Recently, I attended “Beyond Boston: Building in the Outer Urban Ring,” an industry event co-hosted by Rockland Trust and The Boston Globe. As a Massachusetts native and current Boston resident, it’s always incredibly interesting to learn about the trends shaping the state I call home. A diverse panel of real estate industry executives led us through an informative and powerful discussion about the future of Boston’s outer ring. A lot was discussed, but there were a few key themes that stuck out:

Where live and work is becoming one

There are now other factors that contribute to the desire to live and work in the city as the appeal of convenience, i.e. extra space and limited traffic is driving some out to the suburbs. Boston residents consider the city the “urban core,” but have more general criteria for the areas surrounding it. That being said, everyone agreed in the potential of the Gateway Cities, such as Lynn, Lowell and Brockton. As more and more corporate headquarters move to the suburbs, these regions are beginning to place an emphasis on the familiar catch phrase “live-work-play.”

The power of amenities

Amenities have become a critical aspect of attracting both residential and corporate tenants. The city around them is no longer what’s most important – tenants expect top-notch amenities inside of the building to be available. Yes of course, the appeal of living the cosmopolitan lifestyle will always be there, but people are beginning to recognize that you can create the excitement in the suburbs – for half the cost.

Transit-oriented developments are the future

When panelists were asked for their opinion on the next hot-spot hub for companies, the answer was unanimous – convenient transportation is the key to growth. There’s been a significant rise in office developments within a 10 mile radius between Boston and 128; for example, Boston Landing in Brighton and Assembly Row in Somerville. Everyone agreed that, without the convenience of the T, these developments wouldn’t have been nearly as successful.

Thank you to Rockland Trust and The Boston Globe for hosting this event and for the captivating discussion.