Informa is a leading business intelligence, academic publishing, and events company, operating within the Knowledge and Information Economy. They approached us through their New York City office to assist in a Boston site search which would bring together many of their operations. The different groups all provide intelligence and information to different communities including life sciences, academics, finance, publications, conferences and exhibitions. By consolidating and providing a dramatic new facility, they would bring together the different “companies” and some of the new acquisitions like Comic Con under one roof. The Challenge was to find the right image for so many different companies, and to find the right pricing with Boston lease rates approaching $90/sf. The space and layout needed to provide seating for employees who spent much of their time traveling, or working from home occasionally, and make the team proud to bring their clients to an easily identifiable and prestigious property that represented the Informa look.
After an exhaustive search that focused around the Financial District and then the Seaport areas of Boston, which surrounded the South Station Amtrak facility, we defined 8 good options in a certain size range, and then we redefined the size. All of these spaces required extensive renovations, and because of Boston’s building boom, the costs were out of control and the timing was becoming a factor. Eventually we heard of a speculative space being built out by a Landlord in the Financial District and permitting and construction had already commenced. The plans & design were almost perfect. We negotiated a competitive lease and Informa was empowered and capable of making decisions quickly, and because of Informa’s fiscal strength, the Landlord was willing to be flexible with the terms, even in this low vacancy rate market. Informa moved into brand new edgy space, with exposed ceilings, sealed concrete floors, open with spectacular views, all in an iconic high-rise building in downtown Boston with opportunity to grow.
TraceLink is the world’s largest “track and trace” network for connecting the life sciences supply chain and eliminating counterfeit prescription drugs from the global marketplace. In 2013, TraceLink was growing rapidly and needed to find affordable space that could accommodate their growth, while still being respectful of their budget. We helped them identified a particular location on Route 128, where we managed to secure a sublease for two years under favorable terms to accommodated their growth. The challenge going forward was to find longer term space to not only satisfy their current needs, but to provide for continued expansion over the next 5-7 years.
After completing a thorough analysis of the market and employee commuting distances, the optimal building and location was identified in North Reading. The location provided the image the company was looking for, coupled with close proximity to Route 93 and their employee base. We were able to negotiate favorable lease terms, with a generous tenant improvement allowance, and options to expand. In 2015 TraceLink moved into 30,000 sf, and less than one year later expanded to 50,000 sf. The buildout was done on a remarkable timeline, on budget, and resulted in a spectacular layout for thier employees and customers who visit.
“The Stevens Group provided us with the in-depth knowledge of the real estate market, and the experience and skills required to enable us to negotiate a cost effect lease. They strategically matched our business plan, financial goals and growth curve, with the optimal real estate solution.”
Michael Mozzer, CFO, TraceLink Inc
Aras combines enterprise open source technology with an advanced model-based service architecture to deliver a highly scalable, flexible and secure PLM solution suite. When we met Aras in 2005, they were in Lawrence growing rapidly ~ with ample space to grow, but they wished to upgrade their image, improve the amenities for the employees and allow for even more growth.
After searching a number of areas along Route 495, we were able to identify a building that provided more amenities for employees, better parking, and a higher image. Also we were able to provide a termination clause in case they outgrew the space! Over the last few years we have helped Aras expand twice, by over 30% each time, while remaining in the same building. This new space is so incredibly functional but even better: It was fully furnished, which eliminated not only furniture expenses, but also the costs of installation and voice/data wiring! The training rooms, conference space and the multiple kitchens ~ so important to the current working population and the new culture, are sure to carry Aras into the future in a sassy space with intelligent financial parameters.
Labthink International, Inc. is a global enterprise that provides professional quality control solutions for packaging materials and products. Headquartered In China, Labthink is a privately held company with more than 50 international distributors and over 30 international service providers. They contacted us to help them find their first location in the U.S. for administration, sales and testing operations.
Finding the right space was the easy part, introducing them to the real estate process, legal issues and customs of doing business in the U.S., was the exciting part. The founders needed space close to the city, with good public transportation and close proximity to the airport and the image that would reflect their company and future. The principals were only in town for a few days and needed to secure space before going back to China. After three days of touring space options, and intense negotiating sessions, they returned to China with a lease commitment on new space for their U.S. headquarters with Landlords that understood their mission and needs.
“We came to Boston from a foreign country to establish our very first presence in the United States. Albeit the culture difference and language barrier, The Stevens Group were able to capture precisely what we wanted and needed and negotiated on our behalf. With their depth of knowledge of the commercial real estate market, they found us the perfect space. And that was only the beginning of what they did for us. They helped and supported us with every aspect of our start-up operations relying on their breadth of network and business expertise. The Stevens Group have been, and will continue to be, our lifetime business partner.”
Haimo Jiang, President & CEO, Labthink International
Artisan Healthcare Consulting
Artisan Healthcare Consulting is a management-consulting firm that provides strategic insights to healthcare product companies. Artisan was founded in 2009 on the belief that a consulting firm should exceed expectations – every time. When we first started with Artisan, they were a young and growing company located in Burlington. They needed space that provided more amenities for their clients and employees, and space that could also be expanded in the future as their company grew. We were charged with the task of finding them a location, which fit all of their needs, with the type of image that would compliment the prestigious list of U.S. and international clients they serve.
There were many options on the market at the time, however there were only a few opportunities that met all of their criteria. After narrowing down the list, we identified the perfect option in Waltham at a landmark location~ meeting all of their criteria. Negotiating on their behalf, we structured a lease at a favorable rental rate, with a free rent period, and fair tenant improvement allowance. Most recently we worked with our client to take additional space, and extend their term and get the rights to contiguous space for additional growth.
