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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.


Cummings Moves Forward With Work At Former Atari Property

Banker & Tradesman
October 28, 2014

Woburn-based Cummings Properties has begun to develop its most recent acquisition, a 54-acre site on Dunham Road in Beverly.

Cummings is nearing completion of a 475-space parking garage and has laid the foundation for 48 Dunham Road, a planned 144,000-square-foot mixed-use building.

The property also includes the 105,000-square-foot 50 Dunham Road, which is the former home to game makers Parker Bros. and Atari. Microline Surgical occupies 68,000 square feet in the building, which is 85 percent leased.

Construction of 48 Dunham Road will begin following the execution of a significant lease, according to Cummings Properties. The building will be available for office or lab space, and include some high-bay space. With frontage on Route 128, the property is suitable for a corporate build-to-suit corporate campus, Cummings Properties CEO Dennis Clarke said in a statement.

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Casino backers, opponents make their cases, door by door

The Boston Globe | By Mark Arsenault and Laura Crimaldi
October 31, 2014

In a Chelsea neighborhood of steep hills and big dogs, a persistent woman in a Wynn Resorts baseball cap knocked on a dozen doors until she found that elusive election-season prize, an undecided voter.

“Have you thought about the jobs a casino would bring?” asked 66-year-old LouAnne Zawodny, referring to the Wynn casino plan for her hometown of Everett. Some of those jobs would go to Chelsea residents, she suggested to the voter, maybe to residents of this very neighborhood.

Not far away, in Charlestown, resident Dianne Ludy recently heard a very different take on the promises of the casino industry, and whether they could be trusted.

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Statement from IBEW, Local 103 Business Manager John Dumas on the passing of former Boston Mayor Tom Menino

Mayor MeninoOn behalf of the brothers and sisters of IBEW, Local 103, I send our deepest condolences, our thoughts and our prayers to the family of Mayor Tom Menino.

Mayor Menino was an unrivaled champion of working families for two decades in the Mayor’s office and another decade prior as a Boston City Councilor. His love for his city always served as the inspiration for all that he did in public service, driving a list of accomplishments that is legendary.

When it came to development in Boston, Mayor Menino was unwavering in his insistence that every project bring jobs to local workers while providing a fair wage and benefit package. No elected leader anywhere has ever been so dogged and successful in these efforts. When it came to vision, Mayor Menino saw endless possibilities, the creation of Boston’s Innovation District just one example of the creative and meaningful agenda he drove. And of course, his connection to the neighborhoods, all of the neighborhoods, throughout the city, perhaps serves most appropriately as his most attributable calling card.

Mayor Menino was not just a special leader, he was a special person. Tough when the position demanded it, he was compassionate and determined to help all in need of a lift. He brought economic development and more importantly hope to areas of the city whose residents were sure the city had forgotten them. He gladly took the heat to keep businesses out of the city who did not respect all citizens of Boston, no matter their race, creed, color, preferences, political or religious beliefs or their financial lot in life. His courage had no end.

The City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have lost one of the most inspirational and effective leaders this nation has ever seen. I know his family is proud – as is his city – as this unfortunate loss duly shines a light on the endless list of truly great accomplishments and the rare combination of leadership and compassion he brought to his city. Rest in peace Mayor Menino. No one has ever been more deserving of our appreciation and reverence.

John Dumas, Business Manager
IBEW Local 103

Boston University property workers to vote on possible union strike

Boston Business Journal | By Mary Moore
October 29, 2014

BU ProtestAbout 700 property-services workers from Boston University have been encouraged to vote today on whether to strike if their union cannot reach agreement on a new contract with school officials by Oct. 31.

The workers are members of 32BJ SEIU District 615 and include custodians, mail room operators, groundskeepers and skilled trades workers, according to an advisory from the union. They are negotiating on a new four-year contract with university officials. The current contract expires at midnight Friday.

“We are working diligently now with the union and our employees and are confident we will come to agreement on a fair and equitable contract,” said a spokesman for BU, reading from a prepared statement.

