Boston Retail Space
Please click the links below to view up to the minute listings for retail & commercial space in the Downtown Boston area. This system is linked to a database where many of the largest real estate agencies in the Boston area post up-to-the-minute listings to. The system will also send you a nightly email on retail space that meets your criteria. This system will include retail space in all neighborhoods of Boston.
This system is updated daily and includes listings in all neighborhoods in the Downtown Boston area. You will be able to search commercial properties for sale & lease as well as view photos, addresses, virtual tours, and more. The system will include listings ranging from Newbury Street restaurant space, to clothing stores, gas stations, South End art gallery space, and more.
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In the market for retail space in Boston? Let Boston City Properties help you explore the possibilities. Whether you're looking in Back Bay, Brookline, the Seaport District, downtown or elsewhere in the city, prime retail space is available for purchase or lease at any given moment. The trick is locating properties that suit your needs and budget, and that's what often leads to confusion. There's an easy solution, though: Simply avail yourself of our free, constantly updated Boston retail space listings to get up to speed on the available offerings, or chat with a member of our friendly team for additional assistance.
Boston's Retail Market Boom
There hasn't been a better time in recent memory to open a retail establishment in Boston. The city is in the midst of an exciting retail boom, so now's the time to purchase prime commercial and retail space in one of its many vibrant neighborhoods. So far this year, retail sales in the city are up 3.2 percent over last year; elsewhere in the U.S., they're up 2.6 percent, so Boston is clearly doing something right. This growth is largely spurred by steadily rising consumer confidence and predictions that household income in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy area will rise by at least 4 percent in 2015.
Reasons to Purchase Retail Space in Boston
If you need a home for your business and are on the fence about looking in Boston proper, it's time to make it happen. Commercial and retail properties in the city do tend to cost more than out in the suburbs, but they give businesses unparalleled exposure and accessibility. Boston has a growing population that's largely made up of young, upwardly mobile professionals, and many of them want what your business has to offer. Buying or leasing retail space is a huge investment, but it's one that's sure to pay off in the long run.
Retail Lease Options in Boston
For various reasons, most businesses opt to lease rather than buy. If that's the case with you, you can take your pick from a seemingly endless array of options in all of Boston's neighborhoods. A gross lease, or full-service lease, is perhaps the most convenient option as everything is rolled into one payment. Net leases, which feature a lower base rent and include some or all of the costs of maintaining a property, tend to be more common. You'll also find properties available for modified gross leases, which offer a nice compromise between the two other options.
Find Prime Retail Space with Boston City Properties
Choosing a location for a business is incredibly important. It pays to have accurate, up-to-the-minute information at your disposal while searching for retail and commercial space in the city. With Boston City Properties, you'll get that and much more. Feel free to start browsing our handy listings for Boston retail space right this minute, or get in touch with us today. Our team will assist you in identifying retail properties that will help your business flourish like never before.
Boston Retail Space Market 2017 Recap
The end of the year is nearly upon us, making it the perfect time for reflection. In the world of Boston retail space, it was a busy and exciting 2017 indeed. If you are looking for information about retail space in Boston, you’ve come to the right place. On this page, you can quickly get up to speed regarding what occurred in the market throughout the year. We’ll also touch upon current market conditions and even take a glance at what’s ahead. Here at Boston City Properties, our goal is to keep you as informed as possible so you can make strategic and effective decisions.
Before delving into details regarding the local retail space market over the past year, note that Boston City Properties is the name to trust for timely, accurate information regarding all manner of Boston real estate. We are best known for maintaining one of the largest online databases of searchable MA real estate listings. Contrary to what you may think, this database isn’t limited to residential properties; it includes listings for commercial properties across the city, including retail space of all kinds. An optimal first step in any search for retail space is connecting with us.
Gaining access to Boston City Properties’ helpful resources is quick and easy—and it doesn’t cost a thing. Simply complete and submit the easy signup form, and you will be good to go. Our site is loaded with useful resources for anyone who is looking for real estate of any kind in not just the city but across the state too. It includes helpful articles about investing in, buying and leasing commercial space, including retail space. It also features how-to articles about finding what you need quickly and a wealth of additional tools to make your search unfold as smoothly as possible.
