If there’s one thing that’s certain in commercial real estate, it’s this: there will always be a new hot neighborhood. For the first quarter of 2013, that was undoubtedly Downtown Crossing, particularly for startups. However, in the second quarter of 2013, our experts noticed a shift to the suburbs, in particular, to Waltham.
In our second quarterly HotSpot index, we examine three reasons why Waltham is the hottest city for commercial property among Boston’s suburbs. These trends are also featured by Scott Van Voorhis in Globe West.
1) Location: Waltham is located only 11 miles north-west of downtown Boston, easily accessible by the Massachusetts Pike. In addition, Waltham can be accessed via Route 2 and I-95 and has a commuter rail station right in the town’s center, making it easy for young talent and commuters to get to work from Boston.
2) The price is right – and there’s room to grow: There’s no arguing that leasing outside of the city is cheaper than Boston and Cambridge. Cambridge is currently going for a higher rate than Boston at about $51.58 per square feet compared to $43.26 per square feet. Waltham is going at a bargain price compared to those two rates, at $28.73. Not only is Waltham less expensive than the city, there is also more availability. At 12.2 percent availability compared to 9.1 percent in Boston and 10.6 percent in Cambridge, companies are finding it much easier to find the kind of space that fits their needs, at the right price.
3) Closing deals: Need hard proof that Waltham is the newest hot spot? It’s in the pudding. During Q2, more deals closed in Waltham than any other suburb – 124 to be exact. This is 75 percent higher than the 71 deals in both Burlington and Newton (the closest contenders) during the same period.
Waltham showed great growth in Q2 proving the town a main player for commercial property. Some notable NAI Hunneman deals in Waltham during Q2 include:
• Intelligent MDX 27,000+/-SF at 285 Bear Hill
• Lime Brokerage 15,000 +/- SF 1000 at 1000 Winter Street
• Cambridge Institute 20,685+/- SF at 1025 at Main Street
• Attentiv 3,000 SF at 460 at Totten Pond Road
• Creativestar Solution 3,000 SF at 460 Totten Pond Road
We’ll be interested to see which area is the hot neighborhood in Q3, but in the meantime, check out our full quarterly report here.