A couple months ago, it was announced that the city of Boston was going to be giving JP Morgan property tax breaks in order to entice them to expand their operations by signing a lease on a building at 451 D Street, in Boston’s Seaport District (née, the South Boston Waterfront). It was implied that, without them, it would pick up and leave, to the suburbs or out of state.

The city (courtesy of the mayor and city council) kicked in $2 million in partial property tax credits while the Commonwealth kicked in another $2 million because the company was investing in an “economic opportunity area”.

Mayor Thomas M Menino was quoted in the Boston Globe as saying, “These workers will bring new vitality to the South Boston waterfront, especially during these uncertain economic times … There’s a lot of competition and many incentives to get them to go somewhere else.”

That’s why I found the following to be a bit surprising.

This week, Banker & Tradesman reported commercial property activity for the 2nd quarter, 2008.

Vacancies in the Boston and Cambridge office markets inched up slightly in the second quarter as asking rents soared, defying the laws of supply and demand.

South Boston’s Waterfront had the biggest boost in average asking rents at $50.52, up from $29.22 last year, a 73 percent rise.

Doesn’t sound as if things are too tough, down there.

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