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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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Quincy developer to buy nursing home near historic Adams park

Patriot Ledger | By Patrick Ronan
September 28, 2016

Peter O’Connell, a prominent Quincy developer, has plans to purchase the nursing home near the Adams National Historical Park to turn it into apartments for residents 55 and older.

Meanwhile, the city of Quincy recently spent $1.2 million to buy the land between the nursing home and the national park to preserve it as open space.

The William B. Rice Eventide Nursing Home, located at 215 Adams St., is currently in the process of moving to its new campus at Union Point in the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station. Marina Bay Management, led by O’Connell, entered into a purchase-and-sale agreement to buy the Quincy nursing home property last year, according to records filed at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds.

The Eventide property holds the nursing home itself – an 80-year-old, E-shaped brick building – and roughly 6 acres of land and wooded area. The property has a distinct entranceway, with brick pillars on both sides and a winding driveway leading up to the nursing home.

Quincy mayor says land near Adams park must be bought, protected

O’Connell, who couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, is a member of the prominent family of developers whose portfolio includes Marina Bay, the Granite Links golf course and the World Trade Center in Boston. Peter O’Connell has built other senior housing apartments in Quincy, including the high-rise Granite Place Apartments at 125 Granite St. and the five-story structure at 99 Granite St.

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Moderna Signs Full-Building Lease At Upland In Norwood

Banker & Tradesman
September 28, 2016

modernaA Cambridge-based pharmaceuticals company has signed a 15-year lease for a 200,000-square-foot drug manufacturing facility at 100 Tech Drive in Norwood.

Moderna Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage biotech company founded in 2011 that specializes in therapies for infectious diseases, rare diseases, immuno-oncology, cardiovascular disease and pulmonary diseases. Moderna has two Phase 1 human studies underway in the U.S. and Europe for infectious disease vaccines.

Known as Upland, the property is owned by Braintree-based Campanelli and TriGate Capital of Dallas, Texas.

The company will begin initial build-out of the new facility in October 2016 and plans to open the facility by early 2018.

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Mike Frisoli, Taryn Wilson and Matt Morgan represented ownership. Moderna was represented by JLL’s Peter Bekarian, Tom Kent and Don Domoretsky.

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Neighbors in Bowdoin-Geneva weigh new Pine Street Inn proposal

Dorchester Reporter | By Bill Forry
September 28, 2016

trinity-greenA proposal to build a housing complex at 123 Hamilton St. for formerly homeless people run by the Pine Street Inn came under scrutiny from neighbors at a city-led meeting on Tuesday night. The plan would raze a long-vacant warehouse, widely viewed as an eyesore on the mainly residential street, and create 52 units of living space for men and women over 55 years of age.

The Pine Street Inn says that the facility would be staffed at all times with social workers and managers from their agency and will meet a growing need to serve elders who are “aging in place” in other Pine Street-run properties.

The three-story building would be built and owned by Trinity Green, a private firm that also converted the former St. Peter’s convent building on Bowdoin Street— where Tuesday’s meeting was held. The complex at 307 Bowdoin Street is also owned by Trinity Green and leased to Pine Street Inn, which houses 32 people there. The building was repeatedly cited on Tuesday as a model for improving the neighborhood without disruption.

Indeed, even several neighbors who spoke against the 123 Hamilton proposal, citing concerns about overburdening the Bowdoin Street section of the city with too much low-income housing or people with addiction problems, heaped praise on Pine Street for their well-managed properties.

“We respect Pine Street Inn, “ said Carlos Castillo, a realtor who lives on Hamilton Street. “But we feel like we are being sandwiched in with all these Pine Street projects. It’s just not good.”

Castillo’s critique was echoed by at least five other residents who rose to express opposition to the proposal. Their concerns ranged from worries that the formerly homeless population would bring more poor people to an already poor neighborhood to those who suggested that the builders— who do not live in the city— might realize too much profit from the deal.

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City board supports Webb zoning change

Planning Board signs off on request, but with several recommendations

The Salem News | By Dustin Luca
September 28, 2016

SALEM — The Planning Board signed off on a rezoning effort that would pave the way for F.W. Webb to get faster and easier approval, but it wasn’t an easy decision for many of the board members to make.

The board voted unanimously at a meeting held Tuesday night to rezone 293 Bridge St. and a sizable piece of 297 Bridge St. into commercial (B4) zoning, a format friendly for business wholesale and automotive uses.

The sites are currently zoned North River Canal Corridor and two-family residential, respectively. The vote followed a presentation before the board and City Council last week.

