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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.


Doctors offices coming to old Pilgrim Lanes

Eagle Tribune | By Peter Francis
July 13, 2016

HAVERHILL — An arm of Anna Jaques Hospital is coming to the former Pilgrim Lanes bowling center — and bringing doctors offices to the property.

The owners of Pilgrim Lanes have sold the property at 600 Primrose St. for $1.5 million to the Newburyport hospital, which plans to build a 30,000-square-foot medical office complex.

Construction for the project will begin later this summer, with the opening slated for the fall of 2017.

The property was purchased by Haverhill Mob, LLC., a joint venture between the hospital and the project’s developer, Murphy McManus of Needham. The developer is working with the city’s Building Department on permits for the complex, according to William Pillsbury, economic development and planning director for the city.

Pillsbury said he is excited to see the development in the city’s Upper Acre neighborhood.

“As with any development project, this will result in new jobs and growth in the city’s tax base,” he said.

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PROJECT TRACKER: What’s happening with the Volpe site in Cambridge?

Wicked Local Cambridge | By Natalie Handy
July 20, 2016

The Plan

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the federal Department of Transportation are hoping to convert the existing John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center’s 14-acre campus in Kendall Square — composed of six buildings built in the 1960s — into a new state-of-the-art facility of up to 400,000 gross square feet for up to 1,300 personnel and parking spaces.

In 2014, the GSA announced their plan to redevelop the Volpe site, and through a competitive bidding process, will select a development partner to construct a new building for the Volpe Center, according to a memo from the Cambridge Community Development Department (CDD)

The new center will serve Volpe’s research needs and improve its connection to the surrounding community, according to the memo. “In exchange, Volpe will transfer ownership of the remainder of the parcel to the selected developer, who will work with the city to develop a mixed-use project on the remainder of the site according to the city’s zoning and review processes for large projects.

GSA is aiming to release a request for proposals from developers this spring,” the memo said.

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As Globe deal emerges, car magnate returns with new plan for key Morrissey site

Dorchester Reporter | By Bill Forry
July 19, 2016

herb chambersAs news on a new agreement to sell the 16-acre Boston Globe property on Morrissey Boulevard continues to break, car magnate Herb Chambers – who owns an abutting property that could prove to be a lynchpin in still-emerging redevelopment plans on Columbia Point – is re-emerging as an important player in what comes next.

Chambers told community leaders last week that he will scrap earlier plans to convert a defunct TV station studio site into a used car lot and instead build a massive new building on the property, which sits right next to the Boston Globe plant.

The new Chambers plan calls for an 80,000-square foot, five-story building that will house a dealership selling Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, with large showroom windows facing the Southeast Expressway. The proposal is dramatically larger than Chambers’s initial plan for 75 Morrissey Blvd., which would have housed pre-owned BMW vehicles and service bays by re-purposing the existing building on the site. That plan won approval from the Boston Redevelopment Authority after a community review process in 2013.

However, Chambers never followed through on that plan. Despite initial assurances that construction would begin in 2014, he and his representatives went silent on their next moves for more than a year until finally telling the Reporter in April 2015 that the project had run into “certain unanticipated complications in regard to engineering issues at this site.” The delay, according to a Chambers spokesman, was related to “excessive groundwater and utility easement issues.”

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Athenahealth master plan moves forward

Wicked Local Watertown | By Adam Sennott
July 21, 2016

WATERTOWN- Athenahealth’s proposed master plan to renovate its Arsenal on the Charles campus is moving ahead after receiving a thumbs up from the planning board earlier this week.

The board voted unanimously to approve the company’s proposed plan during a special meeting Monday night. The plans includes construction of about half a dozen new buildings on the 29 acre property that will add about 250,000 square feet of office, retail, and civic space, according to Athenahealth’s special permit application.

The plan also includes construction of a 1,623 space parking garage that will lead to reduction in surface parking from 828 spaces to 143, a comprehensive and integrated stormwater management system, increased open space, and an enhanced circulation system to maximize vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian movement.

