Since the economic recession in 2008, Boston and Eastern Massachusetts as a whole has come out stronger and better than most parts of the United States. Boston has recently experienced a building boom in multiple sections of the city, including the Financial and Seaport districts that’s not only attracting corporations, but individuals with wealth. General Electric recently announced that they’re moving their headquarters to Boston, for reasons including the growing market of technology companies in the northeast and the number of certified tech talent. GE no longer wants to be recognized as a industrial company of the last century, but wants to be known as a leader in tech.
Another indicator of a wealth shift is the type of stores that are popping up in the area, especially those in the automotive sector. McLaren of Boston, located in Norwell, Massachusetts, recently opened their dealership near the end of 2015. Prior to their arrival, the closest McLaren dealership was in Greenwich, Connecticut. In a 30 mile radius of Boston, there’s three Maserati dealerships, one Lamborghini dealership, one Ferrari dealership, and now McLaren. These places aren’t just here to attract window shoppers, but are tailoring to a growing market of wealthy individuals.
Economists are always fear mongering on the economy and constantly spreading the awareness of another recession, starting with retail. On any given weekend, malls such as Burlington, Natick, and Framingham are packed with shoppers. Parking lots are full as if it’s still the holiday season, and even during the height of the recession, local malls really didn’t seem to be affected. Furthermore, retail stores continue to pop up in many cities and towns throughout the commonwealth, signifying a strong local economy.
As a resident of Eastern Massachusetts all my life, I’ve never seen Boston and the surrounding suburbs thrive like they have over the past 3-5 years. Sure, the strong economic climate in the early 2000’s was prominent, but not at the level we’re experiencing today. Million dollar homes are being built and people are moving in almost immediately, older two and three family houses are being renovated into condos and being re-sold for more than $500,000 and consumers are buying them, and Boston has had multiple luxury high rise apartment buildings with waiting lists for tenants to move in.
In terms of vehicles most local residents own, Mercedes Benz, Audis, and BMWs are becoming all too common. It’s almost become desensitizing seeing Bentley’s, Maserati’s, and Porsche’s everywhere you go, and cars exceeding $100,000 are certainly not rare to find roaming the streets. Fifteen to twenty years ago, this wasn’t the norm, in fact, it was a treat to catch a glimpse of a new BMW, now it requires a bit more to get notoriety.
No one really knows where the economic climate is heading, whether positive or negative. One thing is for sure, Boston is becoming a new center for wealth for corporations, consumers, and entrepreneurs. Because people from outside the region are moving into Boston, the city has attracted some big name events, such as the Olympics which plans ultimately fell through, and a IndyCar race which is still scheduled to take place in the Seaport district during Labor Day weekend.
It’s safe to say that we’ve been very blessed as of late to not really be impacted by any economic adversity. Now of course, there’s always cities that will be affected, and some being very close to the city of Boston, primarily because they were former industrial hubs. When the factories closed, the middle class moved out and haven’t returned since. These cities aren’t attracting technology companies or businesses in sectors that are very strong and likely won’t anytime soon. The opportunities are certainly there, but the wrong stores are moving in with low paying wages, which won’t accelerate the local economy or put money in residents’ pockets.
So far all signs are pointing up for the city of Boston and surrounding suburbs in 2016, and we can only hope that this continues. With the strong local economy, the city’s skyline is beginning to change and evolve, showcasing the progress and economic environment the city is currently in. It’s going to be exciting to see the further transformation of this great city as some new high rises and skyscrapers are in the works, with some already breaking ground.