Is there more ‘green’ in green?

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From Bob Best
Executive Vice President

We have been so focused on cost savings from sustainable real estate ideas, such as energy conservation, that we have been missing an idea with much bigger dollar potential.

While more daylight, better air quality and temperature control can make the workplace “greener” there is another far more important financial impact on a company’s bottom-line. Many of these sustainable ideas also help people be more productive.

And, beyond sustainability measures, there are impacts from such ideas as improved acoustics, ergonomic furniture, and more worker-friendly space designs. Together, these green and productive improvements can make a huge, positive impact on workers and how they perform their jobs.

Don’t believe it?

Stay tuned. Over the next few months we will be sharing ideas, research results and case studies that indicate incredible outcomes are possible.

Consider this. Even a fraction of a percent improvement in overall productivity multiplied by a company’s compensation has an enormous impact on the bottom line. After all, for most companies people represent over 90% of all costs.

Want to know more? Check out our book The Green + Productive Workplace.

JLL Boston Skyline: Strong leasing momentum with low-rise leading the charge

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From Thearin Than
Senior Research Analyst
 

 Our JLL Boston Skyline Review is an analysis of the premium tower market comprised of 44 Class A buildings taller than 15 stories. With this building analysis, we’ve factored in that Greater Boston continues to enjoy favorable economic conditions driven by strong employment growth. Following significant growth of 39,900 jobs in 2013, Metro Boston has added 19,800 jobs year-to-date and now stands at an all-time high of 2.6 million jobs, 20,000 jobs above the dot-com peak. This growth has translated into more demand for office, particularly in the Boston CBD where the urbanization trend continues to attract companies and employees seeking to benefit from the City’s growing amenity base and public transportation system.

The JLL Skyline confirms that office fundamentals are tightening in the Boston CBD. The overall vacancy stands at 10.6 percent, dropping 50 basis points compared to six months ago, and market pricing stands at $55.47 per square foot, up 6.3 percent year-over-year. While the Back Bay and Seaport District saw upticks in vacancy, Downtown (Financial District) vacancy decreased 120 basis points over the past six months due to several notable leases. At 75 State Street, CDM Smith signed a 110,000-square-foot lease in the low-rise floors and will relocate from Cambridge.  At One International Place, law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius leased 45,000 square feet on floors 36 through 38 and will relocate from 225 Franklin Street.

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Right-sizing and cost-cutting measures continue to affect leasing momentum. While many office users prefer to maintain a presence in the CBD, some have opted for lower rent in low-rise spaces of Class A towers with access to the same amenities, minus the view. In fact, the low-rise vacancy rate stands at 8.9 percent, down 280 basis points over the past six months, and 370 basis points below the high-rise vacancy rate of 12.5 percent.

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With new office projects, notably 101 Seaport Boulevard and 100 Northern Avenue, scheduled to deliver at the end of 2016, the future remains to be seen whether the future available spaces can be back-filled. In the near term, there is room for the Skyline fundamentals to further tighten, fueled by positive economic outlooks and strong demand.

The Skyline Review is an in-depth and exclusive look at top-tier assets and their impact on the overall Boston and Cambridge markets. To receive your own copy of JLL’s Winter Boston Skyline Review, please enter your information here.

JLL New England 2014 Spotlight Award winners

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Top row, left to right: Darlene Davis, Keely Calkins, Jamie Ruiz, Glen Shenkin, Malia Callahan, Vin Brennan Bottom row, left to right: Jim Tierney, Michael Connelly, Victor Sandoval, Scott Tibbo, Chris Lawrence, Niles Carter

 

JLL is proud and excited to announce the winners of the 2014 Spotlight Awards for the New England region. These awards are given throughout the firm to recognize exceptional talent, commitment, teamwork and effort. Not surprisingly, we received dozens of nominations for these honors. Our success correlates directly to the strength of our people. Given the extensive list of deserving nominees it is clear that we are poised for even greater success going forward.

