High-Profile recently attended the Bisnow event titled “Future of Downtown Boston.” Bisnow panelists and 350 guests discussed the warp speed at which Boston seems to be changing.
Nixon Peabody partner Larry DiCara, whose firm has had a downtown office for 25 years, kicked off the event by saying that decades ago, the most popular hotel in the neighborhood rented rooms by the hour and city residents were fleeing to the ’burbs. Now, there’s the Hyatt, a Ritz-Carlton, and the boutique Godfrey Hotel due to open later this year. The population is the largest it’s been in 50 years, and Boston has changed from a city of brawn to one of brains.
The first panel on offices was moderated by Vidaris’ Walter Hartnett and featured EOP’s John Conley, Arrowstreet’s David Bois, and Sonos’ Chad Lundeen. In the 18 months that Hartnett’s been in Boston, he’s already seen a “radical change.”
David Bois said, “Revitalization of historic building-addition provides a distinctive new identity, existing building provides historic details, character (two-story lobby, classic details, terra-cotta ceilings). The building retains its authenticity while being modernized to support tenants. On Congress Square and buildings like it, the addition of new floors adds needed area and provides the historic building with state-of-the-art office space. We see this as a trend that makes sense — preserving the historic character of downtown Boston and promoting the use of these buildings for future generations.”
Tyler Fisher, director of Bisnow Boston, said, “I was absolutely thrilled with the event, which was made possible by our amazing speakers and sponsors. Larry DiCara’s keynote set the tone of the event and was referenced throughout the panels to follow.
“On those panels, I thought the blend of perspectives was amazing — from Rosemarie Sansone to Arrowstreet, Equity Office and Justin Krebs to Sonos and Roche Brothers. We had a diverse group of people and firms who have shaped what downtown has become, and are the driving forces behind its future, which I think we all can agree is quite exciting.”