Author: Michael Hoban
Articles by Michael Hoban
- Life Sciences Continue to Be Driving Force in the Boston Metro Area’s Economy
Published on June 22, 2020 in Market Trends
While the various segments of the Greater Boston commercial real estate industry grapple with how to return to operations safely as the global pandemic persists, the region’s life science sector continues to thrive. Acquisition, development, and leasing of laboratory properties remain robust in Boston and Cambridge as well as in the submarkets, according to a panel of life science property owners recently assembled for a ULI Boston webinar.
- Solving for Climate Change’s Impact on Urban Water: Flooding, Sea Rise, and Drought?
Published on October 21, 2019 in Sustainability
Climate change and its relationship to water management are having a profound impact on cities, compounded by the global trend toward urbanization. Harvard University recently hosted a wide-ranging discussion titled, “The Future of Cities: Water,” which assembled an international panel of experts to provide insights into the challenges of water-related climate change as well as potential solutions for a broad range of city environments.
- Smarter Zoning Choices Could Stimulate Growth in Greater Boston’s Housing Stock
Published on October 11, 2019 in Market Trends
With an unemployment rate of 2.6 percent, a diverse economy anchored by health and education institutions, and a flourishing tech and life sciences sector, Greater Boston appears poised for continued growth, even with the specter of a potential recession on the horizon. But, like many other growing U.S. cities, the demand for housing far outstrips the supply. Much of the expanding workforce is in danger of being priced out of the market, as are many longtime residents.
- Life Sciences, Tech Growth Continue to Drive Boston Development
Published on May 01, 2019 in Development
Driven by a steady stream of tech and life-sciences companies migrating into the Boston/Cambridge market in recent years, Greater Boston commercial real estate is booming, seeing steady rental growth across its various submarkets, and continuing to be a favored target of both foreign and domestic investors, according to panelists who spoke at a recent ULI Boston event. But that growth does risk displacing some longtime residents.
- Healthier Office Space Paying Dividends in Boston
Published on September 14, 2018 in Sustainability
One of the most difficult challenges for those seeking to adopt emerging technologies in commercial real estate is justifying the cost of implementing such measures. A recent ULI event in Boston highlighted the benefits of the evolving standards on health and wellness by five industry practitioners.
- The Creation of a Neighborhood: Boston’s Seaport
Published on September 10, 2018 in Development
A decade in the making, the South Boston waterfront neighborhood is emerging as a preferred destination for commercial and residential tenants.
- Using Technology to Enhance Community Experiences in Multifamily
Published on May 31, 2018 in Development
Panelists at a ULI Boston event in April said that a newfound purpose for technology is emerging in multifamily segments—fostering a sense of community within the buildings and their surrounding neighborhoods.
- Office Landlords Increase Focus on Enhanced Workplace Experience to Retain Tenants
Published on May 21, 2018 in Market Trends
A sea change is taking place in the way companies use office space design, amenities, and location to attract the most talented employees to their firms. Speaking at a ULI Boston event in May, panelists said that while lease flexibility is key to attracting desirable tenants, so is the user experience of the building itself.
- Middle-Income Renters See Persistent Housing Cost Burdens
Published on January 09, 2018 in Market Trends
While the latest Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) report on the state of rental housing in the United States. shows some positive signs for inventory, the overall trend persists that low- to moderate-income renters face significant cost burdens in most markets.
- ULI’s Advisory Services Examines Impact of Boston North–South Rail Link
Published on October 19, 2017 in Planning & Design
ULI Advisory Services was asked to examine how the construction of an underground rail line linking North Station to South Station in downtown Boston could help alleviate transportation and housing woes, while unlocking development potential.
- From Mill City to Innovation Hub: Relocating a Global Headquarters Outside Boston
Published on September 20, 2017 in Development
Lowell, Massachusetts, received a major boost in ongoing efforts to transform into a center of innovation when Kronos—a homegrown Massachusetts workforce management software and services company—decided to relocate its global headquarters, taking a half-million square feet (46,500 sq m) close to the city’s revitalized downtown.