It’s also worth mentioning that Boston City Properties has connections with skilled, experienced commercial real estate agents across the city and in communities around the state. After determining where you are looking to buy or lease retail space, get in touch with our team. We will then refer you to a local real estate professional who can assist you from there. With an in-depth understanding of the local retail space market and other variables, your agent will help to ensure that you get exactly what you need—and that you get the best deal too.
Without further ado, let’s plunge full steam ahead into reviewing the Boston retail space market for 2017.
Overview of 2017 Boston Retail Space Market
A lot happened in the Boston retail space market over the last 12 months. By gaining perspective on what has happened and how things stand now, you will be able to make more informed and strategic decisions. That is true whether you are looking to lease or buy space for a business or if you are looking to invest in retail properties. Either way, the following information will help you get up to speed about the market, including where it has been and where it is heading.
- Vacancy rates – Given how tight vacancy rates were at the beginning of the year, it is extraordinary that they have dropped even more. However, that’s exactly what went down in 2017. Particular in the metro core area, including downtown, there has been a significant shrinkage of the retail space vacancy rate over the last 12 months. In many submarkets, in fact, the rate has dropped below 2 percent. This applies to all types of commercial space, and it is particularly profound in the retail sector in many submarkets.
- Asking rents – Average asking rents across the city have increased strongly for the most part. There are a few submarkets where the rate of growth for asking rents appears to be cooling somewhat, and this is something to keep an eye on in 2018. At the end of 2017, however, rents continue to be on an upswing. If you are looking to rent retail space somewhere in the city, it pays to act quickly. Odds are that even a few months from now, the same space that you are considering will fetch an even higher rate. Boston City Properties can help you find space that suits your budget and needs.
- Development – Due partly thanks to those rock-bottom vacancy rates as well as a major surge in demand for mixed-use properties, development in many parts of the city has soared over the last several months. In particular, construction activity in Middlesex County and the downtown core has spiked dramatically. This is good news if you will be in the market for new, modern space, as more and more will enter the market in the upcoming year. If you are looking for something a bit older and less expensive, however, things are bound to be tougher. Definitely connect with Boston City Properties for extra help.
- Hot Projects – A number of construction projects are currently planned and underway. They will bring significant amounts of new retail space to many parts of the city. In particular, The Hub, which is on the Causeway East Tower, is shaping up to be one of the biggest projects around. All told, the 26-story tower will feature more than 235,000 square feet of space, including a significant percentage of retail. The Newton Nexus Shopping Center in Newton and a new Wegman’s in Natick are also commanding a lot of fanfare and excitement.
- Continued strong demand – Demand for new commercial space has been at a near all-time high for some time now. It doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon. Based on how things are going into 2018, it looks like demand will continue to stay high well into the new year. Eventually, of course, demand will ideally level off to prevent another bubble from starting. With help from Boston City Properties, you can keep your finger on the pulse of local retail developments and the like and easily stay apprised of current market conditions, including demand.
Some quick facts about how 2017 has shaped up for the Boston retail space sector include:
- Vacancy rates dropped down to below 3 percent and have stayed there. Most recently, with net absorption exceeding an increase in new supply, the vacancy rate dropped to 2.8 percent.
- More than 1.8 million square feet of new retail space was constructed over the last 12 months, and more than a million more are in the works for the upcoming year.
- While rents remain high, rent growth has slowed a bit over the last year. Lately, it has been growing by about 1.6 percent, and it has remained near $20.25 per square foot for metro Boston for some time.
Commercial/Retail Investment Activity in 2017
Investors continued to be highly active buyers in the Boston commercial space market in 2017, and this trend is expected to continue into the next year. With vacancy rates continuing to tighten, this market continues to be ideal for those who want to make quick profits. Additionally, asking rent prices have stayed up and continue to grow in many submarkets, which provides extra reassurance. If you are thinking about investing in retail space in Boston or currently do, Boston City Properties can arm you with the info that you need to make sound, effective decisions.
When it comes to buying investment properties in the retail space market in Boston, the highest demand continues to be for single-tenant floor plates on the ground floors of large residential and office buildings. This is in line with the trend toward increased mixed-use developments across the city. Without a doubt, competition is strongest for retail space that falls into this category. As a result, if you are in the market for it, it’s particularly important to have help from a qualified agent. Boston City Properties can refer you to a skilled commercial real estate expert wherever you happen to be looking.