The Spotlight Award recipients were acknowledged and celebrated formally at our holiday party last Wednesday at Rowes Wharf. Please join us all in congratulating our deserving winners!

Beacon | Recognizing excellence in people management
Niles Carter, Construction
Scott Tibbo, United Technologies Corp. (Corp Solutions)

Prism | Advancing diversity and inclusion
Keely Calkins, Property Management
Darlene Davis, Novartis (Corp Solutions)

Gold Baton | Recognizing excellence in teamwork
Jamie Ruiz, Property Management
Malia Callahan, Marketing
Glen Shenkin, CS Mobile Engineering Services (Corp Solutions)
Vin Brennan, Webster Bank (Corp Solutions)

Magnet | Recognizing excellence in client service
Michael Connelly, PDS
Victor Sandoval, Amgen (Corp Solutions)

Catalyst | Recognizing role models
Chris Lawrence, Brokerage
Mike Cook, Thomson Reuters (Corp Solutions)

Check out additional photos from the evening’s celebration below.

 

JLL Cambridge Skyline Review: Market presence at a premium

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From Jordan Yarboro
Senior Analyst, New England Research
 

JLL’s Cambridge Skyline Review is a floor-by-floor analysis of the premier office and lab properties in the Cambridge market. The Cambridge skyline is shaped by 28 office buildings and 29 lab buildings across three distinctive Cambridge submarkets. For this Winter Skyline just released, Cambridge continues to shine as one the nation’s leading commercial real estate markets. With proximity to premier talent and a growing amenity base, Cambridge is a dynamic market where multiple tenants compete for limited availability at increasingly high rental rates.

The Cambridge office market is driven by tenants striving to create, maintain or grow their presence in this market, despite the premium cost. Strong leasing activity from the technology sector contributed to over 412,000 square feet of absorption in the Skyline market during the last six months – helping overall vacancy to drop 200 basis points to 6.6 percent. There is only one contiguous block of space over 50,000 square feet in the entire Skyline office market; not nearly enough to satisfy current tenant demand. The average asking rent in the Cambridge Skyline office market is $58.51 per square foot Gross, up 9.2 percent over the last six months and 26.6 percent since last Fall’s Skyline. As a sign of overall market strength, investment activity has increased with notable property sales at both ends of the Cambridge Skyline.

Cambridge Office Skyline average asking rent

Cambridge Office Skyline average asking rent

 

The Cambridge lab market is home to some of the world’s leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Leading life science companies are clustered throughout Cambridge and continue to arrive here in droves. Big pharma continues to drive leasing and development activity in the region, but start-ups and midsize companies also play a key role in the Cambridge Skyline. Over the last six months, the Skyline lab market recorded 1,014,856 square feet of total absorption, representing a staggering 20.0 percent of stock. Overall vacancy declined 560 basis points to 6.5 percent, and the mid-Cambridge market achieved full occupancy. Average asking rents for lab space are $54.61 per square foot NNN, up 2.3 percent since last Spring’s edition. With few existing large blocks of space and significant active tenant requirements in the market today, rent growth will continue in 2015.

Cambridge Skyline lab market

Cambridge Skyline lab market

 

The Skyline Review is an in-depth and exclusive look at top-tier assets and their impact on the overall Cambridge market. To receive your own copy of JLL’s Winter Cambridge Skyline Review, please enter your information here.

Space Studies: LevelUp

LevelUp, a mobile application allowing members to use their smartphones for payment at local businesses who accept this form of payment, launched its business in 2011. Initially this tech firm operated out of Cambridge, but after analysis of real estate costs, employee demographics and available locations, LevelUp decided to move their business to downtown Boston on Arch Street in December 2013.

This video showcases the space that they are now proud to call their own. LevelUp had the opportunity to occupy space in this prime location, but the space did not necessarily reflect their personality. With imagination and hard work, LevelUp has been able to transform the space from a former insurance office to a place reflective of their high-tech company’s culture.

