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.
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.
Area colleges and enrollment
|Anna Maria College||Paxton||1,500|
|College of the Holy Cross||Worcester||2,900|
|Fitchburg State University||Fitchburg||6,600|
|Mass Maritime Academy||Buzzards Bay||1,600|
|Merrimack College||North Andover||3,800|
|Salem State University||Salem||9,200|
|University of Massachusetts – Lowell||Lowell||14,400|
|University of Massachusetts Medical School||Worcester||1,000|
|Worcester Polytechnic Institute||Worcester||6,100|
|Worcester State University||Worcester||6,300|
|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|
|Bose Corporation||HQ – Audio Equipment||Framingham / Westboro / Stowe|
|Hanover Insurance Group||Insurance – Property & Casualty||Worcester|
|Tufts Health Plan||Insurance – Health||Watertown / Worcester|
|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|
|Atmel||Semiconductors and Related Devices||Braintree|
|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|
|Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution||Ocean Research, Exploration and Education||Woods Hole|
|Allscripts||Software – Healthcare and Life Sciences||Burlington|
|BJ’s Wholesale Club||HQ – Retail – Wholesale Clubs||Westborough|
|Avid Technologies||Media, Film and Sound Technologies||Burlington|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Care.com||HQ – Technology – Caregiving||Waltham|
|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|
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 8 World Series Championships, the Bruins have 6 Stanley Cup Championships, and the Patriots have 5 Super Bowl Championships. 36 championships total, 10 of which have been since 2002.
|Metro Boston Population