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Boston’s biggest real estate faces climate change

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2020 | Commercial Real Estate |

Rising tides and increased flooding threaten coastal cities like Boston now more than ever. In 2018, the up-and-coming neighborhood of Seaport flooded with ocean water. By 2030, experts speculate a 50% chance that Boston will see 5-foot flooding, with that chance increasing to 100% by 2050. Thankfully, the city of Boston has a plan, they just don’t know how to pay for it.

The Climate Ready Boston plan seeks to protect $80 billion in commercial and residential real estate most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. With little chance of receiving federal funding from the current administration, it is up to Boston to foot the bill.

Plan for every outcome

Savvy Boston real estate moguls will want to know what exactly is in this plan before proposing projects or buying in. Benefits include:

  • Parks and sea walls: The city hopes to fortify 47 miles of coastline and inland neighborhoods. The city hopes to build 67 acres of green space and sea walls, much of it along privately-owned sections of the Harborwalk.
  • Raising city streets: Threatened areas include many older neighborhoods with sunken streets. Neighborhoods like Dorcester and South Boston would need infrastructure improvements to increase the height of their city streets.
  • Responsive innovation: Several organizations are hoping to contribute with innovation as well. There is a lot of promise in elevated designs of the city’s Harborwalk and deployable integrated systems to push floodwaters back.

A unique investment opportunity

The proposals have garnered a generally positive response as well, with many local business owners and property developers ready to pitch in. However, several entities are holding out for details, so officials are working hard to accommodate their concerns. Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space Chris Cook said their largest concern is “…figuring out the equity aspect and how much one should contribute.” Without easy access to federal funding for these projects, city officials will be eager to work with motivated real estate developers to protect the city of Boston. Many property owners will find it beneficial to consult with a local business attorney about such matters.