Boston Metro

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  • Newburyport, MA

  • Gloucester Harbor - Gloucester, MA

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  • Dell Technologies Championship Boston - Norton, MA

The Retail Market

There are two major interstate loop roads that circumvent Metro Boston. Route 128 / I-95 is considered the inner loop and I-495 is considered the outer loop. The four dominant super-regional malls and adjacent super-regional retail corridors in Metro Boston are all located immediately along or within close proximity to the inner loop road. By virtue of their location along Route 128 / I-95 these malls and retail corridors provide access to the denser and more affluent suburbs that are located all along this 57  mile limited access highway. The four malls referenced are Burlington Mall in Burlington and North Shore Mall in Peabody, both in the northern section of Metro Boston, The Natick Collection in Natick is in the west section of Metro Boston and South Shore Plaza in Braintree is in the southern section of Metro Boston. There are numerous other regional corridors in Metro Boston but none that have the super-regional trade areas that the four aforementioned markets do. Affluent inner ring suburbs such as Newton, Wellesley, Concord, Lexington and Arlington provide some of the best suburban demographics found anywhere.

Other regional corridors exist throughout Metro Boston. North of Boston is the Route 1 corridor in Saugus. Route 1 carries in excess of 100,000 cars per day and the retail corridor extends for 3 miles from Square One Mall on the southern end to past the Walnut Street exit on the northern end. This regional retail corridor is one of the oldest in Metro Boston, dating back to the days before the interstate highway system became central to our transportation patterns.

A similar situation exists along 9 miles of Route 9 in metro west from the Worcester city line on the west end through the towns of Shrewsbury, Northborough and Westborough to I-495 on the east end.  Although there is no regional mall in this stretch of Route 9 like there is in Saugus, every significant regional and community retailer is located somewhere along these 9 miles. Also serving Worcester County is Solomon Pond Mall, at the approximate intersection of I-495 and I-290, which combined with the 900,000 square foot Highland Commons power center located nearby at the intersection of I-495 and Route 62, provides a significant concentration of regional retailers. Serving the southern portion of Worcester County is The Shoppes at Blackstone Valley, an 800,000 square foot power and lifestyle center that is located on Route 146 in Millbury, one mile south of the intersection with the Mass Pike (I-90).

Many of the interchanges along the 25 stretch of I-495 from south of the Mass Pike (I-90) to just south of I-95 have significant big box and junior box retailers. These interchanges include Route 85 and Route 109 in Milford,  Route 126 in Bellingham,  Route 140 in Franklin, Route 1A in Wrentham which is home to Wrentham Village Premium Outlets, Route 1 in Plainville, and Route 140 in Mansfield. Other areas with large concentrations of big box and junior box retail are located along Route 3 southeast of Boston in Plymouth at the intersection of Route 44 and Route 3.

Cape Cod Mall and the surrounding retail corridor in Hyannis on Cape Cod is the regional shopping corridor serving Cape Cod. Vibrant specialty retail and restaurant activity also exists at tourist destinations such as Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Chatham on Cape Cod, along with Newburyport and Salem on the North Shore. Many of these towns have historically been considered seasonal tourist destinations, but that has been changing as these towns now market themselves with activities that draw people on a year round basis and many people have chosen to have their primary residence in these areas due to the attractiveness of the lifestyle it provides. This is particularly true of many communities on Cape Cod.

Over the last decade or so several significant new retail development and redevelopment projects have positively impacted the retail market. These include Legacy Place in Dedham, The Street in Chestnut Hill, Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham and MarketStreet in Lynnfield, all of which were developed by WS Development. University Station in Westwood and Chestnut Hill Square in Chestnut Hill, both projects of New England Development and anchored by Wegman’s, are also having a positive impact on the market, allowing opportunities for retailers to expand where previously no opportunities existed. Other projects of note are Patriot Place on Route 1 in Foxborough in the southern portion of Boston Metro,  a 700,000 square foot lifestyle oriented retail and entertainment project that is built adjacent to Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots. In the northern portion of Boston Metro are two open air lifestyle projects in Burlington that feed off of their proximity to and the success of Burlington Mall. These are the 200,000 square foot Wayside Commons and the 300,000 square foot 3RD Avenue Burlington.

