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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.


Millennium Partners lands another Caffè Nero in Downtown Crossing

Boston Business Journal | By Catherine Carlock
April 27, 2016

cafe nerroMillennium Partners has leased a space in Downtown Crossing’s historic Burnham Building to Caffè Nero, a European coffee house, which will bring the 335,000-square-foot commercial space at the building and the adjacent Millennium Tower to full occupancy.

The coffeeshop will be located on Summer Street less than half a mile from Downtown Crossing’s first Caffè Nero, which is located at the base of Millenium Place, another high-end condominium complex developed by Millennium Partners. Caffè Nero also has locations in Jamaica Plain, the South End and the Longwood Medical area.

The Boston Herald reported Wednesday that Old Navy has leased a 29,000-square-foot space at the Burnham Building that will stretch over two floors facing Washington Street.

Caffè Nero and Old Navy will join local grocery chain Roche Brothers, as well as Primark, the Dublin-based discount fashion retailer that opened a four-level store at the Burnham Building – its first U.S. location — last year. Millennium has also announced that award-winning chef Michael Mina plans to open Pabu Boston, a Japanese izakaya, on the first and second levels of Millennium Tower.

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Greater Boston construction employment continues hot streak

Boston Business Journal | By Catherine Carlock
April 27, 2016

g bosFor the third month running, employment in Greater Boston’s construction trades industry grew by 10 percent.

A metro-by-metro report released Wednesday by the Associated General Contractors of America shows that the Boston, Cambridge and Newton metropolitan area added 5,500 construction, mining and logging jobs in March compared to the year prior. That’s a 10 percent increase year-over-year, with the area reaching a total of 62,200 construction trades workers compared to 56,700 the year prior.

Construction employment in Greater Boston and Massachusetts has been on a hot streak since the start of the year, with the AGC reporting double-digit year-over-year increases in employment numbers. Boston itself is among the largest building booms in the city’s history, as seen in the Business Journal’s Crane Watch live map.

Ken Simonson, the chief economist for the AGC, said that more than two-thirds of the 358 metro areas the organization tracks added construction jobs in March. Construction employment increased in 244 of 358 metro areas, held flat in 44 and declined in 70 this March.

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MBTA selects developers for North Quincy mixed-use complex

The Boston Globe | By John Laidler
April 26, 2016

The MBTA has selected two firms to lease land at the North Quincy Red Line station for a mixed-use development that calls for housing, retail space, and a new parking garage. The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board unanimously approved granting lease rights to the joint venture of Maryland-based Bozzuto Development and Hingham-based Atlantic Development, according to the transit agency.

The bid was one of three considered by the MBTA to carry out its goal of a transit-oriented development that would spur economic growth while also generating revenue for the MBTA.

The agency had invited bids last July. Bozzuto/Atlantic’s offer, contingent on the developer receiving local permits, would pay the MBTA approximately $230 million over the course of a 99-year lease.

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Southie power plant fetches big price

The Boston Globe | By Tim Logan
April 26, 2016

south b plant

The power plant that looms over South Boston sold Tuesday for $24.25 million, according to Suffolk County property records.

A partnership of development firms Hilco Global and Redgate Partners closed on its purchase of Exelon Corp.’s New Boston Generating Station at the corner of Summer and First Streets. Hilco — which specializes in redeveloping industrial sites — said it hasn’t yet determined what it will build there, but local real estate experts predict the 18-acre waterfront site will likely be turned into a mixed-use housing and office project, with some of the century-old complex itself reused. Additional environmental cleanup may be needed for some uses.

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Old Navy to sail into Millennium Tower

Boston Herald | By Donna Goodison
April 27, 2016

old navyOld Navy will open a two-level store in Millennium Tower Boston in Downtown Crossing, and Irish retailer Primark will expand its first U.S. store into the same building.

With the signing of Caffe Nero as another tenant, Millennium Partners has fully leased the 335,000 square feet of retail space in the tower set to open this summer and adjacent to the Burnham building.

Old Navy’s approximately 29,000-square-foot store will stretch the entire length of the tower on Washington Street.

“It’s going to be their latest prototype,” Millennium Partners principal Joe Larkin said. “They’re trying really hard to be open before the end of the year. I expect they’ll actually be in before Thanksgiving.”

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Wynn Resorts wins key state OK

But may pay more for traffic fix

Boston Herald | By Matt Stout
April 26, 2016

wynIn awarding Wynn Resorts a key environmental approval for its proposed $2 billion Everett casino, the gaming commission tucked in a clause that could subject developers to paying even more toward relieving traffic concerns in Charlestown’s Sullivan Square.

The “re-opener” the board included yesterday in giving the green light to Wynn’s environmental and traffic plans gives it the power to “adjust Wynn’s contribution” to paying for both a working group focused on traffic issues or for mitigating traffic directly.

Wynn is currently on the hook for $36 million for traffic improvements in Sullivan Square, according to Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office, which has pushed state officials to do more to hold casino magnate Steve Wynn accountable.

