Greater Boston Plumbing Contractors Association • 5 Elm Street, Suite 8 • Danvers, MA 01923 • 978-777-8764 • f: 978-777-8768 • Email

Formerly the PHCC of Greater Boston

Hugh Kelleher

Executive Director
Greater Boston Plumbing Contractors Association

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

What Will be Happening in Boston in 2016?

Barring a major downturn in the economy, construction in Boston will continue to be very strong. Examples… 
  • - The Huge Millenium Tower ...Will open this summer. Tallest residential building north of New York City – 60 stories, 685 feet high – on the site of the old Filenes. Many units are already sold. 1-bedrooms started at $1.6 million.
    Cheapest units now available: $3.3 million. Total sales by last fall were already at $1.5 billion…There will also be a hotel, and commercial businesses located on
    lower floors. LATEST NEWS: Someone is purchasing the full-floor penthouse on the 60th floor – supposedly a local family. Asking price was $37.5 million.
  • - Boston Redevelopment Authority took control of the Winthrop Square Garage in December. The garage had been condemned in 2013, and sits on one of the most visible plots in the financial district. Some recent legal glitches will be overcome. Proposals are in the works for a building as tall as 780 feet. That would make it several stories taller than the Prudential tower.
  • - Mayor Marty Walsh: In the second year of the Walsh administration 1,022 new affordable rate housing units came on line – the most in Boston’s history. But finding an affordable unit in Boston is still difficult. Walsh is working with large developers, colleges and universities to increase funding for constructing affordable units. His goal: 53,000 units by 2030 – including new dorm rooms.
  • - Seaport District….According to the Boston Globe: 12 vacant acres there were purchased for $359 million late last year. Two smaller parcels were sold to Chinese investors for $100 million.
  • - The NorthPoint area near Lechmere will benefit from spillover from Kendall Square, where commercial rents are the 10th highest in the country MIT is working on a proposed major redevelopment project adjacent to its campus.
  • - John Hancock will build a new 26 story tower along Stuart Street in the Back Bay. Construction starts this year.
  • - Along Washington Street at Downtown Crossing, a developer is proposing a 30 story building on a lot that is 1/10 of an acre. It would have a frontage of 38 feet.
  • - Harvard is starting up its long-delayed development in Allston-Brighton. Will include new graduate housing, and science buildings. According to Harvard Magazine: “The long-range goal of redeveloping the vast acreage further east (beneath and beyond elevated roadways, a former rail yard, and other less visible properties), once thought far off in the future, now appears a realistic prospect.”
  • - Amazon has purchased land in Fall River for a new 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center that will employ 500 people. Construction starts this year.
  • - Boston rents are up nearly 6% over the last year – about three times the rate of inflation. Average Boston rent is now above $2,000. Boston has become the 4th
    most expensive rental area in the country – trailing only San Francisco, New York City and Silicon Valley.
For more plumbing and construction industry news, see my February 2016 update.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Plumbing Contractors Can Now Say, "Show Me the Money"

If you put in a day’s work, you expect to get a day’s pay — and you expect to get paid promptly, right?

Those expectations are at the core of our free enterprise system. For decades however, plumbing contractors have been putting in a day’s work, but not getting paid in full until many weeks — or more typically, many months — later. Thanks to a recent Massachusetts law, that’s no longer the case.

Associated general contractors had been using a long-held practice known as “retainage” to routinely withhold payment to subcontractors such as plumbers. Incorporated into most contracts, GCs would customarily hold back 10 percent of a subcontractor’s pay until they determined that the work was completed to their satisfaction. Although construction projects would, in fact, be successfully completed, GCs wouldn’t release the funds until much later.

The Mass. retainage law, however, changes the dynamics by specifying a payment schedule as well as the amount that can be withheld. Read more in The Pipeline, the industry newsletter jointly produced by the GBPCA and Plumbers Boston Local 12.

For Joe Cannistraro, Education Is the Key

We may be in the midst of winnowing candidates to nominate for president of the United States, but the presidency of the Greater Boston Plumbing Contractors Association was decided last spring. Members voted Joseph C. Cannistraro, the CFO of J.C. Cannistraro in Watertown, to head the organization’s executive board.

Cannistraro brings years of experience to the leadership role. He also brings an abiding interest in education and learning to the position.

He plans to leverage the resources of the GBPCA and encourage other member contractors to take advantage of the organization’s educational opportunities. Through its affiliation with the Mechanical Contractors Association of America and the Plumbing Contractors of America, the GBPCA offers training and best practice models in areas such as project management. Cannistraro is hopeful that by pursuing education and working together, GBPCA members can help themselves, help one another, and make the organization stronger.

Read more about Cannistraro in a profile published in The Pipeline, the industry newsletter jointly produced by the GBPCA and Plumbers Boston Local 12.
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