As cost was a concern for their bottom-line, this space is a prime example of how young companies can use minimal resources to align space with business objectives. JLL was proud to partner with LevelUp during their search process, from both a tenant representation standpoint as well as project management services for minor transformation ideas.

Going big at BOMA

BOMA President-Elect June Cunniff, David Ciampolillo, Kate Fisher, Rick Page, JLL’s Keely Calkins, Mike Cobb, Brooke Blue and Ky Lee

BOMA President Elect June Cunniff, David Ciampolillo and Kate Fisher of JLL, BOMA President Rick Page, JLL’s Keely Calkins, Mike Cobb, Brooke Blue and Ky Lee

 

The JLL Property Management group was well represented at the 2014  BOMA Boston Industry and TOBY Awards. Recognizing the best and brightest in facility management, building operations, and service in the industry, our colleagues were winners in these catagories:

Office Building of the Year 500,000 to 1 Million SF: Seaport West managed by Kate Fisher
Executive Engineer of the Year: Michael McGloin for his work at 99 High
Engineer of the Year: Dave Ciampolillo at Seaport East and West

JLL manages Seaport West and East for Pembroke Real Estate. Kate and team’s program of smart building systems and single stream recycling at West has resulted in the building’s Green Roof award.

The completion of 99 High’s $35 million renovation and modernization program, spearheaded by Mike, included significant infrastructure upgrades, dramatically increasing energy efficiency, enhancing tenant comfort and functionality. Collaborative dialogue with tenants drove the improvements over several years. Today savings here are in the aggregate of $1.5 million annually. Mike recently shifted his attention to the management of One Post Office Square, where he now works with Dan Ozelius, Katerina Craft, and the team’s newest addition Paul Boyd.

According to BOMA Executive Director Adrienne Maley: “The TOBY Awards is a highlight of our calendar. This year’s competition was our largest ever with over 600 registered.”

To see a gallery of photos and the video from the event visit BOMA TOBYs.

BOMA Secretary Mike Gill with JLL’s Mike McGloin

BOMA Secretary Mike Gill with JLL’s Mike McGloin, and Rick Page

JLL’s David Ciampolillo

David Ciampolillo

BOMA President Rick Page and JLL’s David Ciampolillo

Rick Page and David Ciampolillo

 

JLL living United

October 30th marked the United Way’s 21st Real Estate & Building Industry Leadership Breakfast, which is a gathering of 1,200 real estate leaders from the Boston area. This year’s breakfast was dedicated to prevent family homelessness in our region, a topic that Mayor Martin J. Walsh spoke passionately about at the breakfast. In addition to the keynote speaker, a big congratulations to Jonathan Davis, Founder and CEO of The Davis Companies honored with this year’s Norman B. Leventhal/Edwin N. Sidman Leadership Award.

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Here at JLL, we are committed to helping the United Way and the real estate industry tackle issues like homelessness, childhood development and families in need. Year after year our firm consistently ranks as a top fund raiser due to the generous contributions from our employees. Our 2014 campaign just wrapped up and we had over 75% participation from our Boston office in the campaign. As always, we are proud to say that “JLL lives United” and thank you to our employees for making this year’s campaign another success!

 

Breaking records

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JLL’s Jess Hughes speaks at NAIOP/SIOR’s Annual Market Forecast

 

Boston set an all-time high in commercial sales pricing this year. According to Jessica Hughes, who spoke at yesterday’s NAIOP/SIOR Annual Market Forecast, cap rates are at historic lows for core Downtown office buildings. International capital is pouring in from investors like Norges and Oxford.

“I expect office sales to slow in 2015 due to a lack of supply,” said Jessica, “but oversees investors will continue to put their money to work in Greater Boston.”

“2015 will be different. A lot of the money coming in for development is going to be speculative, and much of it will come from China and other Asian markets. This is across sectors, everything from residential and condos to new spec office development.”

This year Boston emerged as a true global gateway city. There is a huge discount to buying here compared with markets like New York, London and Hong Kong. Jessica added that we also have the most balanced economy in the country.