BU and the union have stalled in the negotiations, said Eugenio Villasant, a spokesman for SEIU Local 615. Though he would not disclose details, Villasant said the union has balked over proposals related to cost-of-living increases and health care benefits.

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Adjunct faculty at BU seek union election

Boston Business Journal | By Mary Moore
October 29, 2014

Adjunct faculty at Boston University have notified the National Labor Relations Board of plans to hold an election and decide if they will unionize, the Services Employees International Union said Wednesday.

If the union election is successful, BU’s part-time faculty members would join SEIU’s Local 509, which represents more than 17,000 human service workers and educators in Massachusetts, according to its website.

The adjuncts at BU and at other universities in Boston have been organizing as part of Adjunct Action, a project of SEIU. They now are being folded into Local 509, an SEIU spokesman said.

In order to file with the NLRB, at least 30 percent of the part-time faculty at BU had to indicate on an authorization card that they wanted to proceed with a union election, according to the SEIU. The union estimates there are about 800 adjunct faculty members at BU, all of whom will be eligible to participate in the pending election.

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Nov. 5 meeting set for Neponset Ave. condo, eatery proposal

Dorchester Reporter | By Bill Forry
October 29, 2o14

The DorchesterThe Boston Redevelopment Authority will host a public meeting next Wednesday to review a developer’s proposal to convert a former Neponset Avenue store and warehouse into a four-story condominium complex with a restaurant. The meeting will be held on Wed., Nov. 5 at the Leahy-Holloran Community Center at 1 Worrell St., starting at 6:30 p.m.

In a letter to the BRA filed on October 15, the principal of Sousa Design, an architectural firm, explained that Paul Adamson, who owns and operates restaurants in South Boston and Quincy, will “lead a team” in the re-development of 367 Neponset Ave. The building once housed Boston Party Rental.

In July, the Reporter reported that Adamson and co-owner Mark Cummings had paid $300,000 for a liquor license and sought city approval to transfer that license to the Neponset Avenue location. The proposed 5,500 sq. ft. restaurant, called The Dorchester, would serve basic American fare for lunch and dinner with a capacity of 215 seats.

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On Boston’s outskirts, hopes for an industrial comeback

The Boston Globe | By Dan Adams
October 30, 2014

Yard 5Like many US cities grappling with globalization, Boston has been hemorrhaging industrial jobs for decades. But the shift in the city’s economy to knowledge-based industries such as life sciences and technology has provided new business opportunities for boutique manufacturers that use 3-D printers and other sophisticated equipment.

If only those companies had a place of their own in Boston.

The rapid redevelopment of former industrial areas such as the Seaport District has left Boston with less than 5 percent of its land zoned for just industrial uses. Now, at an abandoned rail yard on the outskirts of the city, officials hope a new project will help them lure industry back to Boston.

The “Yard 5” development is a group of low-slung buildings that will be built on former MBTA land in Hyde Park that will offer studio-sized industrial workspaces, each from 4,000 to 7,000 square feet, to as many as 51 businesses. The developers expect to receive the go-ahead from City Hall soon, and already Boston officials are shopping the Yard 5 units to prospective tenants around the country, telling companies that the development shows Boston is serious about restoring its industrial sector.

“We want to bring manufacturing jobs back to the city,” said John Barros, Boston’s chief of economic development. “If we’re not paying attention to those types of jobs, our economic ecosystem is weaker, and we’re not as attractive to these companies and institutions.”

Yard 5 will consist of five one-story light-industrial buildings and a three-story office building. The studios will have robust high-voltage electrical systems, high ceilings, loading docks, and other features prized by industrial businesses.

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Transportation in South Boston Waterfront Becomes New Priority

Boston.com | By Julie Xie
October 29, 2014

South Boston 2The Silver Line to the Seaport during rush hour. Groan.
Jamming your car into the stop-and-go on Seaport Boulevard. More groan.

As the South Boston Waterfront expands dramatically in housing, jobs, and attractions, the city is realizing what commuters already know: It’s hard to get around there.

