We sat down with Peter Evans, executive vice president leasing & advisory services to hear about his first few months at NAI Hunneman. Needless to say, we weren’t surprised to hear how busy he’s been.
Here’s what we found out:
Q: What has been your area of focus internally at NAI Hunneman these last few months?
Peter Evans: We have weekly meetings with all the downtown brokers and our CEO David Slye to collaborate on market trends, opportunities in the industry, events and how to make sure we’re in the public where we need to be. In these meetings, we make sure we have the right people in the right positions to pursue new business opportunities that fit within NAI Hunneman’s regional focus.
Q: With your team in place, what have you been working on in the Boston area?
PE: We are growing our emerging technology life science practice led by Evan Gallagher in downtown Boston, Cambridge and beyond, helping growing companies in these sectors find good homes and helping regional owners secure great tenants. Our downtown brokers Ben Sutton and Steve Cusano are collaborating with our life science/suburban brokers including Evan and Mike McCarthy, focusing on mid-rise, brick and beam, in the Seaport District, Leather District, North Station and other areas.
Q: What trends are you seeing?
PE: The emerging technology and life sciences markets are incredibly competitive – not just for space availability, but for the overall design of the space and how it influences office culture. Tech companies don’t want to walk into a marble lobby in the Seaport District. They want brick and beam or open, collaborative spaces where they can be creative.
In terms of areas that are heating up, North Station continues to draw hot companies. With Uber moving in last fall and Converse recently opening its new headquarters at Lovejoy Wharf, North Station is no longer an area where you only go to see a game at The Garden. The neighborhood has reemerged as a live, work play environment and has become the next logical place for innovative companies to set up shop.
Q: What are your predictions for the next 12 months in the downtown market?
PE: I don’t see activity slowing down. The momentum is huge. In the past 12 months the growth in rates and availability have skyrocketed. Rates are hovering in the mid to upper $40 psf in the Seaport and are even between $60-$90 psf in some areas of Cambridge. I expect these to continue to rise.
In regards to NAI Hunneman news over the next year, this summer, we’re redesigning our office space. We recognize the need for collaboration and the importance of an office environment for recruitment purposes. We’re trading in our cubicles for more open space!
Q: What is the main reason you decided to come to NAI Hunneman?
PE: NAI Hunneman doesn’t have boundaries that prohibit its brokers from working in other sectors or markets. If I can help with a suburban deal based on past experience or if someone can help the capital market team – we welcome them. Our focus and direction set by the new leadership team is putting the right people in the right place, to break down boundaries. We put the best minds on the job, regardless of level. For examples, several landlords have properties in the suburbs but also downtown. By combining the downtown team with the suburban team, we’re able to best meet the needs of our clients.
From capital markets to landlord and tenant representation, to appraisal and property management, we are a full-service commercial real estate firm, and we are rapidly hiring. The energy and the collaboration at NAI Hunneman as an internal group is felt in the marketplace. Hunneman is a team, rather than a bunch of different individuals. I knew I wanted to be a team member.