Boston developers return to projects abandoned during recession

According to a recent report, developers in increasing numbers are returning to projects abandoned during the housing recession. 

For example, an office high-rise in Boston’s Financial District is reportedly in the works. If the proposed $1 billion project is finalized, the tower would be the first new high-rise addition to the downtown area in decades. 

At this stage, the site owner has asked for developers to pitch their proposals. Commentators expect many proposals to be mixed-use, possibly combining retail, office and parking uses.

Mixed-use buildings seem to be the current favored choice of urban planners and commercial construction projects. The trend also reflects the urban preferences of young professionals, many of whom desire to remain downtown with easy access to public transportation, restaurants and entertainment venues. It may be only a matter of time before office and residential mixed-use high rises become a common sight in Boston.

Yet an attorney that focuses on real estate matters knows that downtown development projects may require extra care, paying attention to potential legal matters. For example, downtown projects may require the developer to put in alleys, sidewalks and other public features to comply with municipal regulations. Rezoning may even be necessary.

There may also be special insurance concerns. Even when a developer takes out an insurance policy, it may not be immune to a construction defect lawsuit. In fact, the policy itself may not provide adequate indemnity, leaving a contractor exposed to unnecessary real estate litigation. An attorney with a focus in real estate matters can advise developers on potential problem areas in their insurance coverage and development plans.

Source:  BisNow, “This Week’s Boston Deal Sheet,” Feb. 24, 2015