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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 37 year member of Local 103, Dumas is a seasoned and experienced leader. Along with serving as 103’s president for the past 18 years, Dumas 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.


Boston offering $20M for affordable housing projects

Boston Business Journal | By Catherine Carlock
December 19, 2014

Mayor Walsh 6Boston Mayor Martin Walsh on Thursday said the city is offering $20 million through a competitive bid process to spur the creation of affordable housing.

The city’s department of neighborhood development has put out two separate requests for proposals valued at $10 million apiece. The RFPs outline criteria for affordable housing projects, including: an efficient and reduced-cost building process; housing development targeting a mix of incomes; housing that serves the disabled, vulnerable and special needs populations; and housing that serves elders, veterans, artists and aging-out youth, among other criteria.

“This is the first round of funding being made available that will help us fulfill the goals outlined in our new housing policy,” Walsh said in a statement. “We are going to use these funds in a strategic, responsible way, supporting the development of housing that’s affordable, attractive, and efficient. This is a major first step toward ensuring that everyone who wants to make Boston better can access housing they can afford.”

Walsh has made affordable housing a major priority of his administration through programs such as Boston 2030, which pledges the creation of 53,000 new housing units dedicated for a variety of incomes in the city by the year 2030.

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Cushing Village design changes approved

Planning Board members approved updated design changes to the Cushing Village development, Tuesday evening.

Wicked Local Belmont | By Lindsey O’Donnell
December 16, 2014

Planning Board MembersPlanning Board members approved updated design changes to the Cushing Village development, Tuesday evening.

The decision marks a stepping stone in rolling out the 186,000-square-foot, three-building development’s design, slated to be on Trapelo Road and Common Street.

The design changes relate to the development’s three main buildings, the Winslow Building, the Hyland Building, and the Pomona Building.

The updates to the Hyland building will move the building’s entrance location and expand the size of the roof’s deck features. A proposed alteration to the Winslow building would also enlarge its roof penthouse to provide more community space for residents.

In addition, developers proposed relocating the municipal parking garage’s pedestrian entrance from the corner of Trapelo and Common streets to the west corner of the Pomona building.

Another proposed change suggested adding venting appliances through the exterior walls of all three buildings.

Planning Board Chairman Michael Battista said he recently met with the architect of the development, Peter Quinn, to look over the design changes.

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Boston OK’s move of state transit offices to Roxbury

The Boston Globe | By Jack Newsham
December 19, 2014

Tremont CrossingThe board of the Boston Redevelopment Authority moved a plan forward Thursday to build a new headquarters for

Massachusetts Department of Transportation in Roxbury.

The city-owned parcel south of Ruggles Station was tentatively designated to the transportation agency, which wants to build approximately 800,000 square feet of office space and 21,000 space for an African-American art museum. The redevelopment agency’s board also voted to approve an expansion of the Bayside DoubleTree Hotel in Dorchester and three other projects totalling 178 residential units.

Nick Martin, a spokesperson for the BRA, said the deal was given only preliminary approval because the city still had to arrange a land-swap with the state.

Prior to Thursday’s meeting, the vacant land in Roxbury had been the planned site of a massive mixed-use development called Tremont Crossing that would include condos, retail spaces, and arts space. With that project stalled by a lack of financing, however, the private development company P-3 Partners plans to lease 126,000 square feet from the Department of Transportation ”for retail and other uses,” the BRA said in a statement.

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Salem Power Plant: Developer granted one-year deferment

Wicked Local Salem | By William J. Dowd
December 10, 2014

Despite protests from local residents and energy-producing competitors, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday, Dec. 5, granted Footprint Power a one-year deferment on its five-year obligation to generate electricity from its proposed 674-megawatt power plant in Salem Harbor.

The deferment addresses the fact that Footprint now acknowledges it will not be able to begin supplying power to the regional grid on June 1, 2016, as it had to do by participating in ISO New England’s forward-capacity auction for that time period.

Now, less than 18 months from that June 1, 2016, start date, Footprint has yet to obtain the $1 billion to finance the plant’s construction, which the company has estimated will take 30 months. Under the commission’s order, Footprint now has until June 1, 2017, to finance and build the plant and begin producing electricity.

