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BOSTON-Property managers and building developers here have tightened security measures around buildings in this city in the wake of the recent terror attacks on New York and Washington D.C.

“There are increased security measures around all buildings,” Michael Quinn, a senior vice president at Meredith & Grew and president-elect of the Building Owners and Managers Association, a division of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, tells GlobeSt.com. “The areas of real concern are the loading docks and the garages.” The tighter security involves additional security measures and use of card access to enter the buildings. In one day, notes Quinn, three major buildings in the area were evacuated–100 Federal St., One International Place and One Financial Center–because of bomb threats. “They used to evacuate just around the specific locations and people would sit tight but now it’s difficult to make that recommendation.” Quinn adds that tenants will be looking for more secure buildings. “It’s difficult to prevent anything that is happening but you want to make people feel safe.”

According to David Martel, senior vice president at Spaulding & Slye Colliers, the focus on security is not limited to the larger structures but is also filtering down to the low-rise buildings. “Everybody is very conscious of security,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “I think the real estate industry recognizes that the world has changed. It is not only to make tenants feel comfortable but also to protect their assets. It makes sense to respond with updated security measures.”

It makes sense and it also might become a requirement to receive commercial property insurance. “I wouldn’t be surprised if heightened security measures become a requirement for commercial property insurance,” Jean Cleary, executive director of BOMA, tells GllobeSt.com. “They need to protect their investment.”

According to Mike Neville, managing director managing director of locally based InterNational Insurance Group, which brokers insurance for commercial developments, “Anything that is put in place to protect a building will affect rates, such as security guards and alarm systems.” Neville notes that rates could go up by as much as 20% because of the terror attacks. “The rates were going up anyway,” he says. “This could put a number of property carriers out of business. It will impact the entire industry – there is no question about that.” Neville notes that already the estimates being made are well into the billions and that number will only continue to rise. “This could result in another property casualty insurance crisis,” he says. “Some companies won’t be able to buy insurance.” But adds Neville, regardless of insurance consequences, security is going to have to be ramped up.

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