A behind-the-scenes look at new real estate in one of America’s oldest cities.
By Geoff Nudelman
December 31, 2018
It’s an increasingly familiar scene: hundreds of young professionals mill about a farm-to-table lunch, a hip workout gear shop, or a SoulCycle spin class.
Across America, this is a common snapshot in newer cities where affluent 20- and 30-somethings are starting fresh in more affordable secondary markets.
But this particular scene isn’t happening somewhere new. It’s happening in one of the oldest cities in America: Boston.
While the traditional neighborhoods of Beacon Hill and Back Bay are still alive and well, the growth of Boston’s luxury offerings are front and center in Seaport–a neighborhood that was literally underwater until the late 1800s and is now thriving as an example of the future of American living.
“It’s truly an iconic location,” says Janice Dumont, CEO of Advisors Living, speaking about the site of new building Pier 4–a dramatic, curved, 106-unit enclave tucked behind the Museum of Contemporary Art on Seaport’s northern side.
Pier 4’s modern architecture (designed by renowned firm SHoP), full-service amenities, and integrated waterfront living are drawing buyers from far and wide to the urban environment. (Some are paying as much as $4,200 per square foot for penthouses.)
“[Based on all on of this], Seaport has created a new destination within the city,” Dumont says.
As much as a skyline dotted with cranes and construction is dizzying in Seaport, the center of traditional Boston luxury still resides in the #5 neighborhood of our Top 10 Priciest Neighborhoods in America: Beacon Hill.
“It’s a real village and a tight-knit community,” says Manuel Davis, senior vice president of Advisors Living and the exclusive listing agent at the Archer Residences, Beacon Hill.
The full-service, seven-story building (half of which was the original Suffolk University Law School) underscores the immense work and effort required to restore and modernize a piece of living history–and how attractive that proposition is to luxury buyers.
What started as 75 residences of varying sizes has been condensed to 61 condos due to buyer requests, many averaging above $5 million. (Davis could not give specific sales figures, but noted that they have been “robust.” The building will be completed towards the end of 2019.) The Archer Residences had to work with several historical commissions to carefully restore the combined building, retaining Beacon Hill’s trademark charm and style along the way.
Coupled with extremely limited inventory in single-family homes, Beacon Hill stands to remain an epicenter of Boston luxury for some time to come.
Just across Boston Common, the Four Seasons Boston Hotel and Residences remains another mark of traditional Boston affluence. Built in 1983, the residential side of the building has long been home to some of the city’s wealthiest people with a location overlooking the park and one of the earliest examples of modern, full-service amenity living in the area. Since its opening, residences have rarely traded on the market and haven’t been available for long.
The success of the original property spurred Four Seasons to build a large new residential/hotel hybrid tower just a mile-and-a-half away at One Dalton.
“It’s in a class all its own,” says Michael Carucci, executive vice president at Gibson Sotheby’s, which is the exclusive listing agent for the 61-floor project.
While he can’t reveal sales numbers, he did say that the building is 75 percent sold with “sales at a record pace compared to other Four Seasons projects around the world, and at price premiums above the Boston market that are higher than most price premiums achieved by other comparable projects in their respective markets.”
“Boston is becoming such a global destination [for the ultra-wealthy]. A lot of us were wondering: What took so long?” he says.
Opening in spring 2019, One Dalton will bring 160 condos perched above the new hotel, which marks a decided shift in the local luxury market. Three separate floors are earmarked as dedicated amenity spaces, with several floors at the top of the building reserved for unfinished penthouses. Pricing will range from $2.5 million to over $40 million.
Carucci noted that luxury buyers across the entire spectrum–not just the younger set–are looking for all-in-one, live/work/play lifestyles, drawing them to buildings in places like Back Bay and Seaport that are close to major commercial centers.
“There’s no longer an appetite for commuting,” he says. “It’s very important to people to not to sit in traffic anymore.”
Perhaps therein lies much of this newfound attraction to Boston: it’s a highly walkable city. End-to-end isn’t much more than an hour at a strolling pace, and many of these newer projects are taking advantage of the old “location, location, location” adage.
Boston’s next major neighborhood renewal, Lovejoy Wharf, takes advantage of its waterfront location. While Related Beal has already opened a 15-story, 157-unit building right next to the relocated Converse HQ (and complete with an Instagrammable restaurant facing the water), that’s just the tip of iceberg.
This largely quiet residential area sits next to TD Garden and a major transit hub, and as it stands could be Boston’s next micro-hotspot.
“The evolution has been really interesting,” says the Codman Company (TCC) managing director Sue Hawkes (TCC works with several residential properties throughout Boston). “It’s been a niche area that was formerly cut off by some of Boston’s man-made boundaries.”