Though there will be more cars moving in and out of the property, the company conducted a comprehensive traffic impact analysis and parking demand analysis peak hour traffic will only increase between one and four percent, Athenahealth’s Narrative Site Plan Review read.

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Walsh: Seaport ought to see more affordable housing units

Boston Herald | By Dan Atkinson
July 21, 2016

1 seaportThe flurry of development in the Seaport should include more affordable housing, Mayor Martin J. Walsh said at the topping-off ceremony for the latest project yesterday.

“Certainly in the Seaport, in some cases, we’ve missed the boat on that a little because there’s a lot of high-end (developments) without affordable (housing) in them,” Walsh said, praising the 832-unit One Seaport Square development that includes nearly 100 units of affordable housing. “We have to see what the future does.”

One Seaport Square will spread its housing units over two 20-story towers next to each other on Seaport Boulevard, and will have 250,000 square feet of retail, according to Dick Marks, partner of project co-developer WS Development.

Marks said more than half of that space has already been leased.

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Who wants to be Logan Airport’s new landlord?

The Boston Globe | By Jon Chesto
July 21, 2016

The race is on to land one of the most coveted gigs in Boston: Logan Airport’s new commercial landlord.

The Massachusetts Port Authority this week issued a request for proposals for a new concessions contract at the airport, one that has the potential to dramatically remake the lineup of 160-plus retailers and restaurants spread among its four terminals. The four terminals’ concession programs collectively generated roughly $190 million in gross sales in 2015.

Massport, in its newest set of documents, makes it clear that officials there would like to see one concessions program manager take over the commercial operations at the airport. Currently, that responsibility is divided among two companies: Airmall USA controls terminals B and E, and Westfield Corporation oversees terminals A and C.

Massport’s goal is to award this work to one company now, although it is reserving its right to pick more than one bidder for the job.

The agency plans to deliver the work overseeing about 180,000 square feet of commercial space to the future concessions manager in a staggered fashion, as the two incumbent operators’ leases expire. The contracts for terminals B and E will begin in July 2017, Terminal C’s lease will start in January 2018, and Terminal A’s contract will begin in mid-March of that year.

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Wakefield neighbors petition town to deny blasting for building

The Boston Globe | by John Laidler
July 20, 2016

hallmark healthEfforts by a local healthcare firm to level a sloped area in the parking lot of its proposed medical office building on Main Street have put Wakefield residents up in arms.

They object loudly to the way that slope would be eliminated: blasting.

About 230 neighbors have signed a petition asking the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals to deny Hallmark Health permission to blast, citing “potential damage to our homes, the safety of our pets, our elderly, and our peace of mind.” That board’s hearing is set to resume Wednesday, July 20 at 7 p.m. at town hall.

Hallmark, a nonprofit which owns Melrose-Wakefield Hospital in Melrose and Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Medford, is seeking a variance to construct the 30,000-square-foot medical facility on the site of a former Subaru dealership.

The firm wants to blast a portion of ledge to eliminate an existing slope at the rear of its parking lot, according to Hugh Kelleher, Hallmark’s vice president of support and ancillary services. One to three blasts daily would occur over 20 days.

“We are working to bring the grade down to a level where it’s safe not ony for our patients but for our employees and the physicians working in the building,” Kelleher said, citing the risk that someone could slip on the sloped area on an icy winter’s day.

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State pledges up to $28.5 million for new Quincy middle school

The state will provide the city with up to $28.5 million to replace Sterling Middle School in southwest Quincy.

Patriot Ledger | By Jessica Trufant
July 20, 2016

QUINCY – The state will provide the city with up to $28.5 million to replace Sterling Middle School in southwest Quincy. The Massachusetts School Building Authority’s Board of Directors on Wednesday approved a grant for the city to build a new school on the current site at 444 Granite St., but farther east toward Roberts Street.

The new 95,155 square-foot school will have enough space for 430 students in fifth through eighth grade. It 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 faculty.