About a dozen neighbors to the project turned out to the earlier hearing and spoke against the zoning change. More than a dozen neighbors also attended Tuesday night’s meeting, though comment was prohibited since the hearing was closed a week earlier, according to Tom Daniel, the city’s community development director.

The members of the board were also told to disregard any communications they got from neighbors since the hearing closed.

“If you received letters, that can’t be part of the Planning Board’s discussion as well,” Daniel said. “The public hearing was closed.”

Though the topic didn’t come up Tuesday night, the zoning change comes with the added anxiety of the company benefiting from it — plumbing wholesaler F.W. Webb — pulling out of Salem if it isn’t able to expand at its current site. The company prefers a zoning change, saying special permits under current zoning would be too costly and time-intensive an avenue to pursue.

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‘The Blueway’ could break stalemate over high-rises

The Boston Globe | By Jon Chesto
September 28, 2016

The New England Aquarium may drop its challenge to Don Chiofaro’s bid to redevelop the neighboring Boston Harbor Garage if the two sides can agree to create a park that would stretch from the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway to the water’s edge.

The park, which would be part of a plan to open up dramatic views of the harbor, is a crucial piece of a broader vision that the aquarium expects to unveil Wednesday to a group that is advising city officials on planning that part of the waterfront. The aquarium is willing to move its stand-alone IMAX theater, which opened 15 years ago, to make the park possible.

This vision goes beyond the proposed open space, an area as long as 1,000 feet and up to 85 feet wide that aquarium officials refer to as “the Blueway.”

Chief executive Nigella Hillgarth would like to see the aquarium building’s size grow significantly in phases over the next decade or so as public amenities are added: a promenade, two restaurants, a man-made island.

Taken together, the project would represent the biggest physical changes to the facility since it opened in 1969.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a great waterfront space,” said Kishore Varanasi, a principal with the Boston architectural firm CBT who helped aquarium officials craft their master plan. “Here’s a shot to really think about this thing holistically.”

The aquarium still faces a number of hurdles. To create the Blueway, it would need support from two neighbors: Chiofaro, whose company owns the garage site with Prudential Financial, and a Fidelity Investments-affiliated nonprofit that oversees a small park next door.

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City Realty proposes 64 condos in East Boston

Boston Herald | By Donna Goodison
September 27, 2016

A Brookline developer has a nearly $22 million plan to replace an East Boston car window-tinting business, auto body shop and parking lot with 64 residential condominiums, retail space and a lobby art gallery.

City Realty Group has proposed demolishing buildings at 301-323 Border St. to make way for a 75,167-square-foot, six-story development with studio to three-bedroom units, including eight affordable.

The project would revitalize that section of Border Street and bring needed housing to an underutilized corridor, according to plans filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

In addition to a common roof deck for residents, about half of the units would have their own exterior decks. Project plans also call for a gym for residents and interior parking that would house 42 vehicles, bicycle racks for 22 bikes and an electric car charging station. A separate bike room would accommodate 52 more bikes.

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Revere Beach Development Obtains Construction Financing

Banker & Tradesman
September 26, 2016

revere-beachFirst Niagara Bank has furnished a construction loan for Beach House, a 234-unit luxury apartment development in Revere.

Baystone Development of Weston is leading the project at a long-vacant parcel at 540 Revere Beach Boulevard. The development will include open layout floor plans with a full amenity package including a heated outdoor pool, roof deck with Boston skyline views, fitness center, resident club area with full kitchen and theater room.

CBRE/New England’s John Kelly, Kyle Juszczyszyn, Chris Coutts and Lenny Pierce arranged the construction loan with First Niagara Bank’s Senior Vice President David Yesue and Market Executive Doug MacLean.

The developers will market the property as a transit-friendly option for Boston commuters with lower rents than the city, Baystone executive Todd MacDowell told Banker & Tradesman in July.

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No apartment-complex purchases in offing for UMass Lowell

Lowell Sun | By Grant Welker
September 27, 2016

lofts-at-perkinsLOWELL — The city administration and UMass Lowell have compromised on a new five-year agreement in which the university agrees to several payments to the city and to be transparent about its master plan.

Some of the payments UMass Lowell will make have already been agreed to separately, including contributing to the repair or replacement of several small bridges, and a payment equal to what the Perkins Place residential development would pay this year in property taxes.

Perkins Place was bought by the university this summer, taking it out of the tax rolls and sparking a much broader debate in the city about how UMass Lowell’s expansion has affected the city.

