Continue to build better through BTEA Northeast's Education and Training Program September Sessions: 

Remembering Robert L. Marr

BTEA Northeast extends its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Robert L. Marr. A fourth-generation family member to lead the Marr Companies and former Chairman of the Board, Bob was a talented leader in the building trades and dedicated philanthropist. 

In 1960, Bob began his 60-year career with the Marr Companies and was primarily involved in business operations with a focus on finance, management, and sales. For decades he was instrumental in guiding Marr through a period of steady growth until he retired as Chairman of the Board in 2021.

In addition to playing an instrumental role in building Boston’s skyline, Bob was committed to his philanthropy work in the most humble of ways. In 1974, with his brother Daniel Marr, Bob founded the Colonel Daniel Marr Boys and Girls Clubs in Dorchester, in memory of their father, now known as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester. The club has grown over the years to include three sites and serves over 4,000 children. Bob has also contributed his talents and financial support to many charitable organizations dedicated to housing, feeding, and educating those in need. Many charitable events which he established are still thriving today.

A multi-talented individual, Bob was director and president of the New England Patriots from 1974-1975, Captain Commander of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company from 1975-1976, Chairman of the Zoning Commission of Boston from 1992-2007, Mass Building Congress President 1965 and Past President of the Boston Chapter of the Notre Dame Club of Boston.

Thank you to Engineering News-Record for shining a spotlight on the importance of Narcan on jobsites in an effort to save lives.  

We are proud to partner with many members on this initiative and to continue the conversation on how we can prevent substance use disorder in the industry.  

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Reprinted courtesy of Engineering News-Record, September 12, 2022, copyright BNP Media, all rights reserved. (View on ENR here.)

Girard Visconti Esq., recognized for Best Lawyer in America Award

BTEA Northeast congratulates our friend Girard R. Visconti, Esq on once again being recognized in the 29th Edition of the “Best Lawyers in America” for his expertise in Construction Law. Mr. Visconti is a partner at Savage Law Partners LLP, Executive Secretary and General Counsel to the Rhode Island Subcontractors Association.

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Preservationists Back Hurley Redevelopment Design

In late August it was announced that the Charles F. Hurley Building in Downtown Boston would be redeveloped with a set of towers at a cost of $1B. The developer, Leggat McCall Properties was selected for the project thanks in part to an endorsement from the Boston Preservation Alliance. Plans for the set of towers include an unspecified quantity of lab space, 200 units of mixed-income housing, 14,000 square feet of retail space, and is expected to break ground in 2025.

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Plans Officially Filed for 7-Story, 100-Foot Seaport Lab

A letter of intent has been submitted to the Boston Planning and Development Agency for a new life sciences lab located at 22 Drydock Avenue in the Seaport. The seven story plans include mixed use conference and event spaces on the lower floors and lab spaces on the upper floors.

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Development Starts for 700-foot Tower Reshaping Boston Skyline

The RMR Group has begun planning a redevelopment of 251 Causeway Street, 126-132 North Washington Street, and 100 North Washington Street in Boston's Bulfinch Triangle near North Station. Plans call for a mixed-use tower up to 700 feet tall, reshaping Boston's skyline. 

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Will Reshoring Chip Production Help Fix the Supply Chain? 

As supply chain issues continue to plague all sectors of the economy, the CHIPS and Science Act seeks to alleviate difficulty in obtaining computer chips with more than $50B for technology manufacturers to increase chip production in the U.S. Despite this effort, it remains to be seen if supply chain issues will be resolved as 75% of all computer chips are produced in Asia compared to 10% in the United States.

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Material Price Increases and Supply Chain Issues Expected to Continue Until 2023

Material price increases and supply chain issues have presented significant hardship to the construction industry since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While pricing has begun to level out, full relief is not expected to come until sometime in 2023. According to the real estate investment firm CBRE, the annual increase in U.S. construction costs is expected to reach 14.1% by the end of 2022, a higher rate than last year’s 11.5%. Contributing factors to these record increases include contractors pre-purchasing materials and concerns over a potential construction slowdown in 2023.