Numerous community and neighborhood retail corridors exist throughout Metro Boston but are too many to detail here.

Grocery stores operating in the market include Stop & Shop, Hannaford Bros. Shaw’s,  Star Market, Market Basket, Wegman’s, Big Y, Price Chopper, Walmart Supercenter, Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, Roche Bros., Sudbury Farms, Trader Joe’s, Aldi, Price Rite, and Save A Lot.

Market Basket - Highland Commons - Hudson, MA

Orange Theory Fitness - Hingham Shipyard - Hingham, MA

The Economy

The Metro Boston economy is generally speaking an extension of the Urban-Boston economy, with large concentrations of similar industries such as financial services, business services, technology, pharmaceuticals, media and advertising as well as life sciences and healthcare. Metro Boston’s major employment centers are formed in large part by two interstate beltway systems that circumvent the metro area. These are Route 128 / I-95, the inner ring, and I-495, the outer ring. While Urban Boston’s major employers  are concentrated primarily in the cities of Boston and Cambridge, the largest areas of employment in Metro Boston are geographically dispersed along these two beltways.

Greater Boston has a diverse array of suburban communities, many of which are quintessential New England neighborhoods, with the culture and heritage that one expects to find associated with historic New England. Many of these communities are home to lively town centers that are filled with some of the best restaurants and shopping around, and have organically curated wonderful eat, work, play environments especially popular in today’s market. The attraction to employers who choose to locate along the 128 / I-95 and I-495 corridors is the proximity these office corridors provide to this vast variety of suburban towns for executives and young professionals who are concerned about the quality of the school system for their children, want to raise their families in a more typical neighborhood than would be available in Urban Boston and do not want to have to commute into Boston or Cambridge to accomplish this.

The three primary industrial and office markets associated with these inner and outer ring beltways are known as the North Shore, Metro West and South Shore markets. Because of their accessibility via the interchanges, proximity to Boston, relative affordability compared to the urban core, better availability of land and agglomeration of “TAMI” (Tech, Advertising, Media and Information) and “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) the companies that locate in these markets tend to represent a broader variety of industry clusters than would be found in Urban Boston. While the Financial Services sector is more dominant in Urban Boston than Boston Metro, Defense Technologies and Advanced Manufacturing  is not well represented in Urban Boston but is well represented throughout Boston Metro (Raytheon, General Dynamics Information Technology, FLIR Systems, Titleist, Saint-Gobain Abrasives) but not in Urban Boston. Life Science and Technology clusters can be found in both Metro Boston and Urban Boston, although facilities that manufacture these products are more likely to locate in Metro Boston. Distribution facilities, particularly newer and larger facilities, are much more likely to locate in Metro Boston due to the reasons previously mentioned. Burlington for instance is well known for its cluster of tech firms, and is considered the most attractive office tech market outside of Urban Boston. Major corporate facilities dispersed throughout these suburban markets include The TJX Companies, Ahold USA, Bose Corporation, Raytheon, Boston Financial, Dell EMC, MITRE, SanDisk, Kronos, Staples, Clarks,  Market Basket, Ahold, 3M, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Dunkin Brands, Boston Scientific, iRobot, Bae Systems, Nokia, Siemens, SAP, Oracle, Philips and Nuance.

With 190 miles of coastline, the Atlantic Ocean serves as a significant economic generator for a number of industries. When originally settled by the British in the 1600’s as the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the primary reason for choosing this location, as the name suggests, was its’ ability to utilize the coastline and its’ harbors for trade, commerce and the migration of tens of thousands of colonists from England. Today that tradition continues with five deep water ports located in Boston, Fall River, Gloucester, New Bedford / Fairhaven, and Salem. The geographic location of these ports make it one travel day closer to Europe then many other major U.S. ports. The Massachusetts coastline is a working waterfront with fishing boats and cargo ships entering and exiting each day. More than two million pounds of fish are caught off the coastline each year making fishing, food processing and food storage significant industries. Also related to the coastline is an industry cluster based on Marine Sciences. Two primary drivers of this cluster are the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole on Cape Cod, which was founded in 1930 and is one of the world’s foremost organizations dedicated to ocean research, exploration and education, with a current staff in excess of 1,000. Clean Harbors, based in Norwell, was founded in 1980 and became a pioneer in the cleanup of environmental spills beginning in 1984 when it removed oil from a tanker that had foundered off Cape Cod in a snowstorm. Based on this success the company subsequently participated in several other large cleanup projects in New England and further developed its’ emergency response capabilities to expand outside the region. Today the company offers a full range of hazardous and industrial waste cleanup services with over 12,000 employees throughout North America.

