Last night’s NAIOP Massachusetts Developing Leaders session focused on transforming older commercial office buildings for the demands of today’s tenants. Moderated by JLL’s Bryan Sparkes, the panel featured David Greaney, Founder and President of Synergy Investments, who recently purchased Ten Post Office Square where the event was held. Ten Post Office Square is a prime example of an asset currently going through a transition to modernize a classic building in a great downtown Boston location.
The panel addressed how work conditions, hours and expectations for workplace have evolved over time, and how these changes affect design and filling vacancy. Deniz Ferendeci, an architect from Dyer Brown, pointed out that it is now desirable for building lobbies to have adequate spaces for people to hang out and chat, as well as conduct meetings. Years ago professionals did not typically utilize a building’s lobby for such purposes, so design must reflect this shift in purpose.
Greaney also spoke of some of the challenges in renovating older buildings, such as respecting an asset’s history while renovating for the needs of today’s tenants. As an owner, Synergy is respectful of the companies in the building. At the same time they are targeting those that they’d like to attract.
A final question from Sparkes — asking the panel what they see for the future of Boston in the way of commercial real estate — generated some thoughtful responses. Greaney said that fixing Boston’s transportation system will be critical for our city’s future success. Jeff Avallon of IdeaPaint spoke of Boston’s need for nicely built-out, flexible and move-in ready office space that younger companies can take advantage of for a short-term lease while they are growing.