Blog :: 2015

Q3 2015 Boston Retail Market Update

Boston's retail market also remained strong in Q3 2015. Vacancy was down to 3.7% at the end of the quarter, compared with 3.9% in Q4 2014. Asking rent rates were also up - at $17.83/SF, up 5.38% from four quarters earlier. (Remember, those averages are across the greater Boston area - in Q3 2015, average quoted rent rates were $90.80/SF in the Back Bay and $110/SF in the Midtown/Downtown Crossing area).

As the chart above shows, there is not a great deal of new construction retail space scheduled to be delivered in the next year - and much of what is, has already been committed to tenants.

Sale prices have trended generally up. The chart below is a little deceiving in the sense that it covers so many different areas. However, I wanted to share it because it shows how strong 2015 started for Boston retail (data for the 2nd half of 2015 will be out in the coming weeks).

Contact Eric Shabshelowitz, our Vice President of Commercial Real Estate, if you have any questions about or need help with Boston retail space.




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Q3 2015 Boston Office Market Update

Boston's office market remained strong in Q3 2015. Overall vacancy in the Boston area decreased to 9.1%, down from 9.2% at the end of Q2 2015 and 9.3% at the end of Q4 2014. Vacancy in Boston's central business district (CBD) was down to 7.6%, compare that with Q4 2014 when vacancy was at 8.3%. Interestingly, the vacancy rate for Class A properties is at 9.9% vs. only 5.2% for Class C properties. Rents are also up - in both Boston's CBD and the suburban markets.


There has been a lot of press about the construction boom in Boston. In the first chart above, showing scheduled deliveries of new construction office space, note that most of it has already been leased. One common question is whether it is just companies moving out of old space into new and so it will create vacancy in their old building. However, that has not yet been the case - more office space continues to get leased than sits on the market (net absorption for Q3 2015 was positive 1,152,407 SF).

Investment interest in Boston office property also remains strong. Cap rates continue to stay below national averages. Investors are also dominating the market, as only 7% of Boston's office space is owner-occupied.

Contact Eric Shabshelowitz, our Vice President of Commercial Real Estate, if you have any questions about or need help with Boston office space.


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Things Are Just Rosey On Newbury Street!


Just like the hot Boston real estate market, the roses are feeling the heat. Cabot's principal, Joseph Palermino, photographed these flowers in front of the Prince Condominium just the other day, in the middle of December! Cabot & Company also has some hot winter specials for rent and for sale so please call us to help you with your real estate needs!


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Cabot and Company Finds Cafe Quattro a New Space

Cabot and Company finds Café Quattro a new space

Vice President and lead Commercial Real Estate broker, Eric Shabshelowitz, recently helped find a new space for the beloved Café Quattro in the South End! Previously located on Somerset Street downtown, Café Quattro thought the South End would be a great landing spot for the new location.

Now situated at 817 Harrsion Avenue near Boston Medical Center, Café Quattro has become a staple for many of the city's medical professionals and South End residents. The Italian-based restaurant boasts a full menu of classics and new takes, garnering the attention of Zagat.

"The menu spotlights hand-tossed thing-crust pizzas, including its signature quattro formaggi and unique variations like pear and parmigiana, plus housemade pastas, panini, salads, soups, and a full espresso menu for a caffeine fix on the go. The menu spotlights hand-tossed thin-crust pizzas, including its signature quattro formaggi and unique variations like pear and parmigiana, plus housemade pastas, panini, salads, soups and a full espresso menu for a caffeine fix on the go." - Zagat

Cabot would give Café Quattro two thumbs up, but we have a slice of the quattro formaggi in our other hand! 

Stop into Café Quattro and tell owner, Evan, that Cabot sent you!

Contact Eric Shabshelowitz for a free market analysis of your property and for his expertise on the Boston commercial real estate market.


The Somerset, #305

Shelagh Brennan offers a luxury condo in a historic building














The Somerset takes its place in the history of Boston with its debut in 1897 as one of the grandest hotels in America. In fact, The Boston Globe once deemed it, "among the distinctly magnificent hotels of the world", ushering in its era as a premier destination, host to glamorous balls, cotillions and weddings. Political, social and entertainment glitterati graced its steps. Actress Gloria Swanson and the Beatles stayed there and Ted Williams resided there during baseball season.



Today the Somerset is home to 116 luxury condominiums. And within its historic elegance, Residence #305 serves as the crown jewel, reflecting the combination of two units once home to the illustrious family of jewelers, the Dorfmans. 



