Featured post

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.


Mass. Senate approves overhaul of public records law

Patriot Ledger | By Colin A. Young and Katie Lannan
February 5, 2016

BOSTON – The state Senate on Thursday passed the first reform of the law governing access to public records in roughly 40 years.

By a unanimous vote, the bill that supporters said would strengthen access to state and municipal records cleared the Legislature’s upper chamber after debate on dozens of amendments.

The Senate’s bill would require each state agency or municipality to assign one employee as the supervisor of public records to handle records requests and responses. It also seeks to reduce costs for records requests by limiting the amount that can be charged for producing the records to 5 cents per copied page.

Municipalities would be required to provide two man-hours of work and state agencies four man-hours before they could charge a maximum of $25 an hour for time spent fulfilling a records request.

Sen. John Keenan, D-Quincy, filed several successful amendments to the bill, which he says were “about making the process more effective for the public, but also easier for municipalities even with limited staff and resources.”

One amendment directs that public records will eventually be provided primarily in electronic form to get away from paper records and move toward the creation of searchable online documents.

Read More.

Quincy residents get a look at plans for new Sterling School

Patriot Ledger | By Jessica Trufant
February 5, 2016

QUINCY – A new middle school in southwest Quincy will have a separate entrance for fifth-graders, a bus lane and large front lawn for students getting picked up and dropped off, and almost twice as much on-site parking for the faculty.

Several dozen residents attended a community meeting Thursday night to learn about the plans for a new Sterling Middle School.

The construction is planned for the current Sterling site at 444 Granite St., but farther east toward Roberts Street.

Tom Kerwin of Joslin Lesser & Associates, the project manager, and Scott Dunlap and Jim Jordan of Ai3 Architects provided information about the site layout the building’s aesthetics and floor plan.

The Massachusetts School Building Authority voted in November to move the Sterling Middle School project from the feasibility study phase to the schematic design phase, in which the project’s scope, budget and schedule are established.

Jordan said the proposed the schematic design will be submitted to the state April 5.

Read More.

Hearing on proposed Quincy hotel put off to March 2

Patriot Ledger | By Jessica Trufant
February 3, 2016

QUINCY – A conservation commission hearing scheduled for Wednesday on a proposal for a six-story hotel off West Squantum Street in North Quincy was postponed to March 2. CPI Management LLC of Boston is proposing a redevelopment project at 1-15 Arlington St. and 22-30 Fayette St. in North Quincy.

The plans call for a 135-room hotel, a 102-space parking lot and stormwater management, utility and landscaping improvements.

At-large City Councilor Nina Liang and Ward 3 Councilor Ian Cain both turned out Wednesday night’s hearing, but it was continued for a month.

The hotel would be 72 feet high and occupy the northeast corner of the lot, at the corner of Arlington Street and West Squantum Street, according to a plan provided to the conservation commission by the Tighe & Bond engineering firm.
The plan proposes ground-level storefronts and a facade “finished in a brick veneer and aluminum composite panels.” Work on Arlington Street would also include the creation of 13 new on-street parking spaces and sidewalk improvements.

Read More.

All-affordable housing complex breaks ground on Big Dig site

Boston Herald | By Donna Goodison
February 5, 2016

Related Beal yesterday marked the construction start of a mixed-use Boston development that will include a residential building with all 239 apartments set aside as affordable and workforce housing and a 220-room Courtyard Marriott hotel.

The roughly $230 million, as-yet-unnamed development — located on a former Central Artery parcel at Beverly and Causeway streets near North Station — is billed as the first new, large affordable and workforce housing project to break ground in Boston in more than 25 years.

“The construction of affordable housing is a key driver of economic development, both in Boston and throughout the Commonwealth,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement. “This development, which showcases the power of mixed-income housing to transform vacant state-owned land, demonstrates our administration’s ongoing commitment to building stronger communities.”

The 14-story, approximately 484,000-square-foot residential building will have 10,000 square feet of street-level retail and garage parking for 220 vehicles.

Read More.

General Electric homes in on Fort Point Channel site

The Boston Globe | By Tim Logan
February 5, 2016

GE fortIn its search for a new home in Boston, General Electric has zeroed in one of the unique corners of Fort Point.

The company is taking a hard look at a complex of older buildings where Summer Street meets the Channel, according to several people either involved in the search or who are closely tracking it. The buildings were once home to candy-maker New England Confectionery Co. One curves along Melcher Street, while two smaller buildings are tucked behind on Necco Street. An adjacent parking lot could also provide GE with room for a new building.

Dynamic Styles

GE had been shopping for sites before it announced in January that it will move its headquarters to Boston from Fairfield County, Conn. It has since signed a three-year lease for temporary space on nearby Farnsworth Street, but continues to search for a permanent home.

A GE spokeswoman declined to discuss specific locations; the company would only say it intends to be in the Seaport District.

