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Jun. 20, 2014

Hines, MetLife to Develop Quincy, Mass., Waterfront Community

By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

Boston—International real estate firm Hines, in conjunction with MetLife, has announced it will develop a mixed-use multifamily property on the Quincy, Mass., waterfront. Hines will develop and co-invest in the development, while MetLife will own a majority equity stake in the project.

Slated for a 5.83-acre parcel, the development will feature a pair of four-story apartment buildings offering 352 market-rate apartments. Also included will be 17,000 square feet of retail space and about 500 parking spaces. A substantial expansion of the boardwalk and retail and restaurant venues at Marina Bay, as well as a waterfront pedestrian connection between the boardwalk and Squantum Point Park, will also be major components of the development.

Residents of the apartment community will enjoy views across Dorchester Bay to downtown Boston, the Back Bay and Seaport District. A shuttle service to the nearby North Quincy MBTA station will be instituted as well.

“Job growth is the main driver of the need for additional housing, and there is a general shortage of high-quality rental housing in this area,” David Perry, senior managing director for Houston-based Hines, tells MHN. “Right now, [the site] is parking lots, an outdoor entertainment venue and boat storage facilities, so replacing those uses with high-quality residential and retail, combined with an expansion of the existing boardwalk and connecting the boardwalk to a large park area, bodes well for the immediate surroundings.”

The biggest challenge facing developers in the area is obtaining entitlements, and in this case, entitlements were garnered by the previous owners. The additional obstacle, Perry says, is designing structures that will stand right alongside the water. “It presents all the issues of developing on the waterfront, in terms of designing buildings to withstand the elements,” he notes.

This is the third residential development involving collaboration between Hines and MetLife. Groundbreaking is expected to take place in early 2015, and pre-leasing will commence in 2016.

Says Robert Merck, senior managing director and global head of real estate for MetLife: “We are very excited to be involved in the property at Marina Bay in Quincy. Developing multifamily housing in core urban areas is a key part of our real estate investment strategy, and we are pleased to have a first-class partner in Hines in this joint venture.”

This stretch of waterfront is a very popular dining and leisure designation for the people of Quincy, Perry says. “It is the only remaining undeveloped parcel at Marina Bay, so it completes the marina waterfront development, including the boardwalk and the pedestrian connection from the boardwalk to Squantum Point Park,” he adds. “Those are all public benefits resulting from the project.”

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