Three bedrooms, three and a half baths, with one garage parking space - $3,595,000



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Why People Love to Live on the Water

Shelagh Brennan has a wonderful condo that overlooks the Charles River at 274 Beacon Street. One of unit's most important and significant features is its proximity to the Charles River and the sweeping views that come with. Zillow produced an article that discusses the psychological and financial ties that come with owning a property on the water. Although there aren't any beach rights, having a view that looks over the Charles River is commodity that not many owners get to experience while living in Back Bay.

Why People Love to Live on the Water!


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Ten Ways to Increase the Value of Your Investment Property

1. Set a Budget
Setting a budget and managing expenses is very important when trying to make a profit off of an income property. Budget for future capital improvements - heating systems, hot water tanks, the roof and other big ticket items.

2. Raise the Rents
Raising rents can have a huge impact on your property's value. A higher rent roll means increased annual income, which boosts the value of the property. As leases expire, ask a professional to price the units.

3. Give the Property a Makeover
Whether fully renovating the kitchens and bathrooms or simply adding a fresh coat of paint, sprucing up your property will help increase demand from tenants. Higher demand means higher rents

4. Change the Property's Use
The way a property is currently used may not be the most valuable use for the property. As an example, in the Boston area, the residential market is incredibly strong. Converting a commercial/industrial building may allow you to substantially increase the property's rent roll. Check what local zoning allows.

5. Upgrade Fixtures and Appliances
Replacing old light fixtures and swapping old appliances with modern ones can be great selling points. Adding washers and dryers to the building are also a plus and can be an additional source of revenue if they are coin-operated.

6. Lower your Taxes
If your property includes retail or office space, your commercial tenants should be paying their fair share of real estate taxes. Additionally, and while it is uncommon right now in the Boston market, if you buy a property for less than the tax assessed value, file for a tax abatement.

7. Separate Utilities
Depending on the system, a building's heating expenses can be one of the largest expenses for a landlord. If they are not already, consider ways to separate out utilities so that tenants pay those costs directly.

8. Renegotiate the Leases
Renegotiating a lease gives the landlord the opportunity to raise rents and pass through expenses, but also to encourage improvements to the property. In commercial leases, for instance, the landlord may give free rent and construction allowances so that the tenant can make improvements to the space, including redoing the façade of the building, updating signage, replacing carpet and repainting. The tenant should pay a higher rent in return for those concessions, and your property will be improved - it is a win-win.

9. Hire a Professional Property Manager
A professional property manager can provide a number of valuable services to landlords, including handling maintenance issues and emergencies promptly, responding to tenant issues, negotiating better pricing from vendors and contractors and paying bills in a timely manner.

10. Divide the Building
In very general terms, the smaller the unit, the higher the rent on a dollar per square foot basis. Reconfiguring the property to increase the number of units can translate into a higher rent roll. Check local zoning.

For a free consultation on how to increase the value of your investment property,

Investment Opportunity in West Roxbury!

4833 Washington Street, W. Roxbury


Cabot's Eric Shabshelowitz has listed a fantastic investment building in West Roxbury. The brick building on Washington Street consists of four two-bedroom units, each with its own parking space and balcony. Annual operating costs are minimal as tenants are responsible for own utilities, and the draw is certainly palpable for commuters as the building lies on an MBTA bus route and is near the commuter rail.

OPEN HOUSE - SATURDAY 3/14 & SUNDAY 3/15 - 12-1:30


How has the Weather Impacted the Spring Market?

Sure, offices and schools have had a number of snow days. But how has the weather impacted the real estate market?

As you might expect, inventory is down... way down. The charts below are for residential condos, but we have seen a similar trend through all property categories.

Downtown Boston Condo Inventory (Past 3 Years)

Downtown Boston Condo Inventory (Past 18 Months)

Boston's Spring market generally starts to pick up by late January/early February. Due to the storms, inventory is much lower than normal.


Cambridge Condo Inventory (Past 3 Years)

Cambridge's inventory chart shows a similar trend. 

Most would-be sellers are waiting for a break in the weather. In a few weeks, once the temperatures start to rise and the snow banks clear, we'll likely see a good stream of properties come on the market. If you're planning to buy this Spring, now is a good time to get geared up and ready for hunting.



  1. Jay on

    Cousin Gloria So GRATEFUL !!! Lil E Man has MANY Guardian Angels watching him. As does his Mommy & Daddy! *Hugs to All* Love ya MichelleP.S. Also, thank you for your vosutlenriem. An ah let those lights shine Bright, ESP tonight.

    Shelagh Brennan's Recent Sale Breaks Records


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