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John P. Dumas

John P. Dumas, the Business Manager of Local 103 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, represents more than 7,000 electrical and telecommunication members in the Greater Boston area.

A 38 year member of Local 103, Dumas is a seasoned and experienced leader. Along with serving as 103’s business manager for the past 2 years and its president for 18 years prior to that, Dumas has served the union in a number of leadership roles, including business agent, member of the union’s executive board and trustee of the health, annuity, pension, LMCT and JATC funds. He also has served as a member of numerous contract negotiation teams, playing a pivotal role in several major contracts governing members’ benefits.

Throughout his career he has shown a keen interest in nurturing younger union officers in preparation for leadership roles in the future, and his leadership style has always been one of inclusion and accessibility to all members.

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Take a look at Watertown’s Arsenal Mall redesign

Boston Business Journal | By Catherine Carlock
December 1, 2016

arsenal-mMore than two years after buying Watertown’s Arsenal Mall, Boylston Properties and The Wilder Cos. have revealed their plan for its redevelopment.

Boylston Properties and Wilder Cos., both Boston-based real estate development firms, are rebranding the property Arsenal Yards and planning 350,000 square feet of retail, 100,000 square feet of office space and more than 500 residential units. The redevelopment could eventually span 1 million square feet.

Boylston Properties and the Wilder Cos. acquired Arsenal Mall and adjacent Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates building in 2013 for $70.5 million. Also in 2013, Watertown-based athenahealth (Nasdaq: ATHN) acquired the Arsenal on the Charles corporate center next to the mall for $168.5 million, and CEO Jonathan Bush joined the Boylston Properties and Wilder Cos. joint venture.

“This new community in Watertown’s East End will bring vibrancy of the city and an urban energy along with the convenience and warmth of a suburb,” said Bill McQuillan, principal of Boylston Properties, in a statement. “We’ve worked with Watertown residents and officials to bring a unique constellation of uses with today’s busy families and individuals in mind.”

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Construction Oct. Spending Posts Monthly and Year-Over-Year Increases

Engineering News-Record | By Tom Ichniowski
December 1, 2016

Construction spending edged up in October from September’s level and posted a stronger year-over-year gain, the Commerce Dept.’s Bureau of the Census has reported.

The bureau’s latest monthly report on the value of construction put in place, released on Dec. 1, said October’s estimated annual rate was $1.173 trillion, an 0.5% increase from the previous month and a 3.4% rise from October 2015.

The report also said October nonresidential construction dipped 0.3% from the previous month, to a $699.7-billion annual rate, but rose 2.6% from the year-earlier level.

Eight of the 16 nonresidential segments experienced month-to-month upticks, including educational facilities, which rose 2.3% to a $92.4-billion rate; transportation, up 2.2% to $42.2 billion; and highways and streets, up 1.9% to $91.7 billion.

In the minus column were power, the largest nonresidential sector, which was down 3.8%, to a $92.4-billion rate; health care, which was off 3.1%, to $41.4 billion; and manufacturing, which declined 2.7%, to $73.9 billion.

Looking at year-over-year comparisons, “Certain segments are red hot,” said Anirban Basu, Associated Builders and Contractors chief economist. They include office buildings, which surged 24.8%, to $70.7 billion; and lodging, which jumped 20.9%, to $27.4 billion.

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Unemployment rate falls to 9-year low

The Boston Globe | By Christopher S. Rugaber
December 2, 2016

WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added a solid 178,000 jobs in November, reflecting the steady economy President-elect Donald Trump will inherit. And the unemployment rate hit a nine-year low of 4.6 percent, though mainly because many people stopped looking for jobs and were no longer counted as unemployed.

Average hourly pay slipped after a solid gain the previous month. Pay has increased at only a modest pace in the past year.

The report’s mixed signals illustrate the challenges facing Trump: Steady job gains and a low unemployment rate suggest that the economy is healthy. But weak pay increases and fewer Americans working or looking for work point to longer-term challenges.