In July, FERC revised its rules to make the deferment application possible. Based on Footprint’s predicament, a facility sponsor can now request a deferment, so long as a grid operator is relying on the proposed plant, existing delays are preventing a facility from going online and the facility becoming operational is deemed critical, criteria Footprint was able to meet.

In Footprint’ deferral application, filed with the commission in October, the company argues that four residents’ challenge to the Environmental Appeals Board in March to the permit that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection had issued for the project had stalled the plant’s construction.

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East Middle School’s $7 million improvement project moves forward

Wicked Local Braintree | By Tom Gorman
December 17, 2014

The East Middle School improvement project has taken another important step forward as officials are preparing to hire an owner’s project manager.

The Braintree School Committee authorized the school building committee to send its owner’s project manager selection to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) for approval.

According to school business manager Edward Cronin, the school building committee had sent out requests for quotes from companies that would serve as the district’s owner’s project manager that would oversee the $7 million project at East Middle. The owner’s project manager is required by the MSBA.

“We received quite a few (requests) already,” he said.

Cronin said that the candidates did a walk-through at the school and a “short list” of finalists is to be sent to the MSBA by Jan. 1. The agency would then select the project manager by mid January.

“The process is moving very quickly,” school business manager Cronin said.

The project involves replacing the school’s 50-year-old heating and ventilation system, installing new windows, doors, ceilings, lights and a sprinkler system.

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Allen Street rezoning discussion on former BELD site pushed to Jan. 6

Wicked Local Braintree | By Robert Aicardi
December 18, 2014

During their first meeting of the new year, members of the town council’s committee on ordinances and rules will continue to talk about a proposal to rezone the former Braintree Electric Light Department (BELD) site at 44 Allen St. to allow for residential development.

Committee members unanimously agreed Dec. 16 to resume their discussion at their next meeting, scheduled for Jan. 6 at 5:30 p.m. in the Cahill Auditorium at town hall, but District 4 Councilor Stephen O’Brien is making it clear that he opposes the idea.

“When I ran for this seat, I ran on a platform of controlled development,” he said. “This zoning would allow a large development to go forward.”

District 5 Councilor Michael Owens said he supports the proposal.

“Transit-oriented development is very important,” he said. “It has to be done right. What I would hate to see happen would be for us to go down the wrong path.”

Even though, at the suggestion of Director of Planning and Community Development Christine Stickney, the planning board agreed 4-0 Nov. 10 (member James Eng was absent) to endorse the request Stickney submitted to rezone this property, the town council, in its role as Braintree’s legislative body, will have the final say after the ordinances and rules committee decides whether to recommend favorable action. The next meeting of the council is set for Tuesday, Jan. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cahill Auditorium of town hall.

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Emerson College gives time frames for dormitory projects on Boylston Street

Boston Business Journal | By Mary Moore
December 18, 2014

EmersonEmerson College plans to begin construction in April on an 18-story undergraduate student dorm at Boylston Place, which runs off Boylston Street.

Emerson College announced specific time frames Wednesday for the construction and renovation of student housing along Boylston Street that is expected to add 670 beds to Emerson’s current 1,916 residential capacity for undergraduates.

In April, Emerson will begin construction on a new dorm building at 1-3 Boylston Place, which is an alley that runs off Boylston Street. This is planned as an 18-story project with space for 380 and social areas. This building is expected to be completed by the summer of 2017 and available for students that fall.

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Wellesley College agrees to sell 46 undeveloped acres to town

The Boston Globe | By Jennifer Fenn Lafferts
December 19, 2014

North 40 WellesleyWellesley College has agreed to sell 46 acres of undeveloped land to the town, a move that will generate revenue for campus improvements while protecting the property from large-scale development and giving the town much-needed space for municipal uses.

The college’s board of trustees voted unanimously Wednesday to accept the town’s bid of $35 million for the so-called North 40 parcel. The college and the town’s Board of Selectmen signed a purchase-and-sales agreement Thursday afternoon. Residents will be asked to approve the sale at a special Town Meeting next month and election in March.

“The fact that the town’s offer was so responsive to the issues and values the college has around open space and sustainability and the impact on neighbors and town services, meant that it rose to the top of the bids we looked at,’’ said Marianne Cooley, assistant to Wellesley College’s president and secretary for its board of trustees.

The town beat out 12 other proposals for the coveted residentially zoned land on Weston Road, which many residents and officials feared could be developed for 80 to 100 single-family homes.

