Apparel maker Life is good has concluded life is better in Boston’s Fort Point Channel neighborhood.
The company has signed a deal to move its offices from Boston’s Back Bay to the fast-growing neighborhood, joining a rapid influx of businesses that are redefining Fort Point’s real estate.
“The more we looked at it, the more it became a no-brainer,” said Bert Jacobs, chief executive of Life is good, which says its mission is to “spread the power of optimism” by selling products and raising money to help needy children.
Jacobs said the company was drawn to Fort Point because of its proximity to South Station as well as its growing mix of modern restaurants, residences, and shops. Life is good will move into 22,000 square feet at 51 Melcher St., where it will house about 70 employees in a renovated industrial building.
Jacobs said the company, which has expanded into greeting cards and other business lines, will build a tavern-style eatery for employees and will also seek approvals for a roof deck.
“A lot of days our staff likes to hang out after the sun goes down,” said Jacobs. “We want to support the local restaurants and bars, but we also want to have our own space so it’s not just a place to sweat and be productive.”
Jacobs noted that the company will consolidate operations that are now spread among three Back Bay offices.
Life is good is among a growing list of established companies that are moving to Fort Point and the surrounding Innovation District. Others include State Street Corp., Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., and the law firm Goodwin Procter.
“This deal confirms that Fort Point is where the more recognizable companies in the city want to be,” said Dan Collins, a vice president at NAI Hunneman, the real estate company that represented Life is good. “It’s always been an attractive area. It just needed a little momentum.”
Average rents in the area increased by nearly 13 percent in the last year alone, according to CBRE New England, which brokered the transaction for building owner Synergy Investments.
Melcher Street itself is going through a major growth spurt. Scores of new apartments are being developed, restaurateur Ming Tsai just opened the Blue Dragon restaurant, and an array of new office tenants are looking at the area.
“It’s a whole new 24-7 environment,” said Kevin Kennedy, first vice president at CBRE. “One of the major draws for companies is the ability to create a cool, urban workspace that they can use to attract and retain talented employees.”