2017 kicked off with a promising environment for investors, and it appears to be closing out in an even better position. Whether you are a seasoned investor or are thinking about breaking into commercial real estate investment for the first time, you can’t go wrong by connecting with Boston City Properties. We’ll give you free, immediate access to a wealth of resources that are sure to make a massive difference for you and referrals to agents whose insights will help you make sound investment decisions.
2017: The Year in Review
By analyzing trends in the Boston commercial retail market in general and the retail submarket specifically, you will be in a better decision when buying, leasing or investing in such real estate in the months to come. If you will be purchasing, renting or investing in retail space in Boston in the upcoming year, stay connected with Boston City Properties for ongoing updates and information. In the meantime, get a feel for how various aspects of the market and economy fared over the last 12 months with the following convenient breakdown:
- Asking rents – Across the Boston metro area over the last 12 months, there has been a 0.4 percent year-over-year decrease in asking rents. This may imply that rent prices are going to start dropping, but the figure is a bit deceiving because it takes into account all submarkets. Many Boston submarkets continue to experience exponential growth in asking rents. Cambridge, in particular, is experiencing a major boom in this area. Asking rents increased by about 31 percent in 2017. Currently, they sit at around $42.16 per square foot, which is the highest rate in the entire Greater Boston region.
- Construction activity – When compared with 2016, construction activity dropped significantly over the past year. However, with 500,000 square feet of new space developed during that time, it isn’t like construction ground to a halt. The previous year saw the addition of more than 1.5 million square feet of space, but that was a major spike that isn’t likely to happen again for some time. At the present moment, more than 1.3 million square feet of space is currently planned and/or under construction already, so we can expect to see a major surge in construction activity in the retail sector in 2018.
- Vacancy rates – Among all major metro areas in the United States, Boston ranked lowest in terms of vacancy rates in 2017. Indeed, Boston’s market is even tighter in this regard than those of places like New York City and San Francisco, which is pretty incredible. In 2017, vacancy rates across Boston metro fell to just 2.7 percent. If you zero in specifically on the Boston/Suffolk County submarket, the rate is an even lower 1.5 percent. The above-mentioned construction should unfold just in the nick of time, and it is hoped that the market will become a bit more balanced by the time 2018 draws to a close.
- Employment – Boston’s retail space market is strongly impacted by the prevailing economy, including the current state of employment across the area. In 2017, more than 55,700 new jobs were added to Boston’s market, representing an increase of 2.1 percent from the year before. In fact, employment growth in 2017 outstripped that in 2016, and there is a good chance that this trend will continue into the new year. Top-performing sectors included office work, which added more than 17,000 new jobs, and health care, which added more than 19,000 new jobs. Across the Boston metro area, unemployment has remained below 4 percent for a while and currently hovers at about 3.8 percent.
Economic Activity 2017: Boston versus the U.S.
A great way to gain perspective on how a local real estate market will fare in the months ahead is by assessing how the local economy is performing when compared to the nation at large. Boston outstripped the country as a whole in nearly every important way in 2017. In retail sales per household per month, Boston clocked in at $4,122 while the U.S. averaged around $3,785. Boston experienced job growth of 1.6 percent versus 1.4 percent across the country. The area’s population grew by around 128,400 over the last five years. This equals an increase of 2.2 percent versus 0.7 percent for the U.S. Finally, between 2017 and 2022, retail sales are projected to grow by around 27.9 percent in Boston versus 21.1 percent in the U.S.
Given the above information, is it any wonder that Boston boasts one of the strongest and most efficient urban commercial real estate markets in the world? Opportunities for business owners and investors alike abound. With the right help, the sky is the limit—and Boston City Properties is here to provide it.
Multitenant versus Single Tenant Retail Space
Whether you are looking for retail space in a multitenant property or a single-tenant one, Boston City Properties can help. Before kicking off your search, though, gain some perspective on what to expect about these two property types. In 2017, prices for multitenant retail space for sale averages around $200 per square foot across metro Boston; in the downtown core area, they exceeded $800 per square foot. Single-tenant retail space in metro Boston in 2017, meanwhile, averaged around $450 per square foot. In the downtown core, it was closer to $900 per square foot.
