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Business Manager’s Blog


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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City seeks exemption to allow shadow cast by Winthrop Square tower

The Boston Globe | By Tim Logan
January 19, 2017

The skyscraper that Millennium Partners has proposed for Winthrop Square could be the last new building to cast a shadow on Boston Common, under a plan being floated by city officials to win support for the 775-foot tower.

The Walsh administration is willing to write tougher rules restricting the size of shadows that new buildings can cast on Boston Common, as long as there’s an exemption for Winthrop Square, said Brian Golden, director of the Boston Planning & Development Agency. That could effectively cap the height of future buildings in parts of Downtown Crossing.

The deal could allow the city to reap the $153 million that Millennium is offering to pay for rights to build on the site of the defunct parking garage. And, Golden said, it could ease worries from neighbors and parks advocates that the Winthrop Square Tower would be just the first of several to darken the historic park.

“We think this is a meaningful, concrete step to address those concerns,” Golden said. “And it yields $153 million for the City of Boston.”
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A 1990 state law governing shadows on the Common created a “shadow bank,’’ limiting the shade cast in the historic park by future buildings to about an acre. The Ritz-Carlton on Avery Street, also built by Millennium, used about three-fourths of the available shadow bank when it was built in 2001. About a quarter acre remains available.

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Housing pitched for LaGrange lot

21-story glass tower would have 176 units

Boston Herald | By Donna Goodison
January 20, 2017

A 21-story apartment building with up to 176 units would replace a long-time parking lot in the Midtown Cultural District under a Boston development team’s proposal.

QMG LaGrange LLC is seeking city approvals for a 157,000-square-foot building at 47-55 LaGrange St., between Washington and Tremont streets, at the edge of the Theatre District. The slope-roofed building designed by Stantec includes just 20 parking spaces. Thirteen of the studio to two-bedroom apartments would be designated as affordable.

QMG LaGrange includes developers John Matteson of Matteson Cos., Steve Goodman of GFI Partners and Fan Du(CQ) of Qianlong Property Development.
The project is subject to review by the Boston Planning & Development Agency. The building’s proposed 240-foot height exceeds the maximum by-right height of 155 feet for the district and will require a Zoning Board of Appeal(CQ) variance.

QMG LaGrange bought the 8,759-square-foot parcel for $3.95 million last year.

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Malden officials discuss $6.7M elderly public housing grant

Wicked Local Malden
January 18, 2017

At an event recently held at the Forestdale Housing Community Room, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, on behalf of Gov. Charlie Baker, and undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay announced $17.8 million in funding to be provided for the rehabilitation of public elderly housing units in the cities of Malden, Chelsea, Ipswich and Gloucester.

Malden Housing Authority will receive a $6,695,000 award for the rehabilitation of 103 units at the Forestdale development.

Malden Housing Authority Executive Director Steve Finn applied for the grant last September through the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Modernizing Public Housing and Supporting Elders Program, which works in collaboration with the Executive Office of Elder Affairs. ModPHASE seeks to preserve and modernize public housing communities with high-capital needs and facilitate stronger relationships between local housing authorities and local elder service agencies. The program also supports the capacity for current and future public housing residents to age in their communities.

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Developer/owner seeking to build 5-story complex off Peabody Sq.

Dorchester Reporter | By Bill Forry
January 19, 2017

The owner of a Dorchester-based construction firm hopes to demolish his existing office building near Peabody Square and replace it with a five-story mixed-use complex with 20 apartments.

The initial plans for the project, which will trigger a review process from the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) and require variances from the city’s zoning board, were shown to members of the Ashmont-Adams Neighborhood Association at their monthly meeting last Thursday.

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Chevron Partners Acquires Fourth Boston-Area Property

Banker & Tradesman
January 18, 2017

Boston-based Chevron Partners has acquired 727 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge’s Central Square for $14 million.

The 21,288-square-foot office and retail property is 100 percent occupied including anchor tenant Bank of America, co-working space provider InTeahouse and business intelligence provider Dimensional Insight.