In a statement last night, Healey applauded the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for making sure Wynn pays its “fair share.” As recently as February, she had pushed state transportation officials to not sign off on an environmental certificate for the Wynn Boston Harbor casino, bemoaning the lack of any “long-term” plan to alleviate traffic concerns.

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Despite protests, agreement OK’d for Couper Farm

Lowell Sun | By Melissa Hanson
April 26, 2016

LITTLETON — Couper Farm will be developed under a Host Community Agreement that gifts the town 22 acres of open space, despite two hours of protest from residents Monday night who begged selectmen for more time to review the proposal.

Residents cried out during a two-hour public hearing that the Board of Selectmen should work harder to preserve the property, looking for ways to exercise its right of first refusal, or talk to the property’s owners to arrange another deal.

But the board passed the HCA unanimously.

Last year, the town was notified that the Couper Farm Irrevocable Trust was planning to sell the property, an iconic 34-acre farm located on a prominent section of Route 119, to developers at M&M Realty Trust. The town never received a bona fide offer that would allow it to exercise its right of first refusal, and the developers were planning on waiting for the property’s Massachusetts General Law Chapter 61A status to expire so they could build.

“We sat down at tables and it got heated and it got passionate. Cooler heads prevailed,” said Chairman Jim Karr. “We think that we put forward the best for the town in the HCA. Not everybody is going to be happy, and that’s the way it is.”

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Condos proposed near Egleston Square, Sam Adams brewery

Boston Business Journal | By Catherine Carlock
April 25, 2016

jp condo

A development trio has proposed a 49-unit condominium complex in Jamaica Plain near Egleston Square and the Samuel Adams brewery.

At The Stonybrook LLC and CRM Property Management Corp. have plans to build a five-story property at 3193 Washington St. The complex would include ground-floor retail, as well as on-site parking for 24 cars and 58 enclosed bicycle parking spaces.

The development group is led by Fred Starikov, Stephen Whalen and Josh Fetterman. CRM Property Management is part of City Realty, a full-service real estate firm with offices in Brighton and Brookline.

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Six developers vying to build hotel on Summer Street in South Boston

The Boston Globe | By Jon Chesto
April 25, 2016

summer stThe Massachusetts Port Authority has received six bids for its hotel project on Summer Street across from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in South Boston.

But good luck finding much about those bids: Massport isn’t saying anything about them, other than to identify the firms behind them, until after its selection process is done this summer.

The agency initially wanted to construct a hotel complex with as many as 1,200 rooms, to be built in tandem with a $1 billion expansion of the convention center. But Governor Charlie Baker put the convention center expansion on hold soon after taking office last year.

So Massport scaled back its ambitions, and is now looking to build a hotel in the 500-room range on its 2.1-acre parcel at the corner of Summer and D streets. The requirements now call for a minimum of 250 hotel rooms and some street-level retail spaces — although offices, condos or rental apartments could be included as part of a broader mixed-use development.

Three bids were submitted to Massport in recent weeks by developers that had been interested when the project was much larger in scope: Accordia Partners; The Fallon Co. and Capstone Development; and New Boston Hospitality and Omni Hotels and Resorts.

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N.Y. developer proposes 17-story limited-service hotel in Chinatown

Boston Herald | By Donna Goodison
April 23, 2016

A New York developer has plans to build a 17-story, limited-service hotel in Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood.

Westbrook Partners, a privately owned real estate investment management company, wants to construct an approximately 250-room hotel at 73-79 Essex St., replacing a largely vacant eight-story building that now includes the Ho Toy Noodle Co.

Westbrook has a long-term ground lease for the site, according to project plans filed this week with the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

The 137,000-square-foot hotel, with a proposed height of 181 feet, would include a basement fitness room, meeting rooms, and a second-floor lounge and food service area for hotel guests.

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A New Chapter In Arsenal History

Living Walls, Outdoor Classrooms And Winter Gardens

Banker & Tradesman | By Steve Adams
April 24, 2016

thenaAthenahealth’s master plan for expansion of its 760,000-square-foot Arsenal on the Charles campus in Watertown is full of contradictions.

It’s a 200-year-old site that embraces the latest in Millennial workplace trends. A long-term commitment to a suburban parcel surrounded by strip malls, while other IT companies move to urban centers. A vision for an open campus, in an industry responsible for safeguarding sensitive personal information.

As Athenahealth adds thousands of jobs over the next few years, the digital health records keeper needs much more room. It’s hired Stantec and Charles Rose Architects to make the pieces fit.

Their assignment: to add workspaces, amenities and 1,200 parking spaces while preserving historic elements and enhancing the public realm.

Silicon Valley-like campuses that envelop employees in a corporate bubble may work wonders for productivity, but Athenahealth is distancing itself from the model as it expands.

“Because it’s part of the country’s history, we wanted to ensure that it really remain as open and permeable as possible,” said Michael Crowley, vice president of the company’s real estate division, athenaEnvironment.“This is really a public treasure that should be enjoyed by not only those of us who come to work here every day, but also the public at large.”