A committee consisting of of transportation nonprofitA Better City, the City of Boston, Massport, MassDOT, and Massachusetts Convention Center Authority is creating a new transportation planfor the South Boston Waterfront in order to ease commuter issues in the neighborhood and foster economic growth. They are also soliciting input from residents and people who work in the area.

According to a report released by the committee, public transportation and roadways in the Seaport are nearing capacity. There are three Silver Line stations and three MBTA bus routes that run through the area, but passenger demand is at or exceeds capacity during peak rush hours.

The report also found Fort Point Channel crossings are at 100 percent capacity during the evening rush hour. On a typical weekday, parking in the neighborhood is at 80 percent capacity. Water transportation exists, but does not operate regularly. There are also limited bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, and public transit stops are not clearly marked.

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Turning A 9-To-5 Neighborhood Into 24-7 Developers Changing Face Of Financial District

Banker & Tradesman | By Steve Adams
October 26, 2014

Quaker Lane“Financial District Becomes Shopping And Dining Destination” would fit nicely into any list of unlikely Boston headlines.

Never an after-hours magnet, the central business district increasingly has become an afterthought in recent years as Fort Point became a go-to restaurant row and Downtown Crossing got an image upgrade as home of the $600-million Millennium Tower luxury condo project.

But developers are now looking at Financial District properties as ripe for a new direction, with designs to add outdoor cafes, ground-floor shops, a hotel and residences to a neighborhood that tends to empty out after business hours.

Related Beal Cos. is moving forward on Congress Square and its plan to reposition an entire city block near the corner of Congress and State streets, after acquiring five office buildings totaling 343,000 square feet from Fidelity Investments last December for $59.2 million.

Quaker Lane, a private alleyway that loops between the buildings, would be converted into a pedestrian mall lined with cafes, and four of the five structures would become residences and a hotel with ground-floor retail.

Two-thirds of the 55,000-square-foot retail spaces will be occupied by bars and restaurants, said Stephen Faber, executive vice president at Related Beal. The remainder of the potential tenants range from fitness clubs to home goods and apparel chains.

“Interest has been very brisk,” Faber said. “Some of the space has spectacular two-story 20-foot ceilings that could easily be a white tablecloth, high-end restaurant, and there could also be a number of bistros that are more grab-and-go with exterior seating on Quaker Lane.”

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Downtown Crossing building fetches $3.72 million

Boston Business Journal | By Eric Convey
October 28, 2014

A commercial building in the core of Downtown Crossing has changed hands for $3.72 million.

The property is at 43-51 Bromfield St., a key thoroughfare between Washington Street and the Granary Burying Ground next to Boston Common.

The seller is Dupont Development Corp. of Webster. The company’s owners are William Dupont and Renee Dupont.

The buyers are Brom+Fled III LLC of 430 Park Ave., Suite 505, New York, and Brahmin Realty Associates LLC of 708 Third Ave., 21st floor, New York. Both LLCs recently registered to do business in Massachusetts.

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Grocers piling in to Fenway amid new urban competition

The Boston Globe | By Taryn Luna
October 29, 2014

GrocersFor nearly two decades, Marco Baldassarre reluctantly shopped at a rundown Shaw’s because it was the only supermarket in the Fenway neighborhood other than a pricey Whole Foods store.

Now the Fenway is on the verge of becoming a sort of grocery paradise, and Baldassarre, 37, is excited to shop around and find new supermarkets with the best prices.

“It’s good to have options,” Baldassarre said. “Fenway went for so long without having any attention that people just settled for Shaw’s.”

As unlikely as it might have seemed just a few years ago, grocery wars are about to break out in the shadow of the Green Monster.

Target Corp. plans to offer a full grocery section at its massive, 160,000-square-foot urban concept store that is scheduled to open near Star Market next year. To the delight of neighborhood foodies, Wegmans plans to open a 75,000-square foot supermarket in the redeveloped Landmark Center in the next few years. Star Market recently unveiled a long overdue renovation of its Fenway supermarket ahead of the competition’s arrival.

“What’s happening in Fenway is the next generation of development in Boston,” said Kairos Shen, director of planning at the Boston Redevelopment Authority. “Not only do you have a good market, but a competitive market that is raising the bar for everyone.”