Tourism also represents one of Metro Boston’s largest economic generators. While tourism in Urban Boston is based on its’ historical landmarks and urban vibe, Metro Boston is home to some of the most famed vacation markets in the country, such as Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and unique coastal towns along both the North Shore and South Shore. These quaint towns are ripe with the best New England has to offer. Everything from shopping in Nantucket, to dining on lobsters in Chatham, sailing off the coast, spending the day at Nauset Beach or enjoying a game of the famed amateur Cape Cod Baseball League, it’s understandable why vacationing here is so popular and why tourism is such a significant part of the Metro Boston economy.

Boston College - Chestnut Hill, MA

Area colleges and enrollment

Assumption College Worcester 2,800
Anna Maria College Paxton 1,500
Babson College Wellesley 3,000
Becker College Worcester 2,200
Bentley University Waltham 6,700
Boston College Newton 14,000
Brandeis University Bridgewater 11,000
Clark University Worcester 3,200
College of the Holy Cross Worcester  2,900
Curry College Milton 2,300
Dean College Franklin 1,500
Endicott College Beverly 4,100
Fitchburg State University Fitchburg 6,600
Framingham State Framingham 6,000
Gordon College Wenham 1,700
Lasell College Newton 2,100
Mass Maritime Academy Buzzards Bay 1,600
Merrimack College North Andover 3,800
Nichols College Dudley 1,100
Regis College Weston 20,002
Salem State University Salem 9,200
Simmons College Boston 5,700
Stonehill College Easton 2,400
University of Massachusetts – Lowell Lowell 14,400
University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester 1,000
Wellesley College Wellesley 2,300
Wheaton College Norton 1,600
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester 6,100
Worcester State University Worcester 6,300
Total   154,547


