On Friday, September 28th, Bruce Lee and Grey Lee traveled downtown to the Boston Harbor Hotel to attend the Annual REFA Fall Conference. REFA is the Real Estate Finance Association, a component of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB), and Grey is a member. Here’s the view from the side of the hotel – looking at the “continuing to grow but very close to high water” Seaport district.
It was a great event full of insight and prognostications. The keynote presentation was “Commercial Real Estate: Then, Not and The Future,” moderated by Marci Griffith Loeber, managing principal, Griffith Properties. Panelists included: Bill McCall, founder and president, McCall & Almy; John Fowler, executive managing director, HFF and Ronald Druker, president, the Druker Company.
The second session was a panel discussion on the topic of “Commercial Real Estate Disruptors.” Moderator Steve Weikal, head of industry & alumni relations at MIT Center for Real Estate. The panelists included: Katie Sullivan, founding team, marketing & communications at HqO; Linda MacLeod Fannon, vice president, Elkus Manfredi Architects; and Sarah Travers, CEO, Workbar the coworking operation expanding into the suburbs. Also presenting was Kyle Corkum, of the Union Point development project at the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station.
After the program, we took a walk through the neighborhood. It was a bit blustery but not too rainy. We walked along the Rose Kennedy Greenway and found some cool stuff including a few green buildings!
Post Office Square was looking good, even if no one was sunbathing. Nearby we found the new Winter Garden at Boston Properties’ 100 Federal Street – a great new addition to the landscape:
It was a great walk through Downtown Boston, to see some of the great advances in building design and operation. We also found a new “parklet” built into the wide area of Franklin Street near where it crosses with Arch Street. Bruce approves!