Yep, you know all about this, right?
Over the past week to ten days, the mainstream media has been all over the story that Boston is undergoing a building boom.
Certainly, we’ve had a good amount of construction over the past half-decade, almost all of it residential in nature (we haven’t had an office building constructed in over five years).
It seemed as though a new condo building was going up on each street corner. (It seemed that way, but it wasn’t true, just so you know. The city of Boston had 250,000 housing units in 2000, according to the US Census Bureau, and 255,000 housing units in 2005 – not much of an increase …).
We are in for some crazy times, in the near future.
Boston magazine did a great job of outlining all the new development projects about to commence construction, in this month’s issue (not available online). I have the pages at home scanned into my computer, but haven’t uploaded the story, yet (copyright issues, be damned).
The Globe came out with a similar story, today, written by Steve Bailey (who I swore wrote last month that he was going to be out of town until the end of August (ed. I wish!).)
While residential foreclosures remain high, a legacy of the subprime mortgage bubble, and home prices are soft, the pace of construction in Boston is reaching a level not seen since the last great boom, from 1987 to 1991. What is most striking about this construction wave is just how broadbased it is: from the hospitals and universities to hotels and residential, and now even office and industrial space.
Consider: In June, there were 75 projects under construction — 11 million square feet in all — in the c ity of Boston, according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority, or the equivalent of 10 Prudential Towers. That represents $3.3 billion in investment and 13,000 full-time construction jobs.
Even more shocking is the number of projects permitted but not yet begun.
I felt something this week that I hadn’t felt for years … it was an optimism over the future of the city.
Obviously, we’re talking about is office buildings. I mean, it’s not like these buildings are going to magically fix our city’s schools, or bring down the high-cost of housing, or improve my commute on the MBTA (er, I don’t have one, actually).
Boom Town – By Steve Bailey, The Boston Globe
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