“We are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement with the college,” said Donald McCauley, a selectman and chair of the town’s North 40 Visioning Committee. “Acquisition of the North 40 will enable the town to control the future development of this important parcel in a thoughtful manner, and provides great opportunities to preserve open space, satisfy municipal needs, and ensure continued access to recreational land for Wellesley residents.”

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Braintree Planning Board closing in on final Whites Hill Estates decision

Wicked Local Braintree | By Robert Aicardi
December 18, 2014

Almost a year to the day after a public hearing began before the planning board, board members are set to cast a climactic vote next month about the controversial Whites Hill Estates proposal.

After members unanimously agreed Dec. 15 to grant a development waiver involving a 1,250-foot dead-end road, they scheduled a decision for Jan. 13 at 8:30 p.m. in the Cahill Auditorium of town hall about the overall application submitted by OIB Corporation for a definitive subdivision plan amendment.

At that time, what is expected to be a lengthy list of conditions concerning such issues as blasting will be brought forward for OIB’s consideration and consent.

“It’s encouraging, but this is not a done deal,” OIB partner James Douglas said. “We’ve still got the final vote ahead of us.”
When the hearing started Jan. 14, 2014 what was under consideration was a plan to subdivide 15 acres off Liberty Street into 17 house lots, but in the end, Douglas and co-owner Kevin Emery suggested building homes on eight lots and giving the rest of the land to the town as a forest reserve.

What turned out to be a key development was Douglas and Emery’s willingness to add the so-called “Lot 17” to the five acres they earlier donated.

As they have argued since the initial Whites Hill Estates plan was brought forward in 1994, some residents feel the construction of new homes in their neighborhood would create traffic problems and also lead to the public schools having to serve more students. Others are worried about sight lines from the Whites Hill exit onto Liberty Street and water runoff issues.

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Massachusetts adds 13,500 jobs in November, unemployment down to 5.8 percent

Since November 2013, Massachusetts has added a net of 59,600 jobs; with 57,400 jobs added in the private sector. The total unemployment rate for the year is down 1.3 percent from the November 2013 rate of 7.1 percent.

Wicked Local Easton
December 18, 2014

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) today reported that preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show Massachusetts added 13,500 jobs in November for a total preliminary estimate of 3,438,500. The November total unemployment rate was 5.8 percent, down 0.2 of a percentage point over the month.

Since November 2013, Massachusetts has added a net of 59,600 jobs; with 57,400 jobs added in the private sector. The total unemployment rate for the year is down 1.3 percent from the November 2013 rate of 7.1 percent.

BLS also revised its October job estimates to a 1,600 job gain from the 1,200 gain previously reported for the month.

November 2014 Employment Overview

Education and Health Services added 3,900 (+0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 18,100 (+2.5%) jobs.

Financial Activities gained 2,600 (+1.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities added 4,500 (+2.2%) jobs.

Other Services added 1,700 (+1.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services jobs are up 2,800 (+2.2%) jobs.

Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 1,600 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 13,000 (+2.5%) jobs.

Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 1,500 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities gained 9,000 (+1.6%) jobs.

Manufacturing gained 1,300 (+0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing lost 1,300 (-0.5%) jobs.

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Mayor Walsh poised to set fund-raising record in his first year

Mayor set to break mark on donations

The Boston Globe | By Andrew Ryan
December 19, 2014

Mayor Walsh 5Mayor Martin J. Walsh, maximizing his new power and influence in his first year in office, is poised to break the annual fund-raising record for an incumbent Boston mayor.

Campaign finance records show Walsh has already raised more than $1.5 million, an amount that nearly eclipses the high mark for his predecessor, Thomas M. Menino, whose top year was 2009, when he faced his toughest reelection campaign.

The new mayor’s fund-raising prowess sends a clear message to potential challengers by underscoring the power of incumbency in Boston, where a sitting mayor has not lost an election in 65 years.

“The idea of taking up all the oxygen in the room so nobody else can breathe is not a bad strategy. Money is like oxygen,” said Paul Watanabe, a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston who served on Walsh’s transition team.

Since January, Walsh has raised more than twice what all 13 councilors have received, combined. He may be three years from an election, but Walsh has vastly outraised any other elected official who lives in Boston, including Secretary of State William F. Galvin, members of the Legislature, and US Representative Stephen P. Lynch.