Besides shoes and brunch, the Hub on Causeway is bringing a major mixed-use development–complete with Boston’s largest supermarket–to a site across the street from the sports arena. The planned residential and office components are aimed at attracting tech and advertising workers–the ones that can afford luxury properties and the required amenities of 21st century living. (Verizon has already pre-leased a significant chunk of the building’s available office space.)
However, all of this new inventory coming online may present new challenges for a city that has traditionally had a tight luxury housing market.
“The developers are going to have to deliver a really good product,” Carucci says, “because over the next couple of years there will be fierce competition for buyers. There’s no question about that.”
Thrilled to read about the stunning, luxury homes The Archer Residences Beacon Hill in Boston Common Magazine’s October issue. Turn to page 70 for Marni Katz’s article “Great adaptations” to learn about The Archer’s beautiful interiors, finishes, and amenities, and message me if you are interested in touring the one-of-a-kind sales center in Beacon Hill.
Advisors Living is proud to announce the exclusive sales and marketing of The Archer Residences in Beacon Hill. The Archer Residences, a boutique collection of beautifully designed condominium homes, offers individualized details and a full-service concierge experience in Beacon Hill, one of Boston’s most desirable neighborhoods. From the magnificent roof terrace to the state-of-the-art fitness and wellness center, valet service, and exclusive indoor parking, The Archer Residences are designed to make life easier.
From The Archer Residences, many of Boston’s greatest attractions are just a short walk away. Feeling the team spirit? Enjoy the Celtics and the Bruins, two of America’s most successful and historic teams, at TD Garden. Or maybe you just want to take a relaxing stroll around the historic neighborhood? The Boston Public Garden, built in 1837, is a beautiful public park that offers boat rides around its swan-filled lagoon. Louisburg Square, a quiet, historic green near The Archer Residences, was once home to many famous 19th century figures, including architect Charles Bulfinch, painter John Singleton Copley, and author Louisa May Alcott.
The Archer Residences features 67 unique residences ranging in size from one to four bedrooms. Each residence has been thoughtfully designed, blending the historic character of Beacon Hill with an elegant hand-selection of materials and finishes.
Click here to schedule an appointment or call us today at 888-749-4805 to visit our sales center today at 20 Ashburton Place. We look forward to showing you what makes The Archer Residences the most exciting residential new construction project in Boston.
Located at 33-61 Temple Street, the former university building is just steps away from the Massachusetts State house and Beacon Hill amenities.
The building used to be used as classrooms, administrative, theater and dining space for the university, but will be transformed into 71 condos.
The units will range from one to four bedrooms and a penthouse will cover the top floor.
There will be 5,700 square feet of amenity space for residents, although it is yet to be decided whether it will be utilized as fitness space, a lounge or family recreation space. Either way there will be some luxury additions for residents to look forward to.
Space for 54 cars will be located underground and serviced by a professional valet, including a vehicle elevator.
In Beacon Hill there are 38 listings currently on the market with an average listing price of $3,439,882. View a snapshot of the current Beacon Hill Market here:
The Whitwell is a 14-unit luxury building with incredible views, garage parking, concierge and a shared roof terrace. 50% of the Whitwell is already pre-sold or under agreement, with an average price of $3,999,286.
Maison Vernon is located right at the top of Beacon Hill. The building includes 7 luxury condos with beautiful surroundings, 24-hour concierge and valet parking. The average price is $4,997,700.
The Beacon is one of Boston’s most prestigious new developments. With 6 residences, a wine cellar, fitness room and valet parking it caters to high-end luxury living. The average price is $9,750,000.
Whether it’s biking, running, kayaking, playing or just walking, neighborhoods around Boston have a great selection and range of outdoor spring spaces. Now that the weather is warming up it’s the perfect excuse to get out there ahead of the summer crowds.
Just outside of the hustle of Boston, Cambridge has a selection of parks and paths to help you get some fresh air. You can get onto the 18-mile Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path and follow it down the Charles River. You’ll pass through plenty of parks along the way and some great skyline views.
For those more interested in staying in one place, Magazine Beach offers 15-acres of public park on the banks of the Charles River.
Located between the Hatch Shell and the Longfellow Bridge, Community Boating Inc is the nation’s oldest public sailing center. Open to all ages and abilities it is the perfect place to learn to sail or hone your skills. Spring open houses are the perfect time to get involved.
What was once an open landfill is now six miles of beautiful paths, canoeing spots, athletic fields, playgrounds and picnic areas. Millennium Park is a lively spot for residents of the South End and beyond thanks to its close proximity to Downtown Boston.