Other sites — chief among them a parcel of land owned by the Massachusetts Port Authority near the World Trade Center — may yet be more to GE’s liking. But real estate brokers and others who have closely watched GE’s search say the Necco complex appears to be the company’s first choice.

The largest of the century-old buildings is far removed architecturally from the boxy towers sprouting up closer to the waterfront. Its yellow brick facade sweeps in a curve along Melcher Street while its back side faces an alley of fire escapes and loading docks. Built by the Boston Wharf Co., it served as Necco’s headquarters and factory in an industrial age when access to water and rail trumped showier needs. Behind it sit two old red-brick warehouses, empty and untouched in years, with boarded windows and bricked-over doorways like some relic of what Fort Point was three decades ago.

It’s nothing like the sleek glass-and-granite high-rises many big-name companies call home.

Read More.

US economy adds 151,000 jobs in January

The Boston Globe | By Associated Press
February 5, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added 151,000 jobs in January, a sharp deceleration from recent months as companies shed education, transportation and temporary workers.

The Labor Department said Friday that the jobs gains were still enough for the unemployment rate to fall to 4.9 percent from 5 percent. The January figures follow seasonally adjusted job growth of 262,000 in December and 280,000 in November.

The slowdown reflects an increasingly muddled picture for the U.S. economy. Global financial pressures and a volatile stock market have curtailed growth. But January’s jobs report appears to have further clouded the economic outlook as it showed that consumers are faring better despite steep declines in several industries.
Consumers appear to be resilient, even as sectors of the economy seemingly insulated from the slowdown in China, downturn in Brazil and fragility in Europe slipped.

Average wages jumped 2.5 percent over the past year to $25.39 an hour, evidence that the past years of job growth are helping to generate larger pay raises. The income growth meshes with retailers hiring a seasonally adjusted 57,700 workers. Restaurants and bars added 48,800 jobs in a sign of robust consumer demand.

With low gas prices leaving more money in consumers’ wallets and borrowing costs low, most economists expect Americans to spend at a decent pace this year and bolster economic growth.

Read More.

UMass to open dorm at Boston campus in September 2018

The Boston Globe | By Martin Finucane
February 4, 2016


In a first for the commuter school, the University of Massachusetts Boston expects to open dorms on its campus in September 2018, university officials said Thursday.

“This is a major milestone in the history of UMass Boston and a significant accomplishment for the university as a whole,” Martin Meehan, president of the university system, said in a statement.

The residential complex will contain 1,000 beds and accommodate freshmen and transfer students. It will be built via an innovative public-private partnership, officials said.

Read More.

Weymouth approves $60M South Shore Hospital expansion

Boston Business Journal | By Jessica Bartlett
February 4, 2016

SSHWeymouth’s Board of Zoning Appeals last week cleared the way for South Shore Hospital expand by adding two floors to one of its buildings.

The $60 million project will add 42,287 square feet of new space to the Messina Building, located at 55 Fogg Road, adding a fourth and fifth floor.

The new space will make room for the hospital’s 24-bed intensive care unit, and will replace the hospital’s existing ICU unit in the Pratt Building, which was constructed in 1978.

Once the ICU is moved to the new building, the hospital plans to renovate the 18,000 square-feet of vacated space in the Pratt Building, building 24 new medical surgical beds.

“We’ll get more complex patients coming through the doors who will need a better setting for intensive care,” said Sarah Darcy, a spokeswoman for South Shore Hospital. “It’s building with an eye toward the very near future.”

The addition and renovation will be funded through tax-exempt debt, existing cash, and philanthropic means.

Read More.

No bids returned for Beverly airport restaurant

The Salem News | By Arianna MacNeill
February 3, 2016

BEVERLY — With no proposals in for a new restaurant at Beverly Regional Airport, officials are heading back to the drawing board to come up with a fresh plan to attract one.

Proposals were originally due Jan. 19, but the regional commission that oversees the airport extended the deadline to Feb. 2. Bidders were asked to devise a plan for a restaurant that would accommodate between 50 and 100 visitors within Building 45, which is on the Beverly side of the airport and used to house a cafe that looked out onto the airfield. The developer would also agree to lease the space from the city for 20 years.

With no prospective bidders, the airport commission — which includes representatives from Beverly, Danvers and Wenham — plans to meets to discuss how to make the property more attractive to developers, according to airport manager Robert Mezzetti.

“The problem here is just that the amount of money that the restaurateur would have to put in, the numbers aren’t working out for them,” said Mezzetti.

Currently, Building 45 is stripped down to the studs; developers would have to rebuild the interior — about 2,700 square feet of floor space, according to bid documents that were crafted by the airport commission and Beverly’s Purchasing Department.

Read More.

Panel Looks At Redevelopment Of Whiskey Priest Parcel, Waterfront Plan Update

Banker & Tradesman
February 3, 2016

With plans for a major redevelopment of the Whiskey Priest and Atlantic Beer Garden property in the works, Boston Redevelopment Authority officials tonight will begin updating a blueprint for public access and transportation improvements affecting a 108-acre area of the South Boston waterfront.