Notably, the university says in the agreement that it does not plan to make similar acquisitions of apartment buildings, now that it has met its demand for on-campus apartment-style housing for the next five years.

The university and the city administration spent much of this summer working on the first such formal master agreement between the two sides. It is being sent to the City Council for a vote Tuesday night.
Among the highlights of the agreement, UMass Lowell agrees to the following:

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River Street condo proposal met with resistance at public meeting

The Dorchester Reporter | By Jennifer Smith
September 25, 2016

river-stThe majority of those who spoke on a proposed 18-unit condominium on River Street in Mattapan objected to the project’s density and neighborhood fit at a Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA)-hosted meeting Thursday night.

George Tsolirides, the project proponent, owns the land at 73 River St. currently housing a dry cleaners and a restaurant, the River Street Grille. He is pitching an 18-unit, 23,063-square foot building to contain two-bedroom homeowner condominiums and ground floor retail space. Behind the structure would be 30 parking spaces.

The restaurant would remain a tenant, said architect Lucio Trabucco, with potentially a community meeting room, cafe, or office filling the other small ground floor space. Thirty parking spaces, without accounting for the public transit access, is also above the required per-unit ratio required by the city.

Community members and abutters opposed the project in its earlier iteration, which had three more apartments, only 20 parking spaces, and access into the residential neighborhood from the back of the development. Those who spoke at Thursday’s meeting for the most part made it clear that the changes were not sufficient.

William Willis, who owns a property a few houses down from the site, said developments of this density seemed to be dropped on neighborhoods like theirs without consideration for the abutters. “We want our own little piece of heaven, our little piece of happiness, right there on Sturbridge Street,” he said, adding that he hoped to leave his home to his children, but a development nearby would only raise his property taxes in the short term.

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Developers Engage In ‘Amenities War’

Expectations, Construction Costs Contribute To Escalation Of Luxury Living

Banker & Tradesman | By Jay Fitzgerald
September 25, 2016

amenitiesWar has come to Boston.

It’s not a war fought with tanks, planes, bullets and bombs. Instead, it’s a non-conventional war waged with doggie spas, rooftop cabanas, media-entertainment centers and private lounges with catering kitchens. It’s a war for the hearts, souls and wallets of Bostonians seeking luxury living.

“It’s an amenities war,” said Sue Hawkes, managing director of The Collaborative Companies, a Boston real estate design and development firm in the thick of the burgeoning and evolving luxury living market in the city and surrounding communities.

So-called luxury living used to entail swanky new residential buildings with 24/7 concierge service, valet parking, a small fitness center and perhaps the occasional dog walker to take the family pet for a stroll down the street.

But with the recent flood of new and proposed residential apartments and condominium buildings coming on line in Boston, the competition for renters and buyers has only intensified in recent years – and thus the introduction of residential amenities not previously seen in Boston.

Of course, there’s now the almost standard “doggie spas” now being built within new residential buildings, from the soon-to-open Pierce Boston in the Fenway to the recently opened One Greenway near Chinatown to the planned One Dalton tower to be managed by Four Seasons in the Back Bay. (Yes, they really are called dog spas, though they’re more like small shower rooms with tubs for precious pooches to freshen up.)

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Boston Foreign Motor to open in Newmarket

Boston Herald | By Donna Goodison
September 24, 2016


Boston Foreign Motor hopes to open a car dealership and service facility in Boston’s industrial Newmarket District and likely will close its Allston location within three years.

The company is proposing a 22,400-square-foot, single-story dealership with a showroom and approximately 21 service bays at 202 Southampton St. It plans to repurpose a building long occupied by Waldo Bros., a building materials wholesaler.

“The area is upcoming,” said Boston Foreign Motor president Milad Farahani, who has an agreement to buy the site. “There’s a lot of development in that area.”

The dealership would sell used cars — mostly foreign — although Farahani said he is in talks with foreign and domestic car manufacturers to possibly sell new vehicles as well. Farahani expects to have about 100 cars on the lot, but is seeking additional storage in the area to accommodate a total inventory of approximately 300 cars.

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State rejects Lewis Wharf plan

The Boston Globe | By Tim Logan
September 22, 2016

lewis-wharfState officials this week dealt a blow to a controversial hotel proposed for Lewis Wharf, signaling that there are limits to how far they will let Boston’s building boom surge up to, and beyond, the edge of the city’s waterfront.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday ruled that developers cannot build out onto wharves, piers, and pilings that sit below water at high tide. That will likely send a 277-room hotel planned for the edge of Lewis Wharf back to the drawing board.

The hotel is one of several contentious waterfront developments coming before state regulators.

