Viewpoints: Richard Rudman, Partner, DLA Piper, Boston

by Alonzo Turner

Richard Rubman

Richard Rudman is a partner at DLA Piper working in Boston.

Every week, we ask an Boston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top trends in Boston real estate.

This week, we talked with Richard Rudman, a partner at DLA Piper. 

Boston Agent (BA): What is the state of the Boston commercial real estate market? And how does that compare to a year ago?

Richard Rudman (RR): Boston is blessed with strong fundamentals driven by industries that thrive on a well-educated workforce: technology, life science, health care and education, and at the same time it is cursed by heavy capital flows that have driven cap rates to levels never seen here before. Compared to last year, there seem to be many fewer investment properties being offered for sale and much more development activity. One major developer has announced that they are starting on a spec CBD office building and I doubt they will be the only group to do this.

BA: What sectors, if any, are still struggling and why?

RR: Some of the suburban office markets around Boston are still struggling, with the greatest pain being felt by older, inefficient buildings.

BA: What are the “negative” trends or major challenges in Boston?

RR: Boston’s biggest challenge is making its public transit system more reliable. This winter exposed a lot of problems with Boston’s commuter rail, subway and trolley lines. Governor Charlie Baker says he’s going to fix the MBTA (Metropolitan Boston Transit Authority) but it’s a big job.

BA: Where are the biggest opportunities in Boston for investors?

RR: One of the phrases I hear a lot is “build to core,” an investment strategy where investors, looking for core investments, decide to get involved at the development stage, rather than competing with other investors to buy stabilized buildings.

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