Like any market, Boston’s retail space sector is heavily influenced by the local economy, including the employment situation. In 2017, unemployment dropped to below 4 percent, which is the lowest that it has been since 2007. Businesses posted more job openings, displaying extraordinary confidence in the health and strength of the local economy. In fact, job openings and confidence are near all-time highs currently. This increased confidence has also prompted many companies to finally increase their footprints after sitting tight and being conservative over the last several years. These developments will hopefully strengthen Boston’s position, allowing it remain ahead for the foreseeable future.
Reasons to Buy, Lease or Invest in Retail Space in Boston
If you are looking for reasons to move forward with retail or commercial space buying, leasing or investing in Boston in 2018, take a look at various facts about how 2017 progressed. As you will see, there are lots of great reasons to conduct commercial real estate business in Boston—and Boston City Properties is the name to trust for optimal guidance and assistance from start to finish. Some quick facts include:
- Nationally, the city of Boston has the fourth-highest GDP per capita. Given its size relative to many other large cities, this is especially significant.
- Over the last year, the city drew in and expanded its base of blue chip companies, including developments by G.E. and Amazon.
- Boston is regarded as a premiere Global Gateway Market, so if you are looking to go worldwide, it’s a great place to snag retail space.
- With faster population growth than San Francisco and even New York City, Boston is the 10th largest metro region in the United States—and that growth is spurring all kinds of great news for investors.
- Following the recession and housing crisis of the late 2000s, Boston rebounded slowly. This slow, steady growth has produced a strong, secure market. In the last year, around 70 percent of demand for research and development space was specifically for life science space, including lab space.
- Increasingly, Boston retail space tenants are asking for creative space and advanced amenities and services.
- The area is experiencing a wage growth rate of around 2.9 percent, which is very strong and quite promising.
- In the retail and commercial sectors, demand continues to outpace supply.
Hot Trend: Adaptive Reuse
As demand continues to outstrip supply across most of Boston’s commercial real estate sector, the trend is increasingly turning toward the adaptive reuse of existing properties as opposed to the development of new ones. In addition to building owners retrofitting and redesigning existing structures to lease to commercial tenants, tenants are becoming more receptive to adapting and improving their current spaces as opposed to packing up and moving. This is largely out of pure necessity, however, and it could start to change as millions of square feet of new space opens up in the next few years.
Boston Retail Space News in 2017
There are many advantages and perks to connecting with Boston City Properties when seeking retail space in Boston or around the state. When dealing with a particularly competitive commercial real estate market, it helps enormously to stay on top of the latest developments. On this website, you can check regularly for updates about the market. By staying informed, you will be better able to make informed and strategic decisions whether you will be buying, leasing or investing in retail space in Boston. To bring you up to speed for 2018, here are some of the top commercial real estate developments that occurred in the city over the past 12 months:
- Approval of $1-Billion Union Square Development – In early December, the Somerville Board of Aldermen and the city’s Planning Board signed off on the ambitious Union Square development. Located right near where the new Green Line stop will be, the $1 billion project will include 2.3 million square feet of space, including more than 1.38 million square feet of retail, office, lab, hotel and entertainment space. Construction will begin in 2018 and is projected to finish sometime in 2020. The first phase, which breaks ground soon, will include 400 residential units and more than 175,000 square feet of commercial space.
- Ground Breaks on $240-Million Fenway Center Project – Also near the end of the year, construction finally began on the highly anticipated Fenway Center development, which has been in the works and on the drawing table for more than 15 years now. Upon completion, the mixed-use development will offer more than 1 million square feet of space, including more than 37,000 square feet of retail and 300 condos. Phase 1 of the project is slated to be finished in 2020. Plans still include a deck spanning the Mass Turnpike, and the finished project will include several parks and pedestrian walkways.
- Approval of $550-Million Omni Boston Seaport Project – In early December, the ambitious Omni Boston Seaport development cleared another hurtle with official approval to get started. Spanning approximately two acres at D Street and Summer Street in South Boston, it is expected to be complete sometime in 2021. The hotel will boast more than 1,050 rooms and eventually will be turned into a mixed-use development with more than 40,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. Another interesting tidbit? When it is finished, the hotel is likely to have the largest ballroom in the city.
