Spotlight: Boston Commercial Market

In terms of the commercial real estate market, the pace of Boston’s recovery from the depths of the recession has been one of the best in the nation. The city finished 2012 on a high note and showed considerable momentum in the first quarter of 2013. Office, retail and multifamily activity are leading the way in three parts of the city – the Seaport/Innovation District, Financial District and Back Bay.

The Seaport District, recently rebranded as the Innovation District, is the largest tract of underdeveloped land in the city of Boston, and its 1,000 acres are booming. Thanks to the innovative high-tech and pharmaceutical companies that are moving in, the area has attracted billions in funding. Currently, several condo and luxury apartments are being built in the area, along with a hotel.

The strong uptick in hiring within these industries is attracting an influx of 20- to 30-year-olds who are fueling significant activity in the city. As this younger set looks to live, work and play without a car, they are driving development in apartments, condos, retail and restaurants – really boosting the multifamily market.

The Financial District is seeing growth in both office and residential real estate. The office market is strong, as it is an attractive area for law firms, financial services companies and other businesses. One luxury condominium project is under way; another with mixed use is set to start construction later this year.

The Back Bay office market has been slower to recover, but finished 2012 on a high note with some significant office activity in this historically strong residential and retail area. Newbury Street, for instance, is considered the “Rodeo Drive of Boston.”

Stewart’s Boston office saw a lot of business at the close of 2012, and had a busy first quarter of 2013. We are seeing modifications of loans that closed in 2008 and 2009, refis and more high-liability/high-dollar deals around Boston and across the country. I am looking forward to continued growth in 2013, providing our customers with superior underwriting and customer service.

As the incoming president of New England Women in Real Estate, the Boston chapter of the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with so many great people in the industry. I really look forward to building upon those existing relationships and making new ones in 2013.

Ultimately, it all comes down to underwriting and responsiveness. Stewart’s ability to anticipate and meet customers’ needs and come up with creative solutions in title is invaluable. Given the depth of our underwriting experience and our stellar customer service, we anticipate that 2013 will be a great year for the office and our clients.

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