- Embracing Smarter Cities in India and South Korea
Published on September 05, 2017 in Planning & Design
Technological innovations are affecting nearly every facet of how societies function, but it is the corresponding evolution of human behavior—not the technology itself—that is driving how the next generation of cities around the globe is being built. That was the general feeling of a panel of large-scale developers—veritable city builders—assembled at the World Real Estate Forum by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Real Estate.
- Drawing Employers to Tap Boston’s Well-Educated Talent Pool
Published on April 24, 2017 in Market Trends
In a survey released in January by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate, Boston ranked third in desirability by foreign investors among U.S. cities (behind New York and Los Angeles). ULI Boston/New England recently hosted a program in which panelists discussed the thought processes of the leadership of the companies and investors who are wagering heavily on the continued success of the region.
- Rethinking Public Housing in Mexico
Published on January 23, 2017 in Planning & Design
Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design recently released a report examining how urban planning and design interventions can help improve housing and urban development practice in Mexico, including densifying existing population centers with infill development and retrofitting infrastructure and services in areas where existing homes have been abandoned.
- Creative Placemaking’s Positive Impact on Community Development
Published on May 31, 2016 in Development
“Creative placemaking” can mean different things to different stakeholders, but ULI’s recent Housing Opportunity 2016 conference offered participants some very different strategies as to how to incorporate the concept into their own projects.
- Many Suburbs Dodging Issue of Affordable Housing
Published on May 31, 2016 in Development
With the trend toward urbanization increasingly pricing families out of housing in cities, one solution to the problem would be to simply construct more affordable multifamily housing stock in the suburbs.
- Regulatory Environment One of Many Impediments to More Homeownership
Published on May 31, 2016 in Market Trends
Panelists at the recent ULI Housing Opportunity Conference discussed the impediments to low- to moderate-income wage earners achieving homeownership, saying that most large lenders and many regional and smaller lenders have lost their ability to originate layered mortgages, due to the increased complexity of the new regulatory environment.
- Bridging the Digital Divide for Low-Income Residents
Published on May 31, 2016 in Infrastructure
Speaking at the recent ULI Housing Opportunity Conference, Rick Haughey, vice president of industry technology initiatives at the Washington, D.C.–based National Multifamily Housing Council, likened the wiring of the United States to the internet to the early development of the nation’s highways, but as a cautionary tale, creating unintended winners and losers in the process.
- New England Mayors Facing Cities’ Affordable Housing Shortage
Published on May 25, 2016 in Market Trends
Despite a regional economy that is faring better than that in much of the United States, many of New England’s major cities are struggling to provide enough affordable housing for their middle-income workforce.
- Housing 9 Million New Renters in the United States
Published on February 26, 2016 in Market Trends
According to a report by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the United States has seen an unprecedented increase in those living in rental housing, with nearly 9 million rental households added since 2005. While private lending has increased in the sector, new construction is largely focused on the higher end of the market.
- ULI Boston Report Outlines Barriers, Solutions to Rising Seas
Published on November 23, 2015 in Sustainability
Despite the record harsh winter of 2014–2015 that dumped 111 inches (281 cm) of snow on the city of Boston and the not-so-distant (2012) memory of the near-hit of Hurricane Sandy, instituting measures to safeguard against the effects of climate change and rising seas will not be an easy sell with the region’s utilities, property owners, government agencies, or general public.
- Choice Neighborhoods: Redeveloping Boston’s Quincy Corridor
Published on August 10, 2015 in Planning & Design
A development in Boston is the first of the five initial Choice Neighborhoods projects to be completed when HUD Secretary Julián Castro cut the ribbon on Quincy Heights, a 129-unit scattered-site housing redevelopment in Dorchester's Quincy Corridor.
- What Can Boston Learn from Other Cities’ Olympic Bids?
Published on June 11, 2015 in Planning & Design
While the amount of public financing that would be required to stage the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Boston remains an open question, ULI Boston/New England recently hosted a panel discussion focused on how such bids have paved the way for badly needed infrastructure and development projects in other cities.