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s capital markets team of Robert Griffin, Geoffrey Millerd, Justin Smith, Paul Penman and Christopher Peterson represented the seller, Rink Realty. NGKF has been named the leasing agent led by David Townsend and Jason Cameron.

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US jobless claims hit lowest level in more than 43 years

Boston Herald | By Associated Press
January 19, 2017

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level in more than 43 years, another sign that most American workers enjoy job security.

THE NUMBERS: The Labor Department said Thursday that 234,000 Americans sought jobless aid, a drop of 15,000 from the previous week and lowest since November 1973. The four-week average, which is less volatile, fell by 10,250 to 246,750, also the lowest since November 1973. The total number of people receiving unemployment benefits was 2.05 million, down 7.7 percent from a year earlier.

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Affordable housing complex proposed for vacant Dorchester lots

Boston Herald | By Donna Goodison
January 19, 2017

The Vietnamese American Initiative for Development Inc. hopes to build a mixed-use and mixed-income affordable housing complex with 41 apartments in Dorchester’s Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood.

The four-story building at 191-195 Bowdoin St. would include 6,057 square feet of ground-floor retail space, meeting space, an open plaza and 46 off-street parking spots. Apartments would be restricted as affordable to households with incomes at or below 60 percent or 30 percent of the area median income.

VietAID is a community development corporation formed in 1994 to focus on the Vietnamese-American community in Dorchester’s Fields Corner.

The project would be built on two vacant lots now used as community open space. They include a city parcel just under a quarter-acre that VietAID plans to buy for $100 and is appraised at $185,000. The Department of Neighborhood Development tentatively designated VietAID as the developer after a request for proposals for the surplus land.

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Mass. ends 2016 with lowest unemployment rate in 16 years

The Boston Globe | By Deirdre Fernandes
January 19, 2017

Massachusetts ended 2016 with the lowest unemployment rate in 16 years.

The state’s jobless rate dropped to 2.8 percent in December, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported on Thursday. The last time the unemployment rate dipped that low was in December 2000.

The state’s jobless rate was 2.9 percent in November. The state continues to have among the lowest unemployment rates in the US. The national unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in December.

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MIT closes $750m deal to redevelop Volpe Center in Kendall Square

The Boston Globe | By Tim Logan
January 18, 2017

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has closed on its purchase of the massive Volpe Center site in Kendall Square and will now push forward with its plans to turn the federal research park into a vibrant new hub for the booming neighborhood.

MIT on Wednesday signed a $750 million deal with the General Services Administration to buy the 14-acre site and build a new federal transportation research facility there. It will then have the rights to build on the rest of the site, set in the heart of one of the East Coast’s hottest real estate markets.

Redeveloping the tract gives the university a major role in the many changes coming to Kendall Square.

“What we have in mind is a big vision,” said MIT executive vice president Israel Ruiz. “We want to do more in Kendall Square. This enables us to do it at a level of scale.”

So far, MIT has few specific uses in mind, but zoning changes proposed for the property contemplate a mix of housing, office, lab, and retail space, and parks. The university, which plans a community meeting on the project next month, said it will work closely with Cambridge officials and residents during the rezoning.

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The Hilltop cactus sticks with new development

The Boston Globe | By Adam Vaccaro
January 18, 2017

The Hilltop Steak House may be gone, but the giant cactus that for decades stood outside the iconic Route 1 restaurant will stay potted in place.

The developer planning to turn the former restaurant into a housing and retail outpost told Saugus officials at a public meeting Tuesday night that the colorful 68-foot cactus sign would be incorporated into the new project.

“It really is an important marker for the site. It really does represent the history of the site, and our intent is to keep it,” Michael Roberts, senior vice president of Boston development for developer AvalonBay Communities, said in an interview Wednesday.

The cactus likely needs new lighting and other renovations, Roberts said. It’s also unclear what the signage on the cactus will eventually read.

