Over the past few weeks as I’ve been riding the MBTA commuter rail to work, I’ve been thinking about how transportation is an increasingly important factor when deciding where to live.
Massachusetts residents are thinking long and hard about their commutes to work as they face traffic jams on major highways, delays and overcrowding on subway and commuter rail lines and rising home prices closer to the city.
With these recent trends, the development community has been adjusting to this new focus and nearly 70 percent of all new construction projects in Greater Boston’s lab and office market qualify as transit-oriented real estate. Developers are snapping up space near subway and commuter rail stations and creating live-work-play communities that feature office, residential and retail space in one development.
Take a look at these transit-oriented and live-work-play developments in the Greater Boston Area and beyond:
New Balance moved into its new headquarters in Brighton next to the Massachusetts Turnpike last fall. The rest of the large mixed-used development at Boston Landing will feature office and residential space, a hotel, training and practice facilities for the Boston Bruins and the Boston Celtics, and a track and field complex. Not only will the complex have easy access to the highway and ample parking but a new Boston Landing commuter rail station will be added to the Framingham/Worcester commuter line in spring 2017. Tenants can then hop on for a few stops to get to Fenway, Back Bay or South Station. Or tenants can take a MBTA bus, a shuttle bus to the subway, or use a Hubway bike.
Lendlease’s development at Clippership Wharf in East Boston will feature approximately 478 apartments and condominiums in four buildings and is starting construction this fall. Lendlease hopes to take advantage of the property’s waterfront location with a new commuter ferry service between East Boston and the Seaport.
In the Merrimack Valley, The Lupoli Companies is redeveloping a 130,000-square-foot mill in Lowell to create a live-work-play development called Thorndike Exchange. The development features a mixed-use office campus that will soon add market-rate apartments and dining options, all of which will be connected to the Lowell station of the MBTA commuter rail.
With the Assembly Row development in Somerville came the opening of a new station on the Orange Line, which hadn’t seen a new stop since 1987. The developer, Federal Realty Investment Trust, worked with state and federal agencies to pay for the new stop. The live-work-play development has retail, restaurants and a movie theater, condos and apartments coming online and class-A office and lab space, part of which will be occupied by Partners Healthcare.
It’s exciting to see some of the innovative ways developers are incorporating transportation into Greater Boston real estate. What would you love to see more of: live-work-play communities, added train and subway stops, or ferries? Share your thoughts with us on social media!