New Development Near MIT

The design of a proposed group of buildings, described in an earlier post, has been presented to Cambridge’s Planning Board. The $600M proposal is located along Massachusetts Avenue near the MIT campus.

Seeing such significant new investment is a positive sign, whether its public, private, commercial or residential . There is a great deal of commercial construction underway in Kendall Square, too.

from ‘The Tech’ Online Edition

December 9, 2011

In a

Construction Today in Kendall Square


Spurring Growth on Boston’s Waterfront


New York Times, November 1, 2011

… it is unlikely that the (Boston) waterfront will displace Cambridge

as theArea’s center for life sciences, said Mats Johansson,

the president of Skanska USA Commercial Development, which has started

construction on a $70 million lab in East Cambridge without a tenant.

With Harvard and M.I.T. there, Mr. Johansson said, “Cambridge is a

brainpower market with a mix of biotech, finance and academia;

sectors that will drive the U.S. economy back on track.”

Biogen Idec, a biotech company that seven months ago moved 700 of its

employees to a new 356,000-square-foot campus in suburban Weston, Mass.,

is now having two buildings developed near Kendall Square;

one by Boston Properties, the other by Alexandria Real Estate Equities.

Ground was broken last week on the buildings, which will reunite the

700 business employees with 1,300 research and production workers

who stayed in Cambridge. “We need the close collaboration to make

decisions quickly,” said George A. Scangos, the chief executive

of Biogen. “Vertex moving out will be a ripple for Cambridge,

where there’s the world􀂶s biggest concentration of life science

companies, the universities and where big pharma like Novartis,

Sanofi Aventis, Merck and Amgen continue to expand.” 

Navigating Through Real Estate

From “Recently, Vineet Nayer, had a great post on Harvard Business Review discussing a shift from managers acting as the gatekeepers of information to navigators who use their experiences to steer the team through difficult situations and sort through information.”

My clients are all successful, intelligent, informed and opinionated! They know a great deal about who they are, what their needs are, where they want to live, and what properties are on the current market! They don’t need me to tell them that. As a full-service real estate agent, I provide information and advice throughout the process of buying and selling a home. I help my clients navigate through the process so they can make informed decisions that serve their interests.  As both a real estate agent and architect, my job is to provide my clients with thoughtful and insightful opinions and insights.

Is It Better to Buy or Rent?

Many people struggle with the decision to continue renting or buying a home. There are many considerations and the process can be confusing and unclear.

I encountered this tool in the New York Times; once one fills in appropriate information and assumptions for their town, a quick calculation is made and an answer is provided. Give it a try!



Is this a good time to sell my property?

Friends, neighbors and clients ask me if this is a good time to sell their property. The most useful answer is that a good time to sell one’s property is when there are buyers for that type of property, in that location, for that amount of money, at that time.

Specific areas are not always consistently valued from top to bottom.  What agents see is that certain properties, locations and price points are selling well while other properties struggle. This insight could be very useful for one choosing to sell a property, rather than relying on news headlines.

I’m working with several clients across different price points at the moment and certain markets in Cambridge and Somerville are doing very well,


Reduce, Reuse, Remodel

The following infographic was recently published in Fast Company magazine. A great deal of information is presented in an easy to understand format that you might find useful.

Here’s the link to the article:






How to Survive a New England Winter


Cold days and nights are coming! There are many suggestions on how to best prepare one’s home that are available on-line. I’m going to add to the discussion, but from a somewhat different perspective.

For a specific, point-by-point set of instructions, consider having an energy audit completed. Free audits are available in Cambridge at the Cambridge Energy Alliance; in other parts of the Commonwealth contact Mass Save or your local utility company.


Complete temperature-dependent activities and procedures first. Think of materials that need warm temperatures in order to cure, such as paint, sealant and concrete patching materials. Remember that the installation of storm windows and other tasks may require sealant.

Scrape away loose paint. Prime and paint exposed wood to minimize water penetration. Comply with local regulations if your home contains lead paint.

Be pro-active about minimizing the potential for ice dams. Clean out the gutters and downspouts; have de-icing cables installed; add attic insulation with baffles to maintain a 2” airspace above the insulation. Certain de-icing cables are regulated by both a thermometer and a humidistat and automatically turn themselves on.