“Boston has a premium lending environment. Although I don’t expect further cap rate compression, real estate value will continue to be driven by great fundamentals.

“Factor in all of the new development that’s underway,” she concluded, “and the atmosphere for investment here is supercharged.”

 

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Skanska raises the bar at NAIOP Gala

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Shawn Hurley with his colleagues from Skanska

 

Winston Churchill said: “We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us.”

These words  opened the video honoring Skanska USA at NAIOP’s annual Distinguished Real Estate Awards Gala held last night at the Weston Boston Waterfront Hotel.

Skanska’s Boston Regional Manager Shawn Hurley, who oversees the development of 101 Seaport and Watermark Seaport, began by lauding his team. “We have people that are extremely passionate about what they do. They have the right combination of research and insight to back up their talent.”

Skanska has the unique ability to self finance which allows them to deliver quickly. “When Pricewaterhouse Coopers moves into 101 Seaport next year,” said Shawn, “the building will be delivered in 26 months. That’s an incredible achievement.”

The event, attended by over 1,000 industry leaders, included a moment of silence for the late Mayor Menino. “The growth and momentum here didn’t happen by chance,” Shawn said. “We would not be here without Mayor Menino. Nobody has played a greater role in shaping and making the Innovation District what it is today.” At this event one year ago Menino was honored by NAIOP with a special Excellence in Public Leadership Award.

John and Mary Fowler received this year’s Edward Linde Pubic Service Award for their long standing commitment to giving back. His interest in helping people is legendary. Charles River Realty Investors’ Brian Kavoogian described them as “the epitome of philanthropy.”

“It is an honor to be mentioned in the same breath as Ed Linde,” John Fowler said.

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JLL’s George Gregory, Steve Steinberg, Matt Sherry, Heather Brown, Ben Hux, and Rob Mahoney

 

Carbonite’s new HQ feels like home

O'Connor_Tom_Color_Casual_smallWe sat down with Tom O’Connor, Senior Vice President of our Project and Development Services (PDS) group, to discuss the innovative design of Carbonite’s new headquarters offices at Lafayette City Center Boston.

Q: Please describe the space for us. They wanted it to be comfortable, like working out of a very cool living room as startups often do. The idea was to design the space to be as comfortable as your home, but more efficient and productive than working from home. I believe we succeeded.

Q: How does it reflect Carbonite’s corporate culture? Their culture is open and very collaborative. We designed a space that lets all the natural light from the Common seep in. Most of the walls are glass and 98% of the space is designed to be used by everyone.

Interestingly the company’s name Carbonite comes from material in the movie Star Wars that Han Solo is frozen in. Meaning the stuff you backup with carbonite will be frozen forever too. They wanted to incorporate that into their design. We used reclaimed metal and over-sized studs to border the entire space in order to create the effect of freezing the office. The effect was even better than we anticipated.

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 Q: What were the challenges? Carbonite’s management team had a clear vision for the space but they didn’t want it to be corporate-imposed. They involved tons of their employees. The design became a bottoms up process. The result speaks for itself, but it was challenging at times with all the different inputs. The team hired by Carbonite to execute the build-out was responsive, flexible and completely invested in the process.

Q: What do they like most about the way the space functions and its location? What they are most excited about is the upgrade in conference space. Prior to their move 250 people were working out of 7 conference rooms and it just wasn’t working. They now have more than 30, of varying sizes, which has allowed them to be much more productive.

If you were to ask them though, I think they are also pretty excited about all the comfortable furniture spaced out in the office. There are many places to have impromptu business conversations. They also love Downtown Crossing, all the restaurants and pubs and having the Boston Common so close.

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Q: How will it help them in recruiting? It already has been a big draw for top talent. In fact I heard that every candidate they’ve extended an offer to since moving has joined their ranks. When you ask someone to spend sometimes up to 14 hours at work, you better believe where they are spending their time is going to factor into their decision.

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