Retail Space: Should You Buy or Lease It?
If you’re in the market for retail space in Boston in 2018, you may be on the fence about whether you should buy or rent. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to each, and it pays to be aware of them. You can always count on the experts at Boston City Properties to provide you with resources that let you make informed and strategic decisions. We can also refer you to a local commercial real estate expert who can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option. In the meantime, here’s a quick rundown of what to expect in either case:
Pros of Buying Boston Retail Space
Some of the advantages of buying retail space include:
- Gain an additional source of income by investing in an appreciating asset—retail space. In a hot market like Boston’s, you can’t lose.
- Enjoy significant tax breaks, deductions and other advantages.
- Have access to equity within a short period of time. You can then fall back on that equity for growth, expansion or other business needs, gaining more security.
Cons of Buying Retail Space in Boston
Everything isn’t sunshine and rainbows when buying retail space in a massive, competitive market like Boston’s. Leasing makes more sense for many firms.
Some of the top disadvantages of buying retail space include:
- Having to factor in ongoing expenses, including maintenance and repairs, which are usually handled by landlords when leasing space. This can significantly reduce your bottom line.
- Significant upfront costs go into purchasing retail space in a place like Boston. Unlike with leasing, you must come up with not only a down payment but also appraisal costs, deposits and more. It may take a while to recoup these expenses, and it may not be worth it.
Pros of Leasing Retail Space in Boston
Although there are many pluses to owning retail space in Boston, it’s not right for all companies.
Some of the top advantages of leasing retail space include:
- Have access to more and possibly better options. Most of the time, you can get more for less when leasing than with buying.
- Stay more flexible. This is especially important if your company is new and still growing and expanding. With a lease, you can easily move into something bigger, smaller or elsewhere if need be.
- Save money and encourage innovation by leasing shared space with like-minded businesses.
Cons of Leasing Boston Retail Space
While leasing retail space works well for many firms, it comes with distinct disadvantages that may make buying space more practical.
Some of the top disadvantages of leasing retail space include:
- Lose out on growing equity. As the saying goes, you will be “throwing away your money” on rent and not building anything.
- Cope with variable expenses, including rent increases. When you buy, you typically lock in a monthly price that remains in the same ballpark. Rent prices generally increase every year, and this can be stressful for small or not-well-established companies.
- Potentially lose your space suddenly if the landlord decides to sell. Less control and flexibility. Since you don’t own the space, you don’t have the freedom to do whatever you’d like with it.
How Boston City Properties Can Help
As you can see, 2017 was a momentous year in the world of Boston retail space. Over the last 12 months, much of the growth that has exploded over the last few years has become more cemented into place. While other markets experienced dramatic growth following the recession and housing crisis, Boston’s markets have recovered more slowly. As a result, the city is now well-positioned, and those who seek retail space stand to do quite well.
With that being said, navigating Boston’s retail space market can be a downright nightmare—and that’s true even for experienced real estate experts and investors. It’s why you need all of the help that you can get when seeking Boston retail space—and it’s why you need to connect with Boston City Properties. Before doing anything else, quickly complete and submit the simple signup form. That way, you can start searching listings for retail properties for sale and for lease right away.
Zeroing in on suitable retail space options in our database is easy thanks to our powerful search tool. Listings are loaded with detailed, timely, in-depth information about properties, and they typically include floor plans and lots of photos. As you read through listings, remember to contact Boston City Properties if you have questions about any of the properties that you run across. Since our listings are updated continually, you can rest assured of having ongoing access to accurate, up-to-the-second information regarding the availability of commercial real estate space across the city.
Are you ready to track down suitable Boston retail space for your business or investment purposes? Now that you have a firm grip on what went down in 2017, you should be able to proceed more strategically and effectively. With access to our listings, you will be well ahead of the game. When you are ready to get down to brass tacks and look at properties, give us a call. We will refer you to a local commercial real estate agent who specializes in retail space. They can schedule tours, assist in negotiations and otherwise guide you through the buying or leasing process. For more info, please contact Boston City Properties.
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