Avison Young in Boston
Avison Young entered the Boston market in 2010 by employing the same innovation and creativity that drives Massachusetts’ diverse economy. Avison Young’s Boston office has developed organically by cultivating a range of services in brokerage, asset management, project management and capital markets. Serving as Avison Young’s regional outpost for New England, the Boston office has grown to over 60 employees while expanding operations to the Hartford market in 2015.
Boston, an historic city with a tightly woven culture, has an economy firmly set in the present, if not the future, fueled by innovation and collaboration in advanced technology, education and sciences. The Massachusetts capital and largest city, Boston is the educational, cultural and economic hub of New England.
Greater Boston is the 10th-largest metropolitan area in the United States, housing 12 headquarters for Fortune 500 companies, seven of the Top 50 schools in the country, and four of the top-funded NIH hospitals in the nation. Due to its strategic geographic location, strong talent pool and intellectually-based economy, Greater Boston has been able to continually attract some of the most innovative businesses to the market while also promoting and retaining local companies.
Long time staples to Boston include financial giants such as: Fidelity Investments, John Hancock, Liberty Mutual, State Street Global and Wellington Management; technology companies like Acquia, Akamai, Hubspot, LogMeIn, Tripadvisor and Wayfair; life-science juggernauts including Biogen, Genzyme and Vertex. Notably new to the market, General Electric established its global headquarters in Boston’s booming Seaport in 2015 while a frenzy of companies such as Amazon, Converse, UnitedHealth and Reebok, continue to lease large outposts throughout downtown Boston and Cambridge in the competition for talent.
Greater Boston’s office market comprises more than 200 million square feet with approximately 40% of the product located in Boston and Cambridge. Influenced by an aggressively growing life-science and tech presence, Cambridge continues to be the tightest submarket in the region, while across the Charles River, downtown Boston is providing availability through an ongoing construction boom. In the suburbs, demand for office space is largely seen west of Boston in amenity-dense towns located near major transportation corridors such as Route128 and the Mass Pike.
Greater Boston is home to the largest inventory of lab space in the country, at approximately 20 million square feet. Anchored by Cambridge, the life-science hub of the nation, the metro area has only gained momentum since the turn of the century. Half of the world’s 40 largest firms now have a location in Greater Boston. Fueling this growing market is a robust base of educators, a healthy supply of venture capita, and the highest amount of NIH funding in the nation year over year since 1994.
The retail market is focused on high-end product with great co-tenancies. Dominant retail markets include downtown Boston’s Back Bay submarket, as well as suburban hubs such as Framingham/Natick, Burlington/Woburn and Route 1 South. Retailers with less than 5,000 square feet comprise the largest share of the market and traditionally experience the highest vacancy rates. In contrast, big-box retailers with 100,000 square feet or more account for the smallest share of the market and have the lowest vacancy rates.
The industrial market in the metro Boston area contains more than 310 million square feet, the majority of which is located in the outer suburbs along Route 495. Historically, the market is generally characterized as stable, low-volatility, due to high land values and stiff environmental and entitlement regulations. However, new warehouse construction has been triggered with the rise of e-commerce while drug manufacturing activity has also increased in conjunction with a growing life-sciences industry.
Greater Boston is seen as a top global investment market. Institutional real estate investors view a presence in the Boston market as essential to a well-diversified portfolio positioned for both stability and growth. After proving to have a resilient economy through the last economic downturn, Boston continues to be considered a safe haven for investment, highlighted by the growing presence of foreign capital being injected into the city.