The municipal harbor plan citizens advisory committee will meet from 6-8 p.m. tonight at District Hall, 75 Northern Ave.

Boston-based Cronin Group, the owner of the two establishments, recently filed plans to build a 22-story, 263,000-square-foot tower containing 110 condos on the parcel at 150 Seaport Boulevard.

The proposal has prompted the BRA to launch an updated planning process for the area, which is surrounded by development activity. A venture led by New York-based developer Tishman Speyer began site work this week for a 13-story office building on the adjacent Pier 4 property, which also will include a nine-story condo complex scheduled to begin in 2017.

Read More.

DOT Block design gets key civic approvals

Dorchester Reporter | By Jennifer Smith
February 4, 2016

glovers cornerThe Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association voted Monday night to approve the most recent iteration of the DOT Block project after the development team presented a slightly updated version of the ambitious Glover’s Corner mixed-use development at the group’s monthly meeting.

Eric Robinson of RODE Architects said the project as it stands will include 374 residential units, about 40,000 square feet of retail space, and some 450 parking spots in a five-story garage. One alteration involved the addition of a right-turn access point toward the garage for traffic moving southbound on Dorchester Avenue.

“We’ve had some stops and starts, but what we will present to you today is what we hope will be the final project,” said Catherine O’Neill, who represents the developers. O’Neill said Monday’s meeting was the 111th session they have had on the project over the past two years.

“We’ve all been very close to this for a couple of years, so I think it’s very positive,” said Eileen Boyle, chair of the civic association’s planning committee. Boyle agreed with O’Neill’s estimate on number of meetings in recent years, adding that the developers have been very proactive in bringing the project to the Columbia-Savin Hill group.

Read More.

Mattapan residents weigh impacts of Cote Village build-out

Dorchester Reporter | By Caleb Nelson
February 4, 2016

About 80 people packed into a community room at the Foley Senior Residences on River Street last Thursday night to hear the latest plans for Cote Village, a proposed 76-unit housing development that is under review by the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Billed as an effort to better link the commercial district of Mattapan Square to residential neighborhoods, the project will be located on the corner of Cummins Highway and Regis Road on the site of an old auto dealership that was abandoned decades ago.

Once completed, it will be the most significant new housing project in the neighborhood in years and one that is closely associated with a commuter rail station along the Fairmount Line that is set to be built in the coming months.

Last year, the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND), which controls the property, selected a partner to re-develop the site after a community process that included three other proposals. The winning bid was submitted by a team of partners including the Archdiocese of Boston’s Planning Office for Urban Affairs, Caribbean Integration Community Development, and the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, which is acting as the project’s financing partner.

The project will include a four-story apartment building housing 47 units and commercial space, including a 7,000 square-foot pre-teen center. The site will also include townhouses on Regis Road that would add another 24 units of housing. The development will also have 30,000 square feet of green, open space and 84 off-street parking spaces, according to a handout circulated at last week’s meeting.

Read More.

Luxury apartments possible for former Shaw’s building

Wicked Local Malden | By Alex Ruppenthal
February 2, 2016

MEDFORD- A new luxury apartment complex is under consideration to replace the former Shaw’s supermarket building at 61 Locust St. Medford Community Development Director Lauren DiLorenzo said the property’s owner, Equity One, Inc., has had preliminary discussions with the city about redeveloping the site with a large-scale luxury housing project.

DiLorenzo said the company had initially planned to sell the property but is now considering a residential development, which would require a zoning variance and site plan review.

Read More.

Boston Properties wins key approval for sprawling North Station project

Boston Business Journal | By Catherine Carlock
February 3, 2016

BPBoston Properties has received full design approval for the residential, hotel and office components of its 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use project at the site of the old Boston Garden, a project that will add to the already wide pipeline of development slated for the North Station area.

The Boston Civic Design Commission on Tuesday approved the second and third phases of the project, including a 495-foot residential tower; a 260-room hotel; and a 487-foot office tower. Those three buildings will all sit atop a multilevel steel-and-glass podium connecting North Station and TD Garden to nearby Causeway Street.

That $285 million podium, the project’s first phase, broke ground last week. At the groundbreaking, Boston Properties (NYSE: BXP) executives renamed the project The Hub on Causeway.

The design approval for the office and residential towers comes after a protracted debate about the design for the podium, which is slated to include retail and restaurant space as well as a Shaw’s grocery store, an entertainment venue and a movie theater, among other features.

Read More.

Natick Planning Board to hold hearing on Brown Elementary School modular classroom project

Wicked Local Natick | By Brian Benson
February 3, 2016

NATICK – The Planning Board expects to hold a public hearing Feb. 17 on a plan to install modular classrooms at Brown Elementary School.

The meeting is expected to be held at 7:30 PM in the Ed Dlott Meeting Room of Town Hall, 13 East Central St., according to a legal notice.

Read More.