Remember a few things that your science teacher taught: hot air rises, cold air drops and heat is transferred by conduction, convection and radiation.

Try to keep the warm and cool air mixed. Warm air tends to stratify above cool air and is somewhat resistant to mixing. Turn on the fan in your air handling unit if you have an air-based heating system. If you have steam or hot water heat, try using a “Vornado-type” fan to mix the air. These have a special blade geometry that sends air in a vortex that can penetrate stratified air.

Install opaque window treatment to minimize radiant heat loss at night. Heavy drapes, insulating blinds, and wood blinds are good examples of products that can be effective.

Minimize or eliminate air gaps at windows and doors. Install a door sweep at the bottom of exterior doors if needed. Replace the damper in your fireplace with one that has silicone seals.


Purchase a new energy-efficient house or condominium, if all else fails. I would be pleased to help you in this endeavor. (Yes, this is a self-serving statement, but it’s my blog.)

What the Fluff?

“What the Fluff?”, a neighborhood festival, was presented on Saturday September 24, 2011 by Union Square Main Streets as part of ArtsUnion, an initiative shepherded by the Somerville Arts Council and funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the City of Somerville. The event is made possible thanks to generous sponsors, local business support, talented team leaders and a magnificent group of volunteers.  ~ paraphrased from Union Square Main Streets website description,

I feel fortunate to enjoy the efforts of our neighborhood groups. These events support a great cause, are really fun and imaginative, and bring together  a diverse range of people. An event can be as intimate as a block party or as large and boisterous as the Fluff Festival and next week’s Honk Festival. They are terrific volunteer opportunities and help any of us become a part of our community.

This year, I could be found under the orange “prizes” tent. I worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Jim McGinnis to provide prizes to each of the kids who participated in the games and activities.

Porter Square Neighborhood: Changes are Coming!



Porter Square is located where Agassiz, Avon Hill, North Cambridge, Ward 2, and Davis Square overlap. It’s marked by the intersection Massachusetts and Somerville Avenues. Public transportation serving the area includes bus lines, subway and commuter rail. It’s marked by a shopping center, Lesley University and numerous restaurants and shops and is considered a “walker’s paradise” by Walk Score.

And, it’s changing. Recent activity includes significant modifications to the zoning codes by both Cambridge and Somerville. There have been a number of projects which received approval by the planning boards, too. One example, illustrated below, is a project proposed by Lesley University for a new building which will house the Art Institute of Boston. Construction will include relocating the church now located at the corner of Roseland Street and Massachusetts Avenue. Other recently approved projects include two hotels and a residential development!

What does this mean for you? A bit more density, a lively street-scape, additional construction, a few more art students and increased richness and diversity.

For those moving or relocating to the area, the excitement of these developments is tempered by the realities of construction. Choosing an optimum location will be critical to one’s enjoyment of the area while not being overly affected  by dust and debris that accompany large-scale construction.

Selecting the best real estate agent, one who is familiar with today’s real estate market as well as plans for future development and it potential for disruption as well as enhancement, will serve first-time buyers, those relocating to the area (or “relo’s”), empty nesters and others looking to downsize, very well.


Jeff Meese, Real Estate Agent

Best wishes for a sparkling Labor Day. I hope that your summer has been both relaxing and revitalizing. And that you’re looking forward to a splendid Fall season!

Several friends have asked if I enjoy being a real estate agent and “how it’s been.” (They usually have a concerned look on their face when they ask this question, given the state of the economy). Others have asked if I work as an architect so I can become a real estate agent – or the other way around.

To answer these questions, let me say that I very much enjoy my career as a real estate agent.  I receive a great deal of satisfaction from the inter-personal, one-on-one interaction with my clients and in helping them find solutions in this real estate market.  My architectural background has been an incredibly valuable asset in my real estate work (and I continue to stay active as an architect, especially as it relates to our communities and neighborhoods).

I’ve been working with Christine Southworth again (a very talented graphic designer who also designed the site for my work as an architect). You’ll find me at! Of course, I blog, too. There is a link on the site for that and other useful information.

Before I close, I’m proud to share with you that I have been named a “Top 500 Real Estate Agent” for 2010-2011! This recognition is an indication of the trust that clients have shown as well as the many referrals that I’ve received.

PS: Be mindful of the great white sharks off of Chatham…