In an interview, Walsh said his fund-raising team has had a “very good year” and he described the haul as “testament to people approving” of his administration. Walsh rejected a suggestion that his swelling campaign coffers would scare off competition when he is up for reelection in 2017.

“When people get reelected, it’s based on their performance,” Walsh said. “The people in the neighborhoods don’t care what I have in the bank. If they don’t see me and know I’m working hard for them, they’re not going to vote for me.”

‘I don’t think anybody likes fund-raising, but I’m very happy with the year we’ve had.’

Campaign contributions have poured in from a variety of donors: real estate moguls, firefighters, developers, police, restaurant owners, teachers, executives, plumbers, physicians, bankers, and dentists, records show.

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Cambridge Office Building Fetches $41.5M

Banker & Tradesman
December 18, 2014

A discretionary fund formed by PM Realty Group (PMRG) and The Roseview Group has acquired a Cambridge office building for $41.5 million.

Roseview-PMRG Fund I purchased 100 Cambridge Park Drive, a five-story, 135,572-square-foot office building. This was the first acquisition for the $250 million discretionary fund, which was formed in July to acquire and reposition office properties across the United States. It will target mid-teens returns with total investment per asset of $15 to $65 million in primary and secondary markets, according to a press release.

Roseview-PMRG Fund I represented itself in the acquisition. Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller, Transatlantic Investment Management.

The fund will invest several million dollars to re-position the property, including lobby and other common area renovations. It is 78 percent leased to tenants including Cambridge Systematics, Cambridge Savings Bank, ICF International and Modo Labs. PMRG’s Boston office will oversee property management with leasing being handled by Joseph Flaherty’s team at Colliers International.

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IDB Wants To Add Restaurant, Food Vendors

Banker & Tradesman | By Steve Adams
December 17, 2014

The operator of the Innovation and Design Building in South Boston is seeking approval to add a full-service restaurant and several quick-service food outlets on the ground floor of the 1.4-million-square-foot complex.

One restaurant offering seated dinner service would be located on the first or second floor of the complex, and several “grab-and-go” outlets would be located on the ground floor, according to the application filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Atlanta developer Jamestown, which leases the complex from the city, is seeking to add amenities as it recruits additional office, lab and makerspace tenants. Currently, Au Bon Pain is the complex’s only food vendor, although Jamestown added a daily rotation of food trucks last spring.

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Newbury Collection Adds Shake Shack, Three Other Retailers

Banker & Tradesman
December 17, 2014

Real estate developer Jamestown is adding four new tenants to its Newbury Collection properties in Boston’s Back Bay, including the area’s biggest Shake Shack burger restaurant.

The New York-based burger chain has signed a two-story lease at 236 Newbury St., where it will open in spring 2015, Jamestown said. The restaurant is one of six retailers that recently signed or renewed leases at Jamestown-owned Newbury Street properties.

Tusk Monogram Collection, which offers a variety of customized items ranging from bed linens to glassware, has opened at 115 Newbury St.

Newbury Handmade Market, a holiday pop-up shop, features hand-crafted products from local artists at 301 Newbury St. from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Christmas Eve.

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Brewery expansion on tap for Jack’s Abby

Boston Herald | By Donna Goodison
December 18, 2014

Jack's Abby BeersFramingham craft beer maker Jack’s Abby Brewing will undergo a major expansion that will allow it to ramp up production, offer its beer in cans and 12-pack bottles and open a restaurant and much larger tasting room.

The 3-year-old company has leased new space in Framingham that will expand its brewery more than five-fold to 67,000 square feet with state-of-the-art brewing equipment.

“The craft beer industry, as a whole, has been picking up (and) we’ve been beneficiaries of that,” said Eric Hendler, who cofounded Jack’s Abby with brothers Jack and Sam. “Additionally, we do only lagers, which are not very common for craft breweries to make. We feel that distinguishes us to the consumer.”

Jack’s Abby’s best-selling beer is Hoponius Union, an India pale lager.

Its new quarters in a former Avery Dennison plant will have an initial brewing capacity of 50,000 barrels annually — which it doesn’t expect to hit in the first year — and space to expand to 125,000. The Hendlers plan to start brewing there in late 2015.

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