Quincy Superintendent Richard DeCristofaro said the project has an estimated total budget of about $58 million. The City Council must approve funding for the project within 120 days.

With that appropriation, the city and state will create a funding agreement by the end of October. “I’m very excited for the Sterling neighborhood,” DeCristofaro said. “It’s a great project for the city, staff and most importantly, the students.”

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Six-story apartment building proposed for downtown Framingham

Wicked Local Framingham | By Jim Haddadin
July 16, 2016

dtown framinghamFRAMINGHAM— Saying they hope to help revitalize downtown Framingham, representatives from a national development company presented plans Thursday to invest more than $40 million in a new, six-story apartment building on Waverly Street.

The project, called Modera Framingham, would create 270 luxury apartments on a 3-acre site near the Framingham commuter rail station.

Representatives from developer Mill Creek Residential said the project aligns with the town’s long-term plan to encourage new development near the rail line, giving workers easy access to jobs throughout greater Boston.

Town Meeting members voted overwhelmingly in the fall to expand Framingham’s Central Business District to points within a 10-minute walk of the commuter rail station and ease permitting requirements to encourage transit-oriented development.

The changes were intended to entice developers to invest in housing and retail projects that would make downtown more vibrant and walkable, appealing to both millennials and baby boomers who want to rely more on the train and bus than cars. “We’re very excited about the new zoning that has occurred here in Framingham,” said Lars Unhjem, vice president of development in Mill Creek’s Boston-area office, “and we’re excited to proceed under those new rules and regulations, helping the town to create the walkable vibrant downtown square … that you’re looking for.” Located at 266 Waverly St., the property is accessible via Waverly Street, Marble Street and Blandin Avenue.

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Natick: Developer proposes hotel, senior housing

Wicked Local Natick | By Brian Benson
July 20, 2016

NATICK – A developer floated on Wednesday the idea of building a hotel and senior housing on the former Sam’s Club site by the intersection of Rte. 9 and Speen Street. Jack O’Neil, of National Development, told the Planning Board he’s envisioning a hotel (potentially a Marriott Residence Inn) with about 132 units and a senior living facility with about 164 units. “It goes without saying that the site is underutilized,” O’Neil said. “It’s been dormant.” O’Neil said the property is not generating the tax revenue it should for the town.

The proposal, he said, would have a limited effect on traffic and shouldn’t affect the schools.

People living in this type of senior housing are on average in their 70s, he said. O’Neil sought feedback on whether the board thought the senior housing would fit in zoning requirements.

Planning Board members said they saw benefit in the project but were unsure if it fits in zoning or how the relevant provision of the bylaw should be read.

Board member Andrew Meyer said the project could be beneficial. A hotel, he said, is compliant with zoning, generates off-peak traffic and would fit well with nearby attractions. Meyer said he would be happy to think “creatively” about this if he has a letter from the town’s building commissioner saying the project is compliant with zoning.

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Developer files plans for Brighton monastery site

Boston Herald | By Donna Goodison
July 21, 2016

monastaryA new project filing shows how Cabot, Cabot & Forbes plans to restore and incorporate the former St. Gabriel’s Monastery into its plans for a $200 million, 679-unit residential development for grad students and others in Brighton.

The rental housing units would be included in three new three- to seven-story buildings and within the 1909-built monastery — a designated Boston landmark — and an existing private residence known as the Pierce House, according to a project notification form filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

An existing church and dormitory on the site would be demolished, and the Shrine to Our Lady of Fatima would be relocated to a new building.

The 11.6-acre site at 159-201 Washington St. is near St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and Brighton High School.
The project will free up local housing for permanent neighborhood residents, according to Cabot.

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A booming boulevard? Wave of development coming to Morrissey

The Boston Globe | By Tim Logan
July 21, 2016

morrisseyMorrissey Boulevard may finally become a destination rather than a place people drive by on the way to somewhere else.

