i.e., on the order of a couple more years or less) versus more of an enduring trend? I have no inside insight on this market, but from my limited vantage point, I can't help but think we are still sitting at an unusual/non-equilibrium-like operating point, with pandemic effects still being felt and overall economic uncertainties on peoples' minds. There are a lot of well-off baby boomers still living in the 'burbs who are at/near/past retirement. I can't help but think some non-trivial percentage of them will want to move to the city in their retired empty-nester years. It seems they represent a wave of possibility to rejuvenate this market in the not-too-distant-future. On a separate note, is there not possible opportunity in the mid/upper-mid tier, as opposed to high-end? I don't doubt that type of housing precludes being profitable in tall structures, but (and this is where personal anecdotal evidence clouds my objectivity) I can't tell you how many late-20s - early-30s tech/biotech professionals my wife and I know who would have bought in the 900k-1.2m range if they could have, but really couldn't find anything and exited the city not necessarily because they were trying to, but because they felt the opportunity just wasn't there (and I'm talking about people who were still in a pre-kids mindset for this particular purchase). This latter comment doesn't change anything about your point about high-end, but your response made it seem like the only two markets that exist in Boston are low-income and top-tier. I feel (without formal substantiation) that there's a lot of angst and desire in the middle, even if there isn't a ton of movement at the present.
 
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stick n move

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Im not sure if it could have worked numbers wise at this site, maybe, but the missing middle is definitely where Boston and basically every American city has enormous demand. If they could build a tower and not stuff it with luxury units, they would have absolutely no problem filling it. Hopefully the glut of luxury properties and the downturn in the market will finally lead to more market rate units coming online.
 

Vivanna

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I was mainly thinking St Regis, Raffles, Winthrop Center and in a few years the condos at SST. There’s also still a lot of inventory at places like Echelon, One Dalton and the Sudbury plus there’s virtually no action in the high end resale market. As for St Regis and Raffles being mostly sold, I’ll believe that when I see it.
For the last number of years there's been like 2 months worth of inventory in the Boston condo market, not sure where the impression that there's a 'glut' comes from. A healthy market runs at about a 6 month inventory.
 

Badusername

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A new theater for the Seaport: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will open in former ShowPlace

Movie fanatics, rejoice: A snazzy cinema will take over the former home of the ShowPlace Icon Theater in the Seaport District starting early 2023.

That’s when Austin-based chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema plans to open a 10-screen theater with over 700 seats and luxury recliners at 60 Seaport Blvd. Its attached bar — dubbed The Press Room — will serve wine, craft cocktails, and local beers in an area that doubles as a printing museum with a functioning letterpress and more than 10,000 vintage movie ad plates from the 1930s through the 1980s on display.

“We’re using the existing space and set-up,” said Tim League, Alamo’s founder and executive chairman. “But of course, we will bring in a little bit of the Alamo character.”

The ShowPlace Icon Theater closed in March 2021 because of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time WS Development, which operates retail space in the building, said it was “evaluating next steps and timelines for the theatre.”

Boston Globe tech reporters tell the story of the region's technology and innovation industry, highlighting key players, trends, and why they matter.

Now, those changes have come together.

“We could not be more excited that Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is coming to Seaport,” said Ariel Foxman, general manager of Seaport Boston WS Development, in a statement. “Their signature best-in-class movie-theatre experience is a boon for movie lovers in Boston.”

Founded in 1997, Alamo has locations in Texas, California, North Carolina, and more. It most recently launched a Manhattan theater in October 2021, with spots in Staten Island, Chicago, and Birmingham opening soon.

That counters the narrative about movie theaters during early COVID, when many suffered through prolonged restrictions and low foot traffic. Another newish theater downtown, the ArcLight Cinemas theater on Causeway street, never re-opened after pandemic closures, and its space remains vacant.

The number of movies released to theaters is still well below pre-pandemic levels, and sales are still 34 percent below 2019 figures, Fortune reported. Thankfully, frequent moviegoers — who visit theaters once a month or more — have returned in droves, according to Variety.

League, the executive chairman, doesn’t seem concerned. He sees the Seaport cinema competing against places like comedy clubs and bars, rather than behemoth streaming services. Once open, Alamo will also join a host of nearby entertainment venues, including Scorpion Bar, Tuscan Kitchen, and Kings Bowling.

“The closure of communal entertainment outside the home made people realize how much they missed it,” League added. “Streaming is not our enemy — it’s our friend. Sometimes, you decide to stay on your couch. Sometimes, you need to come in.”
 

mass88

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If what I have read is true about their enforcement of no phones, this is going to be wonderful. It's always nice going to a movie and seeing people in front of you, or next to you taking out their phones throughout the movie with screens at full brightness. Gotta make sure you're up to date on Facebook, or Tik Tok posts while watching the movie in a theater.
 

bigpicture7

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I know this is minor in the grand scheme of things, but I am super excited that Area 4 Coffee is opening a substantively sized cafe in the One Kendall block (Alexandria megaplex these days), per this blog (and my own eyes).

First, A4 Coffee is a nice coffee shop yet their other location is way too small. Second, ever since Alexandria took over this massive area, tons of previously public-facing square footage (that already wasn't) has since been converted to labs and a bunch of decent local retail had folded there. Third, the new plaza hardscaping/landscaping is nice with lots of outdoor laptop working areas, so this this complements that well.

When they gutted out the area where this is going (about midpoint at the upper plaza level), the construction banners faintly had the A4 logo in the background and I thought "how can that be, they're just sneakily appropriating the branding," but I'm delighted to see that it's apparently true.
 

JohnAKeith

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Burberry sale of 28 Newbury Street for $26,750,000. Clothier has closed this location. Being marketed by buyer as retail / office space.
 

Lrfox

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I apologize for what are likely the worst photos anyone on AB has posted, but Smokehouse and MIDA on the East Boston Waterfront are under construction and the site plans were laid out on tables against the glass last time I walked by. So for anyone who is interested and can see somewhat clearly, here you go.

Smokehouse:
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MIDA:
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02D32A19-8D29-4112-923B-BC1778D18C45.jpeg
 

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