But its survival represents another reprieve for a Route 1 landmark as the quirky commercial stretch of road undergoes a big face lift with several new planned developments. The large orange dinosaur at Route One Miniature Golf & Batting Cages, which was closed last fall, is also expected to be worked in to a redevelopment of that property.

There may not be a lifeboat for every icon, however. Developers recently proposed replacing The Ship Restaurant in Lynnfield, which resembles the vessel its name suggests, with retail buildings.

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About Arsenal Yards

Arsenal Mall, 485 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA


Approved multi-phased redevelopment and expansion of the former Arsenal Mall opening late 2018 in Watertown’s East End. Arsenal Yards will feature 350,000 square feet of retail and entertainment, approximately 500 residences and 100,000 square feet of office space. Retail at Arsenal Yards will include a 30,000 square foot specialty grocer, a cinema with 6-8 limited-seating screens, active entertainment, a combination of boutiques and national retailers, half a dozen chef-driven restaurants and a premium wine superstore. Approximately 500 new residential units, including 428 market-rate residences and 75 affordable apartments, will be constructed ranging from studios to three-bedrooms.

Two existing historic buildings at Arsenal Yards will be restored and repositioned with creative architectural additions. Five new buildings will be constructed on existing surface parking lots ranging from 3 to 12 stories and 40 to 129 feet tall, including a 12-story, 129 foot tall residential tower.

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Zoning a hot topic for Danvers’ downtown

The Salem News | By Ethan Forman
January 18, 2017

DANVERS — Planners Tuesday night spoke about their vision for 14 acres around Maple Street, envisioning a mix of attractive shops on the ground floor with residences above in what is now a hardscrabble industrial area just off the downtown dominated by electric heater maker Hotwatt.

The future of the area, which includes other businesses and workers’ cottages, is in flux.

The zoning consultant hired by the town, Ted Brovitz, owner of Brovitz Community Planning and Design LLC, said Hotwatt could be moving from the neighborhood in about a year, so the question then becomes, what will become of the mostly industrial area.

It’s a question the town’s Planning Department and Planning Board have been wrestling with for years.

Consultants for the town are proposing the creation of an overlay Smart Growth Zoning District, with the goal of spurring attractive development at the intersection of Hobart and Maple streets, where Hotwatt is located now. The idea would be to create a walkable mix of shops, sandwich shops, offices or other businesses along the street, Brovitz said. Residences would go behind or above this.

The new zoning could also create hundreds of other residences in the area as well.

Some residents at a Town Hall public forum Tuesday night, however, had their concerns.

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Home Solar Provider Opens First Location In MA

Banker & Tradesman
January 17, 2017

Level Solar will move into its first location in the state in Westwood.

The company, with five offices in New York City and Rhode Island, has leased 14,419 square feet at 60 Glacier Drive. Level Solar will occupy a portion of the space in the 105,000-square-foot building, owned and managed by Carruth Capital.

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Developer plans 16 condos in Southie

Boston Herald | By Donna Goodison
January 17, 2017

A Boston developer is seeking Boston Planning & Development Agency approval for a 16-unit condominium building near Andrew Square in South Boston that has a $6.2 million project price tag.

Anthony Saladino, of Transcend LLC, wants to construct the five-story building at 33-39 Ward St.

Thirteen two-bedroom and three three-bedroom units, with two to 3 1⁄2 bathrooms and ranging from 1,067 to 2,104 square feet, are planned. Six units would have balconies, and two would be affordable.

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Jamaica Plain’s Residences at Forest Hills gets green light

252 apartments across from T

Curbed Boston | By Tom Acitelli
January 17, 2017

The Boston Planning and Development Agency has signed off on Waltham-based developer Criterion Development Partners plans to construct a three-building complex with 252 apartments across Washington Street from the Forest Hills T stop.

The so-called Residences at Forest Hills would include 58 studios, 125 1-BRs, 58 2-BRs, and 11 3-BRs, with 50 units designated as affordable.

There will also be 5,500 square feet of retail space.

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