The Department of Environmental Protection is currently reviewing a condo tower at 150 Seaport Blvd. that’s being opposed by the influential Conservation Law Foundation, which is concerned it will wall off public access to the harbor. And the Boston Redevelopment Authority is wrapping up a lengthy process to rezone the downtown waterfront from Long Wharf to the Northern Avenue Bridge that could allow for at least two tall towers, but not before the state signs off.

It’s too soon to say what the Lewis Wharf decision might mean for those other projects, development specialists said. Neither 150 Seaport nor Don Chiofaro’s proposed tower at the Boston Harbor Garage would build over the same kind of submerged piers as Lewis Wharf.

But it does suggest that state environmental regulators view waterfront development through a different lens than Boston officials, said Conservation Law Foundation senior counsel Peter Shelley.

“The state does not have this development function here [that the BRA does],” Shelley said. “It will be reviewing these with its trustee hat on. That’s a very unique and important role.”

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Lowell digs in on $200M Judicial Center

The Lowell Sun | By Grant Welker
September 23, 2016

LOWELL — The city’s new courthouse complex is expected to do more than provide more spacious facilities for jurors, prosecutors, defense attorneys and others.

Lowell has big goals for the building about to rise by the Lord Overpass at the southern end of the Hamilton Canal District.

The massive building, the Lowell Justice Center, is expected to be an anchor of sorts for the district, which has mostly languished for the eight years since an ambitious master plan was unveiled. Officials see a potential need for new offices for attorneys and others who would want to be close to the new courthouse complex.

Less tangibly, it is seen as a seven-story glass-and-granite beacon for those entering downtown from the Lowell Connector and a signal of the neighborhood’s resurgence.

“I love the fact that it’s in the Hamilton Canal District,” Gov. Charlie Baker said at a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday afternoon. “I think this has a tremendous potential to be more than just a courthouse.”

Construction, which will begin in earnest next month, is expected to take until November 2019.
For such a major project, with a price tag of $200 million, there was a deep list of people who spoke, with dozens of other city officials, lawyers, court workers and others.

The chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Ralph D. Gants, recalled a hot summer day working in a first-floor courtroom at the District Court on Hurd Street.

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Vacant Savin Hill storefront changes hands, mixed-use development on the horizon

Dorchester Reporter | By Jennifer Smith
September 19, 2016

A long-vacant Savin Hill eyesore has a new owner and a new lease on life.

A Dorchester-based developer has purchased the old Savin Hill Variety building at 102-110 Savin Hill Ave. and is poised to turn it into a mixed-use project that he hopes will “help to fill a void.”

James Baker, who heads 102-110 Savin Hill Ave. LLC, purchased the property at the corner of Savin Hill Avenue and Sydney Street in late July from longtime owner Anthony Desmond. Baker said he will propose a mixed-use structure with some residential components and first-floor commercial space.

Local elected officials and community members have clamored for movement on the boarded-up brick building, which once housed Savin Hill Variety and has languished in disuse for years.

The building is ripe for a throwback to its former purpose, Baker said.

“We definitely want to do some kind of retail market for the community,” said Baker, who is the brother of District 3 councillor Frank Baker. “We’re not sure what that’s going to entail, but clearly there’s a need.”

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Plans unveiled for new downtown boutique hotel

The Salem News | By Dustin Luca
September 22, 2016

hotel-salemSALEM — A hotel being developed in an uncommon space downtown is planning some uncommon features, including basement level shuffleboard, a vintage design up front and rooftop dining options.

Meet Hotel Salem, the 44-room Lark Hotel boutique hotel at 209 Essex St., by all approximation the heart of downtown’s Pedestrian Mall.

The plans for Hotel Salem got special attention at a series of informal, informational meetings hosted by Ward 2 City Councilor Heather Famico on Tuesday and Wednesday. Plans for Peabody Essex Museum’s long-awaited expansion also got a showing at the events.

Today, the building’s windows facing Essex Street are mostly covered in kraft paper. An opening in the kraft coverings allows for limited line of sight to an empty, unoccupied space in the midst of construction and demolition.

“We’re pretty far along the process,” said Paul Durand, principal at Winter Street Architects, the company handling the design of the project, as he presented the future of the building to neighbors. “I’m going to show you where we are.”

The project is expected to take about seven months and aims to begin after Halloween, leaving crews enough time to take care of outside utility work before the ground freezes toward the end of the year, according to Durand.

On the outside, the Newmark Building will see extensive masonry repairs and enlarging of all the windows on Essex Street, according to Durand.

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