Fewer than 60 percent of adults have jobs — 3 percentage points lower than when the Great Recession began in late 2007. In part, that trend reflects retirements by the nation’s many baby boomers. But it also means hiring hasn’t kept up with population growth.
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Seven years into the recovery, pay growth is still below healthy levels. And the number of part-time workers who would like full-time jobs is 28 percent higher than before the recession.

Many of these trends — particularly the drop in the proportion of adults with jobs — emerged years before Obama took office. Trump’s challenge will be to try to reverse them.

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Construction Nov. Jobless Rate Flat With Oct., Down from 2015

Industry also added 19,000 jobs during the month, Labor Dept. reports

Engineering News Record | By Tom Ichniowski
December 2, 2016

Construction’s November unemployment rate held steady with the previous month’s mark and continued its six-year string of declines from year-earlier levels, the Labor Dept. has reported.

The industry also added 19,000 jobs during in November, the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its latest monthly employment report, released on Dec. 2.

BLS said that construction’s jobless rate for November was 5.7%, the same as October’s, and down from November 2015’s 6.2%.

The industry’s rate has shown year-over-year-improvement every month since September 2000. BLS rates aren’t adjusted for seasonal variations.

Construction’s November job gains came in nearly all sectors. Residential specialty trade contractors led the way, with an increase of 14,700. Residential building picked up 4,900. Nonresidential construction added 1,100.

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Former courthouse to become condos

The Salem News | By Paul Leighton
December 1, 2016

ipswich-courtIPSWICH — One of the town’s most prominent historic buildings will soon be turned into condominiums.

Construction has begun on the old Town Hall, the Greek Revival building at the corner of South Main and Elm streets that is also known as the former home of the Ipswich District Court.

The building has been empty since the district court moved out in 2004 (it’s now up in Newburyport) and had been the subject of a lawsuit by the town against its owner over its disrepair.

But the building was purchased in October by Beverly-based developer Jeff Holloran for $590,000 and is now being renovated. The project will include 11 condominium units and a commercial floor space.

“We’re excited about it and we’re pleased with the project,” Town Manager Robin Crosbie said. “Since it is sort of an icon as you come into town, it was really important to us that it be restored, and that its exterior historic character remain intact. It also brings more housing opportunity to a town where people struggle to find housing.”

The building was constructed by the Unitarian Church in 1833 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was sold to the town 10 years after it was built and was used as a town hall and later as a district court.

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New solar project approved for Broadway

Panels will bring in between $24K-$27K annually for next 25 years

Eagle Tribune | By Peter Francis
December 2, 2016

HAVERHILL — The City Council voted on Tuesday to approve the construction of another solar array on Broadway that will bring in almost $650,000 over the next 25 years.

Purchasing Agent Orlando Pacheco said this week that the array is part of a community solar project. While the city will not be buying any power from the panels, it will receive a starting payment of $24,697 in lieu of taxes.

That money will increase by 2.5 percent every five years, according to the agreement with Clean Energy Collective Solar of Worcester, bringing the total haul for the city to $648,670.

At 1.3 megawatts Pacheco said the project it is not as large as some solar arrays that have been or are being built around the city.

Over the last few months, Haverhill has become the state’s preeminent “solar city,” with a new project or purchasing agreement being approved seemingly on a weekly basis.

Most recently, the city council approved plans in October for Omni Navitas to construct solar canpoies atop the parking lots of the city’s two MBTA Commuter Rail stations in Haverhill and Bradford, which the city will purchase power from.

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Green Line Extension meeting in Somerville

The Boston Globe | By John Laidler
December 1, 2016

Area residents can learn more about the status of the Green Line Extension at a public meeting the MBTA is holding in Somerville on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

The session, presented by the interim project management team, is set for 6 to 8 p.m. in the auditorium of the high school, 81 Highland Ave.

The meeting will provide an update on the $2.3 billion plan to extend the rapid transit line 4.7 miles into Medford and Somerville. The project has been stalled for nearly a year since the MBTA discovered the plan could be close to $1 billion over its $2 billion budget.

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Arsenal Mall rebuild to begin soon, under new name

The Boston Globe | By Tim Logan
December 1, 2016

arsenal-mallDevelopers are taking the wraps off a major renovation of Arsenal Mall.

