NEREJ: Solar's increasing allure in the suburban office market

Edith Shi | Mar 06, 2015
by Jonathan Vacca, Nexamp

As has been noted in previous issues of the New England Real Estate Journal, Massachusetts has one of the more robust solar markets and is consistently rated among the most energy efficient states in the country. This should not come as a surprise to anyone around here given greater Boston's focus on innovation and technology, which includes solar. But the growing technology sector also happens to be what's driving the local commercial real estate market, and it's the interplay among the tech, real estate and solar markets that is creating a new and increasingly significant dynamic in our local economy.

In recent months, my firm's business development team has met with several of the area's more recognizable commercial real estate investment and development firms, and one common theme from these meetings has emerged: everyone wants to know about their solar options. This is particularly evident among those who own and manage office product along the Rte. 128 and 495 corridors. When it comes to solar, it is clear this interest stretches beyond mere cost savings; this current uptick in curiosity has as much to do with product differentiation and appeal than anything.

To understand what's behind the rise in interest, let's consider the tenant makeup of Boston's suburban office market. While still diverse, the majority of its recent significant lease transactions have been inked by members of the technology sector, including: Bit9 at Bay Colony in Waltham, Care.com at 77 Fourth Ave. in Waltham, Sophos at 3 Van de Graaff Dr. in Burlington, and Osram Sylvania at 200 Ballardvale St. in Wilmington. Many see the implementation of a solar project as an effective way to help attract one of a number of growing innovation companies in the region.

Read the full article at NEREJ's website

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