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Inflation Reduction Act Doubles Tax Credits for Building Retrofits

This month, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law. Under the IRA, the maximum allowable benefit for the 179D Energy Efficient Buildings Tax Deduction will expand in 2023 from $1.88 per square foot to $5.00 per square foot. The 179D deduction has a tiered system of energy-use reductions that are required for the full deduction; it also allows fractional deductions for partial compliance. To be in full compliance, buildings have to reduce the energy and power cost of interior lighting, HVAC and hot-water systems by 50% or more.

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Gov. Baker Signs $11.4 Billion Infrastructure Bill into Law

On August 10th Governor Baker signed H. 5151, a $11.4B infrastructure bond bill, into law. The aim of the law is to maximize the benefits of the newly passed federal infrastructure bill. Components of H.5151 address critical issues within the MBTA with $400M dedicated to immediate safety improvements. Further, the bill provides a $275M down payment for the long-awaited western Massachusetts rail expansion. With the funding comes additional reporting requirements for the MBTA in the form of a detailed monthly safety data analysis report. In addition to the MBTA $2.8B will be used for interstate and non-interstate highway redevelopments and $1.27B for road and bridge projects.

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Gov. Baker Signs $5.2 Billion Bill Focused on Repairs to State Buildings 

The bill signed last week by Gov. Banker included $1 million for the Dorchester Fieldhouse project, a collaboration of two local nonprofits centered on a 75,000-square-foot youth facility on Columbia Point. The nonprofits, the Martin Richard Foundation and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester, received approval from the Boston Planning and Development for the $55 million project in March.

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Mayor Wu & BPDA Announce Policy to Promote Diversity

Mayor Wu and the Board of the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) announced a new policy asking firms involved in Boston projects larger than 20,000 square feet to disclose diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) plans when filing projects with the agency. The Mayor and BPDA hope that this request will increase DEI in large scale public projects despite the lack of legal power to compel firms to disclose this information to the city. Please click on the link below for the full text of the policy request.

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Massachusetts Primary Election: Results Overview


Andrea Campbell is the Democratic nominee for Attorney General after beating Shannon Liss-Riordan for the party nomination. Campbell will face Republican nominee Jay McMahon in the upcoming general election. Incumbent Bill Galvin won the Democratic nomination for secretary of the Commonwealth and will face Republican Rayla Campbell in his eighth campaign for the position. Acting Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden will begin a full term as a Boston City Councilor in January after defeating Riccardo Arroyo following a controversial race for the seat. 

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Housing Market Feels Effects of High Mortgage Rates 

The Housing Market is beginning to feel the effects of high mortgage rates coupled with fears of economic slowdown as the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 5.55% on August 25th the highest it has been since June.

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The Rising Costs of Everything

The consumer price index in July was up 8.5% from a year earlier, which is lower than analysts expected, but still bruising. 

Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

The latest Boston area pricing data confirm what our shrinking bank account balances show: Housing, food and energy costs are still too high.


By the numbers: The inflation rate for everyday expenses jumped 7.5% between May 2021 and May 2022, according to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) — the highest annual increase since November 1981.

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics attributes this historic rise in part to growing housing and motor vehicle costs.

Zoom in: Food prices also played a major role, rising 8.7% over the 12-month period — also the largest jump since 1981. 

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Average MA Gas Prices for Regular and Diesel

Gasoline: $4.47 August MA Average

Diesel: $5.08 August MA Average

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Mayor Wu seeks to ban fossil fuel use in future Boston buildings


Mayor Wu announced her administration’s multi-year plan to implement a ban of fossil fuels on new construction projects in the city, following a ten-city gas ban pilot included in Governor Baker’s Climate Bill signed into law earlier this month.

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Health insurance premiums and inflation costs put employers at 'breaking point


As health insurance premiums continue to rise, small businesses are approaching a critical stage in battling inflation and economic hardship for the COVID-19 epidemic. 

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The Building Trades Employers’ Association Northeast is the leading voice for the union building trades contractor throughout the New England region. The BTEA encompasses seven different area trade associations that employ tradespeople from several different local building trades unions. 

WWW.BTEA.COM Building Trades Employers’ Association - BTEA
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