Boylston Properties is unveiling new renderings and getting ready to launch a massive modernization of the Watertown shopping center, which will replace an aging section of the mall, and much of its vast parking lots, with new retail buildings and about 500 apartments. The mall will be renamed Arsenal Yards.

“The place is just going to be very different,” said Boylston principal Bill McQuillan.

The redesign will also make it easier to access the 12-acre Arsenal Park on the Charles River along Greenough Boulevard. Tenant turnover will likely be big, too. While the Arsenal Mall’s massive Home Depot will stay, the new project would include boutique stores and national retailers, “chef-driven restaurants,” and more, McQuillan said.

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Boston Flower Exchange Moving To Chelsea In January

Banker & Tradesman | By Steve Adams
November 30, 2016

bfeThe Boston Flower Exchange will move to a new home in Chelsea in early January, as its longtime South End property is eyed for a large mixed-use development.

The wholesale cooperative leased 65,000 square feet at 260 Second Ave., said Austin Smith, a senior vice president for Colliers International Boston. The property formerly housed Kettle Cuisine, which moved to an expanded manufacturing site in Lynn in 2014.

The flower exchange has begun $2 million in improvements to the interior and landlord Cassano Development will install a new roof, Smith said. Cupp & Cupp Flowers of Boston is the lessee and the remainder of the flower vendors will be subtenants.

Large industrial spaces are scarce in Boston and the inner suburbs, with only 150,000 square feet of industrial space currently available in high-quality buildings, Smith said.

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Facade redesigned at planned Newtonville complex

The Boston Globe | By Allison Pohle
December 1, 2016

newtonbilleNEWTON — Responding to local feedback, a developer has revised the exterior of an office, retail and residential development proposed at the corner of Washington and Walnut Streets in Newtonville.

The three-building complex proposed by Mark Development would replace eight buildings that now house several businesses including Karoun Restaurant, Boston Ballet School, and Newtonville Camera.

In the revised plans, the architects have adjusted the West Building façade so it has a more irregular roofline, while the East Building’s four-story section on Walnut Street now has dormers and more variety at the roofline.

In addition, the East Building façade has been revised with a new tower element, updated windows, and an altered cornice. The West Building now has brick in its façade.
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The new space will include as many as 164 residential units, about 40,000 square feet of commercial space, 2,000 square feet of community space, and 346 parking spots.

The adjustments presented Tuesday to the City Council’s Land Use Committee came in response to feedback from five previous public hearings regarding the mixed-used development project.

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ZBA appeals state decision, putting Mugar hearing on hold

Wicked Local Arlington | By Bram Berkowitz
November 30, 2016

It could be awhile before the public hearing on the proposed 219-unit Mugar affordable housing project resumes.

The town’s Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday, Nov. 29 unanimously voted to appeal a recent state decision denying the town safe harbor status on affordable housing projects, a move that could delay the public hearing up to eight months.

Safe harbor status

Safe harbor status allows local zoning boards greater autonomy over the design and footprint of affordable housing projects that they have to approve. It also makes ZBA decisions on affordable housing projects appeal-proof.

To achieve safe harbor status, the town has to show that it has affordable housing on at least 1.5 percent of the total land in the town. On Nov. 17, the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development sided with the Mugar developer, Oaktree Development, and ruled that the town fell short of this threshold.

The decision has big ramifications because safe harbor status creates a much easier path for the ZBA to deny the Mugar project, an outcome that many residents and the Board of Selectmen desire, or potentially reduce the project’s size.

Despite the setback, however, town officials continued to assert that the town does have safe harbor status.
“The town maintains that our data, our methodology and our legal reasoning are sound,” said Arlington Town Counsel Doug Heim.

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$13 million expansion & renovation at Concord Museum

Wicked Local Concord | By Henry Schwan
November 29, 2016

At a cost of $13 million, the Concord Museum has received the green light to break ground on an expansion and renovation.

Museum Executive Director Peggy Burke told the Concord Selectmen Nov. 28 that the museum’s board of directors voted Nov. 14 to break ground sometime this winter, and the hope is to finish the work in early 2019.

Burke said the expansion includes more parking, and there’s a renovation component to the project that will increase visitor and gallery space in the existing building.

