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What’s Happening With Downtown Crossing

Downtown Crossing used to be a hot and happening place in Boston. It was a shopping mecca, which helped lure the commerce. Because many of the shopping venues that used to exist in the area have disappeared over time, Downtown has been fighting it’s way back into the limelight…especially since it lost the popular Filene’s Basement in 2008. (That name always intrigued me because it made me think of Feline, and I couldn’t fathom who would want a basement full of cats.)

Boston’s been a bit anxious and frustrated about the removal of  Filene’s because it caused a large abandoned vacant space just waiting for some sort of activity. Well the exciting news is that the wait is now over and a glorious glass skyscraper designed by the prestigious Millennium Partners is set to replace the previous basement-of-cats department store site downtown. The building will bring new life to the downtown area, reinvigorating the city’s scene.

Millennium is working in tandem with Vornado Realty Trust, who will be participating as a passive investor in the project. By fall of 2013, they will have constructed an additional residential complex titled the Millennium Place on the corner of Washington and Avery Streets. The building will be about 55 stories high, a mix of apartments and condos, 230,000 sq ft of retail stores, 200,000 sq ft of office spaces and 525 underground parking spaces.

Millennium Partners develops mixed use luxury properties like hotels, condos, spa/fitness facilities and office spaces, in big cities like San Francisco, New York and Boston. They  work to convert ordinary properties into an extraordinary ones.  Because of their high profile, Millennium is waiting for the Boston Redevelopment Authority to give the green light  to start construction by the end of this year.


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Bank of America Skyscraper Soon to be Sold

Bank of America Corp’s russet skyscraper located at 100 Federal St. in Boston’s Financial District is under agreement to be purchased by Boston Properties Inc. (BXP). Boston Properties also owns Boston’s well known Prudential Center and the Hancock Tower in addition to 52 other properties in the city. According to the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission, the company  made a $25 million deposit  On February 16 of this year, though the deal is “subject to customary closing conditions” Boston Properties states.

The Boston tower has 1.3 million square feet of space to rent  and is 37 stories tall. It’s appearance is especially noteworthy for being Boston’s sixth tallest structures and it’s unique outward protuberance above the foundation of the building. The skyscraper has been a staple of Banking since it’s emergence in 1971 and is one of Bank of America’s largest buildings.

Not only is the bank looking to sell in Boston, but it is looking to sell in New York and North Carolina as well.  One of the reasons Bank of America is opting to lease as oppose to own its properties is because it would be a more effective move to focus on business in order to invest their assets elsewhere. “We are looking at streamlining our operations. Real estate is not a core business of Bank of America.” states BOA spokeswoman Kelli Raulerson.

The fact that the bank found a buyer so quickly after making the decision to sell, thanks to the assistance of Cushman & Wakefield, most certainly attests to the fact that the market is indeed strengthening in terms of commercial real estate in the Downtown Boston area. A likely outcome of this sale is that it will peak the interest of institutional investors and  investment trusts because of the prospective  monetary influx from tenants, according to commercial real estate executive vice president, Lisa Campoli.



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