Clarks Headquarters - Waltham, MA

Major Employers

Raytheon HQ – Aerospace, Cybersecurity and Defense  Waltham / Northborough / Billerica / Burlington / Woburn / Tewksbury / Andover /Marlborough
UMass Memorial Hospital Health Care Worcester
Dell EMC HQ – Data Magement Hopkinton / Southborough / Franklin / Bedford / Burlington / Marlborough
TJX Companies HQ – Retail – Marshall’s / TJ Maxx / HomeGoods Framingham – Natick / Marlborough
Lahey Medical Center Health Care Burlington
Staples HQ – Retail – Office Supplies Framingham
Math Works Software – Mathematical Computing for Engineers and Scientists Natick
Saint-Gobain Abrasives HQ – Abrasive Products Worcester
Athena Health HQ – Software – Healthcare Watertown
Philips Healthcare Biomed Andover
Bose Corporation HQ – Audio Equipment Framingham / Westboro / Stowe
Hanover Insurance Group Insurance – Property & Casualty Worcester
Tufts Health Plan Insurance – Health Watertown / Worcester
Sanofi Genzyme Biotech Framingham
Sun Financial Group Financial Services Wellsley
The Commerce Insurance Company (MAPFRE) HQ – Insurance – Property Damage Webster
Kronos Software – Workforce Management Lowell
Waters Corp. HQ – Analytical Science Technologies and Equipment Milford
QinetiQ HQ – Defense Systems and Equipment Waltham & Franklin
Boston Scientific HQ – Biomed – Medical Devices Marlborough
eClinicalWorks HQ – Software – Electronic Health Records and Practice Management Westborough
Pfizer Biotech Andover
Atmel Semiconductors and Related Devices Braintree
PTC Software Systems Needham
TRU Connectors and Carling for Technology Peabody
Axygen – Corning Life Sciences Biomed Tewksbury
Zoll Medical HQ – Biomed – Emergency Medicine Chelmsford
Granite Communications HQ – Communications Services Provider Quincy
Entegris HQ – Specialty Materials for Technology and Life Sciences Billerica
Charles River Laboratories HQ – Biotech – Contract Research and Development Wilmington/Shrewsbury
Trip Advisor HQ – Technology – Online Travel Booking Needham
Ebsco Information Systems Technology – Online Research Content Provider Ipswich / Topsfield
Analog Devices HQ – Computer Chips for Industrial, Consumer, Communications and Automotive Norwood / Chelmsford
Integrated Genetics Genetic Testing for Healthcare Diagnostics Westborough
L.S. Starrett Company HQ – Measuring Devices, Saws and Hand Tools Athol
Analogic HQ – Scanning Systems – Biomed and Security Peabody
Nypro Clinton
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Ocean Research, Exploration and Education Woods Hole
Millipore Sigma Biomed Billerica
Allscripts Software – Healthcare and Life Sciences Burlington
BJ’s Wholesale Club HQ – Retail – Wholesale Clubs Westborough
Osram Sylvania Wilmington
Avid Technologies Media, Film and Sound Technologies Burlington
AbbVie Biotech Worcester
FLEXcon Films and Adhesive for Graphic Applications Spencer
Intel Computer Chips – Research and Development Hudson
Hologic HQ – Biomed – Medical Devices and Diagnostics Marlborough
Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare HQ – Insurance – Health Wellesley / Quincy /Worcester
Intel Corporation Computer Chips – Research and Development Hudson
F.W. Webb HQ – Wholesale Distributor – Plumbing and Heating Products Bedford
Stratus HQ – Software – Systems Failure Prevention Maynard
Unum Financial Services Worcester
KARL STORZ Biomed – Endoscopes, Medical Instruments and Devices Charlton
Tegra Medical HQ – Biomed – Contract Manufacturing for Medial Device Components Franklin
GE Healthcare Life Sciences HQ – Biotech and Biomed – Products and Systems Marlborough
iRobot Robotic Consumer Products for the Home Bedford
Bristol-Myers Squibb Biotech Devens
Nuance HQ – Software – Speech Recognition Burlington
Sunovion Pharmaceuticals HQ – Biotech Marlborough
Dunkin Brands HQ – Restaurants – Dunkin Donuts & Baskin Robbins Canton
Polar Beverages HQ – Soft Drink Bottler and Distributor Worcester
W.B. Mason HQ – Office Supplies Brockton
Teradyne Technology Equipment – Product Testing and Robotics North Reading
Constant Contact HQ – Technology – Online Marketing Waltham
Clark Shoes HQ – Retail – Shoe Retailers Waltham
Progress Software HQ – Software – Digital Transformation Platforms Bedford HQ – Technology – Caregiving Waltham
Perkins Elmer   Hopkinton
Nitto Denko Avecia Biotech Milford
Lockheed Martin Missle and Fire Control Defense Systems Chelmsford
Bright Horizons HQ – Child Care Facilities Watertown
Philips Color Kinetics   HQ – LED Lighting Technologies   Burlington
Monotype HQ – Software – Type Related Technologies Woburn
The Vertex Companies Technology Consultants Weymouth
Unitrends Technology – Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Burlington
Endeavor Robotics Robotics for Defense, First Responders and Nuclear Chelmsford


Our Teams

Anyone who knows Boston knows we love our professional sports teams. From Tom Brady to “Big Papi” (David Ortiz) or any of the many legends from the long history of the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins, you cannot live in Metro Boston without being a sports fan. The reason for this is that everyone loves a winner and that is what the Boston teams always do. Even if you are a casual sports fan you cannot help but getting swept up in the hysteria of a winning season, for it seems at least one of the Boston teams is always winning. You never know which one it will be since they all have a history of winning. The Celtics have 17 NBA Championships, the Red Sox have 9 World Series Championships, the Bruins have 6 Stanley Cup Championships, and the Patriots have 6 Super Bowl Championships. 38 championships total, 12 of which have been since 2002.

The Geography

Pan-Mass Challenge


Metro Boston Population
Middlesex County 1,601,000
Worcester County 830,000
Suffolk County 777,000
Essex County 764,000
Norfolk County 711,000
Plymouth County 519,000
Barnstable County 210,000
Dukes County 18,000
Nantucket County 11,000