More space is needed, according to Burke, especially in the area of student education, because the museum attracts 12,500 students annually.

“We’re out of space,” Burke said.

According to Burke, the expansion would include a new education center connected to the museum. The three-story center will include classrooms on the first floor, collectibles and storage on the second and offices on the top floor.

An outdoor courtyard is also planned, and a doubling of the size of the parking lot.

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Proposed expansion of Malden apartments raises traffic concerns

Wicked Local Malden | By Aaron Leibowitz
November 30, 2016

quarrystoneCity officials are not quite ready to give the go-ahead to the latest phase of development along Route 1 at the border of Malden and Revere.

Citing traffic concerns, the Rowe’s Quarry Site Plan Review Committee tabled an application for three new five-story apartment buildings on Tuesday during its meeting at the Malden Senior Center.

The 326-unit proposal represents the latest phase in a massive development project overseen by Roseland Property Company, a Mack-Cali subsidiary that has already erected approximately 1,400 units at the former Rowe’s Quarry site in northeast Malden and across the Revere line. Ultimately, the project could expand to as many as 2,800 residential units, 150,000 square feet of commercial space, and a 250-room hotel.

The committee seemed poised to approve the 326 units until a resident, George Lane of Lynn Street, expressed concern that cars can only exit the community onto Salem Street. The road running through the community, Overlook Ridge Drive, does not connect to Route 1.

In 2009, MassHighway indicated it would build an on-ramp from Overlook Ridge Drive to Route 1 northbound in order to address traffic concerns, as long as the developer paid a design fee. But according to Malden Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Deborah Burke, the project has fallen off the state’s priority list in recent years.

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Lupoli plans 8-12 story building in city

Council OKs sale of land to developer for $700K

Eagle Tribune | By Peter Francis
November 29, 2016

lupoliHAVERHILL — As Harbor Place prepares to welcome its first occupants in the coming months, another game-changing development is coming just a few blocks away.

The city will be selling a three-acre property at 194 Merrimack St. to The Lupoli Companies for $701,000, where Salvatore Lupoli, a Chelmsford developer and restaurateur, plans to construct an 8-12 story building which will offer office space, market-rate housing, and a ground level Salvatore’s Restaurant.

“This is one of the best projects ever to come to the city of Haverhill. It will be a beacon people see for miles around,” Mayor James Fiorentini said of the building which will soon occupy the property between the Merrimack Street Rent-A-Center and Haverhill Bank. “We were hoping for a good bid, but nowhere near as good as this.”

Fiorentini spoke of a tour he took a decade ago of Riverwalk Properties, the former mill building Lupoli purchased along the Merrimack River in Lawrence and how he envisioned a similar project providing a similar jolt to Haverhill.

Today, the over 200 businesses housed in the 3.6 million square foot Riverwalk employ 5,000 people, and building is the biggest taxpayer in the city of Lawrence, said Fiorentini.

Now, many of the businesses which operate out of Lupoli’s former mill building are looking not to move, but to expand — and he believes Haverhill is the place for them to go.

Standing before the council, Lupoli spoke of his vision for downtown Haverhill, another former mill city seated on a river which has been so good to him and his company.

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Former Merck Campus Sold For $167M

Banker & Tradesman | By Steve Adams
November 30, 2016

Cambridge developer King Street Properties has acquired the former Cubist Pharmaceuticals property in Lexington with plans to market 215,000 square feet to small and mid-sized biotech firms.

The purchase price was $167 million. Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies provided $150.4 million in acquisition financing.

Fast-growing Irish pharmaceutical giant Shire occupies 177,000 square feet of offices at 45-55 Hayden Ave. after leasing the space in February. A vacant 215,000-square-foot lab building at 65 Hayden Ave. will be converted into multitenant life science space, King Street Principal Thomas Ragno told Banker & Tradesman.

It’s a similar strategy to the one that King Street Properties executed at 200 Cambridge Park Drive in Alewife, where it acquired a former Pfizer lab building in 2014 for $40 million. King Street sold it for $165.5 million less than two years later after renovating and filling the 221,676-square-foot building with six new life science tenants.

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