Why the sudden attraction to Fenway? The migration of residents from the suburbs back to urban areas is creating more building projects, more residential units, and more grocery stores in the neighborhood, as well as other parts of Boston.

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Developer says fate of SouthField hinges on parkway deal

Patriot Ledger | By Christian Schiavone
October 29, 2014

WEYMOUTH – SouthField’s master developer says the project is poised to come out of its slump by drawing in new investment from developers, but only if the state agrees to help finish a parkway running across the site.

Those predictions are spelled out in a draft of the so-called development plan that the developer, Starwood Land Ventures, and the SouthField Redevelopment Authority will use in an effort to convince the state of the project’s potential for creating new state revenue. They hope to get the state to commit more money to complete a road across the sprawling site, which used to be the South Weymouth Naval Air Station.

Starwood Vice President Matthew Barry presented the draft to the authority’s board of directors Tuesday night.

“Think of the parkway as the spine of the project,” Barry said. “Until we can give definition to the delivery of the parkway, there are no more land sales for us.”

The plan projects that Starwood will close on deals for 333 new homes and condos in the coming two years, and that construction of the missing piece of the parkway will resume next year, if the state agrees to provide funding. The roadwork would connect the existing portion of the parkway to Route 18.

Groundbreaking for another long-awaited project, a Rice-Eventide senior-living and nursing home, is slated for this month.

Businesses won’t come to SouthField unless they know there’s a road to make it easy for their employees to get to work, and retailers want a minimum amount of traffic going by their shops, Barry said Tuesday night.

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John Fish bites back at Olympic foes

Boston Herald | By Jack Encarnacao
October 29, 2014

John Fish 2The gloves have come off in the push to bring the Olympics to Boston in 2024, as Suffolk Construction magnate John Fish — the driving force behind the multibillion-dollar bid — yesterday ripped an opposition group as grandstanding, wet-behind-the-ears opportunists.

“They’re taking a stance so they can sort of politicize the issue … it gives them a platform to be acknowledged,” Fish said of No Boston Olympics, which Monday sent a letter to the U.S. Olympic Committee predicting massive cost overruns that will threaten health care, education and transportation investments. “Who are they and what currency do they have? What have they done to help Boston, and help make the commonwealth of Massachusetts a better place? All of a sudden they want to rabble-rouse. I think these people are grandstanding.”

No Boston Olympics is helmed by management consultant Chris Dempsey of Brookline, a staffer on Gov. Deval Patrick’s 2006 campaign who worked as an assistant secretary of transportation in his administration. The group is also led by Liam Kerr of Boston, Boston homeless advocate Kelley Gossett Phillips, and Hub public relations executive Conor Yunits.

Dempsey, 31, said his organization “is representing Massachusetts voters who have serious concerns and questions about an Olympics that could cost $10 billion to $20 billion and detract from far more pressing priorities facing the commonwealth.”

“We feel like we are representing the regular people out there on the street that have these concerns,” Dempsey said. “We aren’t questioning the motives of the boosters, and we’re surprised that they’re questioning ours.”

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Former Weymouth School Sells For $525K

Banker & Tradesman
October 27, 2014

The former Immaculate Conception school in Weymouth has sold for $525,000.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston sold the Commercial Street property to Ryder Development Corp., which plans to convert it into apartments.

The school has been closed since the early 1980s and has been the home of the Weymouth Food Pantry since 1987. Owner Ken Ryder has agreed to let food pantry operate in the basement of the building while it searches for a new location.

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AvalonBay breaking ground today on North Station residential tower

Boston Construction | By Eric Convey
October 27, 2014

Avalon North StationAvalonBay Communities was set this afternoon to break ground on Avalon North Station, a 38-story residential tower next to North Station.

The $250 million project, which is set to take more than two years to complete, will have 503 apartments. Of them, 30 will be designated “affordable.”

The building’s garage will have 220 parking spaces.

“This is a terrific project for the neighborhood around North Station, which has seen great investment in residential construction recently,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a prepared statement.

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