COVID-19 Tenant Resources
To our valued tenants:
As we navigate this challenging time together, we hope to provide you with as much information, resources, and support needed to help us all sustain our collective economic vitality throughout this ordeal. Most recently, the government passed the CARES Act — a bill that includes aid packages, payroll provisions, and tax implications for small businesses. The government has allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. There is a lot of information out there, and we hope to break it down a bit so that it’s more actionable for your business.
As we said above… we’re in this together.
-The Team at Boylston Properties
Arsenal Yards COVID-19 Construction Update
On March 26th, the Town of Watertown revised its construction guidelines to comply with the State of Massachusetts on construction guidance, permitting essential construction services to continue so long as they are consistent with Governor Baker’s State-issued guidelines. The Governor updated his guidance again on March 31st, encouraging “workers performing housing construction related activities, including construction of mixed-use projects that include housing, to ensure additional units can be made available to combat the Commonwealth’s existing housing supply shortage.” Under these guidelines, Arsenal Yards will continue construction of the mixed-use development, including 302 residential units, ensuring revised and stricter conditions.
While Arsenal Yard’s construction site protocols adhere strictly to the State’s Guidance and Procedures, we are taking additional precautions to keep our construction teams safe. We are not taking COVID-19 lightly, and the safety and well-being of our contractors and employees remains our number one priority.
Arsenal Yards reduced its construction workforce by almost 70 percent, taking the number of close to 400 workers onsite every day down to approximately 125 people. By selectively reducing the workforce, we can ensure we maintain social distancing requirements that limit the spread of the virus and have eliminated those trades that are unable to work safely within the Governor’s guidelines.
Onsite Industrial Hygienist and Daily Temperature Checks
Arsenal Yards hired an Industrial Hygienist who will help to conduct a formal, daily protocol to enforce the Commonwealth’s “Zero Tolerance” employee health protection policy. Every single construction worker, without exceptions, will arrive at Arsenal Yards in the morning and complete a drive-thru temperature check, remaining in their vehicle the entire time. If the worker meets temperature requirements set forth by the state and monitored by the Hygienist, they will receive a ticket. Each employee then provides the ticket to their supervisor along with the required self-certification that they are not feeling any symptoms of COVID-19 and have not had close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 (both instances are defined in the State Guidelines). While all results are kept private, supervisors will keep a daily log to ensure no worker is permitted to work if they are unwell, and to provide our team with a HIPAA-compliant account of the health and well-being of our team of contractors. While the State only requires those workers inside a closed building envelope to be screened, we will follow this procedure for all contractors, working inside or out.
Ongoing Adherence to State Guidelines and Procedures
We are mirroring the state with our Zero Tolerance policy as it relates to site conditions, as well. This includes social distancing requirements for congregating and meetings, restroom facility and hand-washing station requirements, ongoing and consistent sanitization of all surfaces, safety protection equipment recommendations, and more. To see all of the State requirements, view page 4-7 of this Guidance document.
Our belief has not waivered — no project outweighs the importance of health and safety in our communities. We will continue to monitor the Arsenal Yards site to ensure it meets our own strict expectations, and the minimum expectation guidance from our Governor and Town Officials.
For all of the reasons to continue to work, as laid out by Governor Baker, we are especially grateful that we are able to continue to employ around 125 people through this crisis – individuals who do not otherwise have the ability to work from home. We are also hopeful that our work will help to solve the state’s existing housing challenges, and that we will be ready to welcome our greatly suffering retail and restaurant community with open arms at the end of all this.
State of Massachusetts’ list of essential services, including construction
Town of Watertown Construction Guidance
A Note to Our Community
Dear friends & family of Boylston Properties,
The words “unchartered territory” have been repeated over and over the past few days, and that’s for good reason. We are navigating these stormy waters together, but the uncertainty is hard to combat. As new updates, policies, and guidelines are evolving by the minute, we are grateful to the state government and our local community for their response to the harrowing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
At Boylston Properties, the health of our staff, our contractors, our tenants, our customers, and the Greater Boston community, are top of mind in all that we do — today and always. Here are some of the ways that we will stay committed to this frame of mind during this crisis.
On Friday, March 13, we enacted a work-from-home policy which will remain in place until we are directed otherwise by local, State, and Federal authorities. This work-from-home mandate also includes recommendations to staff to practice social distancing, to limit travel, and to abstain from group meetings and events larger than 25 people (and as of yesterday, 10 people).
As the owner of office, lab, retail, and hotel real estate, we are hyper-focused on the impact this will have on our tenants, their employees, and our customers – today and in the coming days, weeks, and months. We are working with our individual tenants to ensure that their spaces are up to current requirements and guidelines from the government to ensure the health and safety of their team and guests. If that means they are required to close their doors temporarily, we are doing everything in our power to get them through these challenging days to come.
As a developer of varied real estate asset classes, we are preparing our project managers, consultants, and contractors to react to potential short-term delays as a result of this national emergency. We are committed to implementing aggressive hygiene protocols and safety guidelines for our contractors, but we recognize that no project is more important than the health and wellbeing of our teams. We support the city, state, and country in their best recommendations to keep our Commonwealth healthy and our economy steady.
Boylston Properties works with the best partners in the industry and we are confident that, as a community, we can move forward and begin growing again if we work together to stay safe. If you have any questions or concerns about any specific properties in our portfolio, please reach out to our team and we will direct you to the appropriate information or a team member to discuss.
Thank you for your understanding and support. We look forward to moving beyond this crisis as quickly as possible. Stay tuned and be well.
The Team at Boylston Properties
When the Boston Globe Compares Watertown to Kendall Square, We’re Grateful
On Monday, the Boston Globe wrote an article that “apologized” to Watertown for not being the #1 location for biotech companies, as compared to Kendall Square. We decided to politely respond, in the most fun way that we knew how. Read our full response in the link below.
Read our full response here