LeMaitre Vascular is a leading global provider of innovative medical devices for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease. We first started working with LeMaitre when they were a young start-up in 1995. Today they are a growing, publically held company with 50 locations around the globe. LeMaitre needed to extend the lease term on their two existing facilities, and needed additional expansion space.
Picking up and moving to another location was not an option, given their investment in the existing facility and the need to make additional improvements to expand manufacturing. With only 4 years remaining on the existing lease, it didn’t make sense to invest more money without a longer-term lease. After looking at all of the options in the market, we went back to the existing landlord, who initially didn’t want to discuss a lease extension with 4 years remaining on the lease, and negotiated a below market rent for an additional 6 year term combined with an additional 16,000 sf of expansion space.
“Securing longer term leases for our existing facilities and adding additional expansion space were key components of our business plan going forward. The Stevens Group, as a trusted strategic partner, guided us through the process and negotiated on our behalf to produce the best possible results. Their in-depth knowledge of the real estate market and vast experience have been invaluable to us as we expand.”
George LeMaitre, Chairman and CEO, LeMaitre Vascular
Silverman Trykowski Associates
We first started working with Silverman & Trykowski Associates (STA) over a dozen years ago via a mutual client, who wanted to use his own architect – STA! That was the beginning of a long relationship between our firms as we each referred clients to one another over the years. Both of our firms share the same philosophy – we take pride in the solutions we provide to our clients. Ten years ago we represented STA in the leasing of space on the Boston waterfront, with stunning views and dirt-cheap rent! The space was in an industrial building, and STA did what they do best, they created an amazing work environment with lots of pizzazz! In 2015, with only one year remaining on their lease, STA was facing an option to stay in the building at a staggering 300% increase in rent. This was not an economically viable solution. As a result, The Stevens Group was given the assignment of finding STA very cool space, with lots of light, near public transportation, and a rent which would keep their bottom line intact.
Tom, Felice & David along with the STA crew have done work in many of the office buildings in downtown Boston, so they knew the market better than most tenants. They were also familiar with the rents and tenant improvement allowances being offered. We needed to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Well, we found multiple options, but there was always something wrong, such as no long-term options, or rents would ramp up to quickly etc. Eventually after loosing out several options, we discovered 125 Broad Street. The perfect size, skylights, water views, brick & beam (original ~ not fake) but the space needed over $200,000 in work. Eventually we worked out the logistics, including a generous free rent package to offset some of the tenant improvements. But the real credit goes to STA for designing another magnificent space to work in, and their employees love it!
“ All of us at STA want to thank The Stevens Group for once again finding us our wonderful new office.”
Felice Silverman, FIIDA, President & Principal, Silverman Trykowski Associate
ProEx Physical Therapy
ProEx Physical therapy is comprised of a group of physical therapy professionals that share a vision that is simple and effective: to operate a company that is clinically driven and focused on people –their patients, employees, referring clinicians, clients and vendors.
We began working with ProEx by helping them with a “blend and extend” in one of their existing centers. They were outgrowing their patient treatment area and wanted the additional space that had just been vacated in the suite next door. Working with their landlord, we negotiated a deal to extend their lease term and wrapped in the additional square footage. We were able to get them a fair lease rate for the extended lease term, and the landlord performed the requested tenant improvements not only on the additional space, but in their existing space as well.
ProEx was getting busier in their existing locations, but they were also expanding into other nearby markets and needed assistance with the new leases.
During this growth period, ProEx began to acquire several other physical therapy offices in the area. It was important to them that each location was easy for patients to access, while keeping the look and feel of the center consistent with their corporate identity. We renegotiated the leases to extend the lease terms at below market price. In one location, it was crucial to have additional reserved parking spaces near the front entrance. The landlord was reluctant to give those spots up, but we were able to get those put into the new lease. In another location, the space required modifications and updates. We got the landlord to perform all the work that was requested, at minimal cost to the tenant.
“During the time we were growing the number of our locations, and expanding in some of our existing centers, we came to depend on The Stevens Group for their commercial real estate expertise and market knowledge. They were able to negotiate on our behalf to achieve the best terms possible, while keeping a focus on our requirements, timeline and budget.”
Michael Mulrenan, President and CEO, ProEx Physical Therapy
After graduating from MIT with a Ph.D in agriculture, then working in biotech, Bryan Greenhagen decided it was time to pursue his true love, brewing Belgium style beer. The challenge with any new startup is controlling cost, securing space that requires the least amount of improvement dollars, but provides the ability to expand as the business grows.
Mystic needed a location close to the City of Boston with accessible highway access, adequately sized water and sewer lines, and heavy floor loads to support large stainless steel tanks. The space also needed to conform to state and federal licensing guidelines, and be owned by a landlord who was willing to take a chance on a start-up. Needless to say, this was no small task. After much research and viewing multiple sites, we found the perfect solution just outside of the city in Chelsea (ironically right next to the Mystic River). We aggressively negotiated a competitive lease rate with a generous free rent period, and structured a phase-in of additional space over a 3-year period to keep costs down as their business ramped up; which it has.
“Knowing The Stevens Group had experience working with other large brewing companies, such as Boston Beer, gave us confidence in their ability to understand our budget and means of starting a brewery. They found us space that we could begin crafting old world formulas with modern equipment and space.
Bryan Greenhagen, Ph.D, Founder, Mystic Brewery