A high-end apartment building, with one-bedrooms starting at $2,400 per month, is set to open later this summer right by the JFK/UMass Red Line station. Auto magnate Herb Chambers is floating plans for a five-story Range Rover dealership at the old Channel 56 building down the street. And The Boston Globe last week announced it has reached a deal to sell its 16.5-acre campus, a huge plot that city planners have long eyed for housing and office space.

Throw in expansion plans, and perhaps a soccer stadium, at the nearby University of Massachusetts Boston campus, and this section of the city could soon be on the cusp of a building boom.

For an area with good highway and T access, just 3 miles south of downtown, it was inevitable that big projects would eventually show up, said Michael Corcoran, president of Corcoran Jennison Cos., a large developer that’s based in the neighborhood.

“It was going to get here sooner or later. It just took awhile,” said Corcoran, whose firm has Boston Redevelopment Authority approval for a 184-unit apartment building on the site of the old Bayside Expo Center. “It’s really a fantastic location.”

But the rush of activity lately has neighbors growing a bit anxious, and the BRA wondering whether it’s time to revise six-year-old plans for the area that, to some, already feel out of date.

“There are some recent real estate transactions that could have an impact on how we approach the future of that area,” said BRA spokesman Nick Martin, who said agency staff will meet next week to consider if they should update the 2011 Columbia Point master plan. “It’s worth at least talking about what we might want to see there.”

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Multi-family housing in Westford debated

Lowell Sun | By Melissa Hanson
July 20, 2016

WESTFORD- Route 110 may just be the perfect place for multi-family housing: It has public transportation and a mix of commercial, retail and office space, which would allow residents to walk to and from work and out for dinner.

Currently in phase two of a plan that may end with implementation of such housing, town officials are working with two organizations to explore the fiscal impacts, community feedback and plausibility of building multi-family units on Littleton Road.

Phase two is a quest for public input, which started with a small public meeting in May. Plans for another meeting are in the works for fall after special Town Meeting, according to Director of Land Use Management Chris Kluchman.

The idea is not a new one. Adding multi-family housing to 110 was part of the town’s Master Plan, approved in 2009.

Nearly everything a resident would need is on Route 110: Health care, highway access, shopping, groceries and restaurants.

“It’s kind of a natural place in Westford,” Kluchman said.

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New Owner Has Changes In Store For Lexington Corporate Center

Banker & Tradesman | By Steve Adams
July 19, 2016

Burlington-based R.J. Kelly Co. has acquired Lexington Corporate Center on Maguire Road from Normandy Real Estate Partners for $46 million.

The developer plans to rebrand the 283,798-square-foot campus and upgrade common areas for collaborative and creative tenants, CEO Brandon Kelly said. The acquisition, a partnership with Independencia Asset Management, is viewed as a long-term holding, Kelly said.

The complex, a former optics factory which produced components for NASA’s Hubbell telescope, was converted into a four-building multitenant office complex in the late 1980s. Normandy paid $47.5 million for the property in 2006.

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Hampton Inn slated for downtown Salem

The Salem News | By Dustin Luca
July 19, 2016

hampton inn salemSALEM— The next major project to hit construction downtown now has a name: Hampton Inn.

A five-story, $50 million, 178,000-square-foot hotel on the southern end of Washington Street could be up and running by Halloween 2017, according to Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll.

The massive, three-piece project at the corner of Washington at Dodge streets represents “a catalyst for continued growth downtown,” Driscoll said.

“We’re going to have a whole new entryway into the downtown from South Salem,” she said.

Hampton Inn won’t make up the entire development. Earlier plans for the project have included first-floor retail throughout the complex, with the hotel in the northernmost portion of the site. Residential and office space could fill out the rest of the site in some capacity.

About 200 parking spaces will also be built into the project, according to Driscoll.

The project reached a couple of critical milestones this week. First, city leaders inked a land disposition agreement to sell the portion of the site the city owns to Dodge Area LLC, the company launched to build the project. That agreement sells a half-acre, 38-space parking lot in Riley Plaza to Dodge for $275,000, according to an announcement from City Hall.

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