Marketing agency founder bets on Boston by buying South End office

From now on, the nearly 20 employees of the agency come at least part-time. Bascome suspects this hybrid approach is here to stay, but he also welcomes the opportunity to collaborate again in person and develop a sense of culture.

“We believe in the long term that cities will thrive,” Bascome said. “After pandemics, cities are rebounding. “

Chris Needham, Managing Partner of Proverb, said her colleagues were re-energized by working together face-to-face once again. Prices for spaces like Proverb’s were down because of the pandemic, Needham said, so she and Bascome saw a golden opportunity. “Daren often says that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste,” Needham said.

In addition, the showcase increases the visibility of Proverb. “It’s a way to create more visibility for the company [while] underscoring our commitment to the South End, ”said Bascome.

The South End move isn’t the only thing raising Proverb’s visibility these days. The company, perhaps best known for its “place creation” services, was instrumental in the city’s “All Inclusive Boston” marketing campaign, launched with partners Colette Phillips and the Greater Boston Convention and Tourism Bureau. Other recent assignments include working for Mass of General Brigham (the hospital group formerly known as Partners HealthCare) and Tishman Spire, the New York developer who Harvard University chosen to begin building its corporate research campus in Allston.

The mission is personal for Bascome with a new client in particular: the Bermuda Tourist Board. That’s because he grew up in Bermuda and there are still a lot of friends and family around. Now he is leading the rebranding of his native country.

“Bermuda is sort of the closest and the farthest place,” Bascome said. “It’s not just that it’s close, but that it offers a completely different culture and a different lifestyle. … We would like to present a more authentic version of the island and introduce its people alongside its physical features.

Faxes to Fribbles on Fan Pier

MassMutual’s Construction of the new 17-story office tower on Fan Pier took approximately 2.5 years. But like many developments in this city, the history of the building dates back much longer than that.

For Roger crandall, chief executive of the Springfield-based insurer, the story begins in 2005. As he told the crowd at an opening ceremony last Wednesday, the then chief investment officer heard from David Reilly, who ran the real estate investment subsidiary of MassMutual at the time.

“It started so long ago that Dave sent me a fax,” Crandall said. “For those of you who don’t know what a fax is, this is really weird.”

This fax led to a partnership between the developer Joe fallon and Mass Mutual. Together they purchased the 20-acre Fan Pier from the Pritzker family and set up its windswept parking lots. Two turns for Vertex pharmaceutical. Two high-end condo towers. And now, MassMutual’s new $ 300 million Boston home.

Crandall said he kept the shovel from the 2019 inauguration. “Joe, you have a lot of shovels,” Crandall told Fallon from the podium. “I don’t have a lot of shovels.”

Employees celebrated with Lobster Rolls and Fribbles, this icy strike made famous by the Springfield-born Friendly chain of ice cream shops.

Same governor Charlie baker couldn’t resist, lashing out at reporters after the event with a nearly empty Fribble cup in hand.

“When Roger Crandall said there was going to be a Fribble, I was especially excited,” Baker said.

A new model for large development contracts

There has been a lot of talk in Boston lately about the “Massport model,” in which the diversity of a development team accounts for 25% of the scoring when selecting a winning bidder for public property.

Last Wednesday, the real estate trading group NAIOP Massachusetts revisited the original Massport Model project, the Omni Boston Hotel in the seaport, during a round table in this newly opened hotel.

Developer Richard taylor spoke about how he helped raise $ 7 million in equity investments from other people of color for the Omni, which increased the Masseport– land owned in front of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Taylor began with a group of people who met regularly at the Bristol Lounge to Four Seasons Hotel. Robin brown was the general manager of the hotel at the time and eventually became another key player in the Omni project. Taylor told the crowd, with Brown by his side, that Brown went out of his way to make everyone feel welcome.

In total, they involved nearly 40 minority investors, with initial investments ranging from $ 50,000 to $ 1 million.

Massport continued the approach for two other plots nearby, one being developed by Boston Global Investors, directed by John hynes, and the other by Lincoln Property Co. (Taylor said about $ 20 million was raised from people of color for these two projects.) Tishman Speyer and Harvard University also used the model for the first phase of Harvard’s corporate research campus at Allston. (That’s another $ 30 million.)

Now Taylor argues that the Boston Planning and Development Agency should impose similar requirements on large private developments in the city. Taylor, who is also director of the Center for Real Estate at Suffolk University, wrote a column in the Globe last week with Civic action project co-founder Steve crosby and Jason desrosier, responsible for community action at Allston Brighton CDC, arguing from this point.

“The good thing is that it spreads economic prosperity,” Taylor said in an interview. “If you really want to open that door and speed it up, you have [to involve] private plots.

Jump in Boston

When the president Joe biden held its cabinet meeting on Friday, at least one key person was missing: the US Trade Representative Katherine tai.

That’s because Tai was in Boston, headlining the New England Councilis the first in-person event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tai joined the US representative Richie neal, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, in a trade policy discussion with the chairman of UMass Marty meehan, to Mass club.

Tai had previously worked closely with Neal, as a business advisor to the committee he chairs; they were instrumental in bringing the US-Canada-Mexico deal together at the end of 2019. And Meehan, of course, served with Neal in Congress; the two have shared an apartment in Washington for over a decade.

Neal seemed proud that Tai had not attended the New England Council Cabinet meeting.

“She had to choose between the president of ways and means and the president,” Neal joked. “That’s why I always love the ways and means people. She knew where she wanted to be.

Meehan, for his part, looked incredulous.

“During my years in Congress, I have had a lot of cabinet members,” Meehan said. “But if a president held a Cabinet meeting and found out that he was in Meehan District, the president would say, whoever the president was, ‘Tell them to get their ass back.'”


Jon Chesto can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @jonchesto.