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Suffolk plans bang-up job for HQ add-on

$22M Roxbury expansion

The Boston Herald | By Donna Goodison
April 23, 2016

suffolkSuffolk Construction is planning a $22 million expansion of its headquarters in Roxbury to accommodate an expected 10 percent increase in the number of employees working out of its home base in the next few years.

The privately held Boston building contractor plans to demolish four vacant warehouse buildings and construct a 38,000-square-foot building next to its existing Allerton Street facility, which houses 302 Suffolk employees in an industrial area of Roxbury.

“The new building has sufficient office space to accommodate this growth as well as the relocation of approximately 100 employees of an affiliated company, Liberty Construction, from Braintree to Roxbury,” Suffolk said in project documents filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Suffolk, which bills itself as the largest construction company in New England, has annual revenue of $2.5 billion.

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Seven Gables settlement house to become condos

The Salem News | By Dustin Luca
April 23, 2016

SALEM — Emmerton Hall, the former settlement house for The House of the Seven Gables, is on the market and poised to become condominiums.

Local developers Joe Skomurski and Larry Frej are planning to buy 114 Derby St. from The Gables and create six condominiums. Sizes of the condos haven’t been determined yet. Their plan also will include nine parking spaces.

The developers received the final approval they needed from the Planning Board Thursday night, opening the door for them to move forward with the project, according to attorney Scott Grover, who represents them. The final decision was on site plan review.

The Gables announced late last year that it was going to sell Emmerton Hall, the majority of which was built around 1806 as a residence for sea captain Joseph Waters. The Gables bought the property in 1966, and for years used it for its preschool, after-school and summer camp programs. The site was more recently leased by Salem Public Schools to house the alternative Salem Preparatory High School program.

The lease for the space is up this year, and the district chose not to renew it going forward. The alternative school program will be relocated.

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Bryan Mills: Bringing new retail, residential, restaurants to Sudbury

Wicked Local Sudbury | By Bryan Mills
April 21, 2016

bryan millsSUDBURY- As many of you know, in December of 2015, National Development and AvalonBay Communities purchased the former Raytheon site at 526-528 Boston Post Road across from the Shaw’s Plaza.

Since then, we have been working very closely with town officials, neighbors and other local groups and citizens here in Sudbury to shape the new development into a first-class residential and retail village that will provide great new amenities to all those in Sudbury as well as surrounding towns.

The portion of the site being developed by National Development will be known as Meadow Walk.

AvalonBay Communities is planning luxury apartments on their portion of the site in a community that will be known as Avalon Sudbury. Meadow Walk will be a robust mix of a new Whole Foods Market, additional retail including family-friendly restaurants, high-end senior housing (both active adult and assisted living) and publicly accessible open spaces.

We have already had great feedback on this mix of residential and retail, and have heard from many in town that this will be a welcome addition in Sudbury.

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Concord Market developer remains ‘committed’ to project

Wicked Local Concord | By Henry Schwan
April 21, 2016

concrod marketCONCORD- The developer of a proposed 12,000-square-foot market at Millbrook Tarry said he is committed to the project despite objections from some neighbors. Speaking at the Concord office of his architect, Dewing Schmid Kearns Architects + Planners (DKS), Jim White said on April 19 that his property is an “eyesore in Concord Center, and I want to improve it.”

Seated in a conference room with DKS President Thomas Kearns, White said he has been working with the town on the project for years, calling Millbrook Tarry the last major piece of undeveloped land in Concord Center. “I have been at it for years,” White said, “and I want to make the site more attractive for the town.”

Some neighbors are fighting the idea, primarily because of concerns about parking and traffic. David Brownell, who has lived on Bow Street for 52 years, is one. “The building is way too big for this space,” Brownell said. “He owns the property,” Brownell said of White, “and he should develop it, but this isn’t downtown Boston where buildings are two feet away from something else.”

Millbrook Tarry is a mixed-use development that already includes office space, a bank, a café and a Rite Aid pharmacy. The market would replace up to 52 parking spots in front of the Rite Aid. White’s daughter, Elizabeth Akehurst-Moore, would co-own the market, and has said it would have a big kitchen and bakery that serves prepared meals to go, modeled after the food at the Trails End Café, which Akehurst-Moore owns at Millbrook Tarry.

The Concord Planning Board did not make a recommendation on the project at its April 12 meeting, and in an email response to questions from The Concord Journal, board member Brooke Whiting Cash wrote the board is concerned about the volume of parking relief requested by White and the precedent this would set. “There is quite a bit of precedent town-wide for granting the relief we request,” Kearns said.
Cash mentioned concerns about an October 2015 report from a consultant – hired and paid for by White and completed by Bayside Engineering, Inc. – that may not have accurately reflected the demand for parking and the amount of traffic at the site. “One concern expressed by the board and members of the public was questioning whether Trails End had really gotten into ‘full swing’ by October when the study was done, and that the growing popularity of the restaurant and bar appears to have significantly increased parking demand over the past 6-9 months,” Cash wrote.

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