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 John Ratigan, partner at DLA Piper.
Boston Agent (BA): What commercial sectors are hottest and why?
John Rattigan (JR): The hottest areas in Boston are the Kendall Square neighborhood next to MIT in Cambridge and the Seaport District in South Boston, which the City also calls the “Innovation District.” They are both driven by demand from tech and life science companies and their employees, who are looking for a walkable urban environment that’s convenient for work. In addition, the changes to the Downtown Crossing area has recently began attracting smaller companies.
BA: Where are the biggest opportunities in Boston for commercial developers?
JR: Some of the biggest opportunities for developers are in communities like Somerville, Dorchester and Allston, which are just beyond the core markets and are either well served by public transportation or will soon be seeing expanded service.
BA: How do you expect commercial real estate climates in the Boston market to change in the quarters ahead? Where do we go from here?
JR: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who has been in office now for 18 months, is from the construction trade unions and recently announced that the City is beginning work on a new master plan. The mayor is a strong supporter of development, especially if it facilitates new jobs and housing that is affordable for middle-income workers. We are likely to see increasing interest in neighborhoods that have not seen much commercial development, like Allston and Dorchester, where land is cheaper and more available than core markets.