Friday, October 7, 2011

$2 Billion Real Estate Project in Boston market area ("NorthPoint") set to resume!

And, Magic Johnson is involved in this project.

I said in a post on Reprographics 101 on July 5th …..

Real Estate Development Activity in Boston, MA - finally, looks to be on the rise!

“Boston’s real estate development economy appears to be on the verge of breaking out on the “right side” of things. This, of course, is good news to anyone and everyone associated with the A/E/C community, including reprographers!”

And, yesterday, another positive sign of this was evidenced by an article that appeared, yesterday, in the Boston Globe:

Investors to relaunch NorthPoint project

October 06, 2011 | By Casey Ross, Boston Globe Staff Writer

A new team of investors is set to resume construction of the massive NorthPoint development, a $2 billion mini-city between Cambridge and Boston that will bring thousands of new homes, a shopping complex, and offices to a former rail yard.

The 44-acre project, stalled since 2007 because of legal and financial issues, is one of the biggest in the state and promises to transform a huge swath of vacant industrial land into a new neighborhood along the MBTA’s Green Line, whose planned extension through Somerville will start at the property’s edge.

The first phase, which could begin next summer, is expected to create 250 jobs, with thousands more to come as building activity picks up over the next several years.

The new development team includes a California investment fund backed by former Los Angeles Lakers star Earvin “Magic’’ Johnson, who appeared at an event on the property yesterday to formally relaunch NorthPoint with the mayors of Cambridge and Somerville.

“This great, mixed-use project is going to create a lot of jobs and a lot of opportunity,’’ said Johnson, who spoke about his firm’s investment in the region just down the road from the site of the old Boston Garden, where he had legendary playoff battles with Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics .

“Red Auerbach would be rolling in his grave,’’ Johnson quipped, drawing laughter from more than 200 public figures and business executives at the event.

Johnson’s partners include former Boston Redevelopment Authority director Thomas N. O’Brien.

The first phase will consist of 350 apartments, as the developers seek tenants to occupy 2 million square feet of office and retail space.

Within the next decade, NorthPoint - located across from the CambridgeSide Galleria on land in Cambridge, Boston, and Somerville - will consist of 22 buildings and public parks on what is now a gritty canyon.

While it could attract the pharmaceutical and technology companies that have fueled explosive growth in nearby Kendall Square, the project also faces a struggle to regain momentum following a construction stoppage that has lasted more than four years.

Work stalled in 2007 because of a bitter lawsuit between its former owners. The logjam finally broke last year, when Johnson’s company, Canyon/Johnson Urban Funds, acquired the property in a partnership with O’Brien’s firm, HYM Investment Group of Boston, and Atlas Capital Group of New York. Canyon/Johnson acquires and redevelops large properties across the United States and has worked on projects in Houston, Los Angeles, and New York.

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