NAIOP Outlines Plans for Mass. Reopening

| May 18, 2020

Dear NAIOP Members & Friends,

The Baker-Polito administration released its plan for reopening the Massachusetts Economy.

Phase One will allow the following (with restrictions, some capacity limitations, staggered start):

  • On May 18: Essential businesses; Manufacturing; Construction
  • On May 25: Lab space; Office space (outside of Boston); Limited Personal Services (hair; pet grooming; car washes); Retail (remote fulfilment; curbside pick-up)
  • On June 1: Office space in Boston

Each phase will last a minimum of three weeks and could last longer depending upon public-health data.

All Construction Included in Phase 1 Reopening Announcement

Governor Baker announced that all construction (including office, retail, etc.) will be allowed to proceed if the appropriate documentation and safety standards and guidance are in place (in addition to any local requirements or restrictions).

In addition to the mandatory safety standards for all industries announced regarding social distancing, hygiene, staffing and operations, and sanitization, the Baker-Polito administration released construction-specific mandatory safety standards and guidance.The requirements must be in place before reopening a site, and include but are not limited to:

  • Keeping all crews a minimum of six feet apart at all times to eliminate the potential of cross-contamination
  • No in-person meetings of more than 10 people
  • Where social distancing is impossible, employers will be required to supply PPE including, as appropriate, a standard face covering, gloves and eye protection.
  • The elimination of large gathering places on site such as shacks and break areas, allowing instead for small break areas with limited seating available to ensure social distancing.
  • The designation of a site-specific COVID-19 Officer (who may also be the Health and Safety Officer) for every site except for construction and remodeling work in one to three family residences. This Officer shall certify that the contractor and all subcontractors are in full compliance with the COVID-19 safety requirements for construction.

The construction-specific requirements and guidance allows cities and towns to require additional site-specific risk analysis and safety plans.

Also, the City of Boston will allow a subset of construction projects on sites that meet specific criteria to commence (hospitals, public schools, 1-3 unit residential buildings, road and utility work or other outdoor/open-air work such as steel erection).

On May 26, all construction projects in Boston may re-commence construction, if the construction site has submitted a COVID-19 Safety Plan and a COVID-19 Safety Affidavit in accordance with the City’s Temporary Guidance for Construction.

Starting May 25, the administration will allow office space to reopen at 25% of capacity, except in the City of Boston, which will allow office space to reopen on June 1.

NAIOP has been in talks with the City and we will keep members posted if any additional standards for offices are released.

The administration has made it very clear that they hope employees who can work from home continue to do so throughout this recovery in order to limit potential exposure and allow for a successful and resilient reopening.riders and employees are required to wear face coverings while riding public transit.

Stations and vehicles will continue to be cleaned and sanitized with increased frequency, and riders and employees are required to wear face coverings while riding public transit. Stations and vehicles will continue to be cleaned and sanitized with increased frequency, and customers should board at the rear doors of buses and street-level trolley stops. Seniors and individuals with disabilities may still board at the front door if needed.

NAIOP will continue to advocate for policies, executive orders and legislation that address how this public health crisis is affecting real estate and overall economic development. We are working on numerous initiatives. Please feel free to reach out to CEO Tamara Small or Government Affairs Associate Anastasia Nicolaou if you have any questions.

The Baker-Polito Administration has released guidance for office spaces ahead of the May 25 date so that companies are able to review and plan for reopening. The guidance released includes a COVID-19 checklist and mandatory sector-specific safety standards.

Please visit mass.gov/reopening to review the full report, general business guidance, sector guidance, mandatory employer and worker posters, and FAQs on the four-phase reopening plan. In order to reopen, all businesses must develop a written COVID-19 Control Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19.

-The NAIOP Team

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Category: All, COVID-19

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