Recreational docks line the Charles River through Fenway and Back Bay thanks to the Esplanade Association. Open for fishing, picnicking, lounging or exercise, these are mini-retreats from a tourist-filled area of the city, especially when the sun is out.
Boston residents are willing to pay a hefty price for prime parking, but just how much do these prices vary throughout the city?
A report by the real estate research site NeighborhoodX breaks down the purchase price of various Boston parking spaces throughout some of the most popular residential areas. The prices range from $50,000 in South End to the most expensive on the list, $390,000 in Beacon Hill.
With Beacon Hill being one of the city’s most sought after residential neighborhoods, it’s no surprise you’ll have to pay top dollar to park there too. The Brimmer Street Garage parking spaces generally range from $250,000 to $390,000.
Back Bay parking follows close behind, with the most expensive spaces on Marlborough St. priced at $305,000, approximately $1,743/sq.ft. There are a few cheaper options in this area as well, with a spot purchased on Newbury Street for $108,500.
Downtown is right in the middle, with a parking space purchase price of $105,000. The cheapest parking spot sales happened in the South End, ranging from $50,000 to $87,500.
As the first quarter of 2016 comes to a close, the volume of sales in the luxury market has continued its upward trend of year-over-year growth. We’ve seen an 11% year increase in luxury sales from December 2015-February 2016 in comparison to December 2014-February 2015. This increase can be partially attributed to the delivery of 22 Liberty in the Seaport. However, a large part is also a result of the increase in existing inventory value.
The demand for new luxury construction in Beacon Hill continues to climb despite the high barrier to entry in this picturesque, historic neighborhood. Since 2012, the average price-per-square-foot for luxury condominiums sold per year in Beacon Hill has increased by almost 35%, further illustrating that luxury real estate today is very hot. It’s also the investment choice of many because it is viewed as a “safer” and “higher return” option compared to investing money in the stock market or in a bank CD.
As more and more buyers purchase real estate in Boston, prices will only continue to increase in this supply-constrained market until new inventory is built or old inventory that is severely dated is purchased, renovated and resold.
New developments are creating exciting investment opportunities as builders continue to move forward with their projects per the market demand. Today, it has become even more important to understand the luxury market and stay appraised of the current offerings in Boston in order to secure a new home or investment property to not only have a comfortable place to live but an investment that will maximize its return later on.
Below are several current investment opportunities in the Beacon Hill neighborhood:
73 Mount Vernon Street – 73 Mount Vernon Street is a nine unit, +/-8,514-square-foot brownstone that offers investors the opportunity to own a rarely available asset with value-add potential. The property features brick construction, elegant window lines, lawn space and unobstructed rooftop views spanning the Financial District to the Charles River. It is situated along the south slope of Beacon Hill, across from the height-restricted horse stable building, which allows for views across the hill and is just steps from Louisburg Square. Working gas lamps and brick sidewalks accentuate the charm of this distinguished residential area, cordially referred to as “Billionaires Row.” With a starting price at $6,500,000, which includes plenty of outdoor space including a large front yard in the most desirable part of Boston, this has the potential to be a very savvy investment.
Maison Vernon – Maison Vernon is a newly developed residence featuring seven luxury condominiums ranging in size from 1,911 square feet to 3,990 square feet. This property overlooks the nation’s oldest public park and is situated at the top of Beacon Hill on the corner of Mt. Vernon Street and Joy Street. Amenities include 24-hour valet parking service, resident storage, concierge service and wine storage. Current units for sale range from two to three to four bedroom floor plans and are priced between $2,995,000 – $5,595,000.
25 Beacon Street – 25 Beacon Street is a six full-floor unit redevelopment right next to the State House. Among these beautiful luxury residences is an $11,500,000 penthouse with bike storage, direct elevator access, a wine cellar, and parking for two. Amenities for the whole building include a 24/7 concierge service, roof deck, and fitness center.
The Whitwell– Located at 32 Derne Street, these 14 luxury homes are just a few steps away from quintessential Beacon Hill shops, restaurants, antique galleries and all that Charles Street has to offer. These homes range in size from 2 to 7+ bedroom residences from 1,850 to 3,250 square feet. The Whitwell also has three large penthouses with private terraces and open floor plans overlooking the State House and Charles River for as much as $12,750,000. Amenities in the Whitwell include direct elevator access to onsite underground deeded garage parking, an onsite concierge and a common rooftop terrace.
Beacon Hill is one of Boston’s most historic neighborhoods with gaslights, charming boutiques and local fare dotting the cobblestone streets. Overlooking the nation’s oldest public park and situated at the top of Beacon Hill on the corner of Mt. Vernon Street and Joy Street is Maison Vernon. Maison Vernon is a newly developed residence, featuring seven luxury condominiums ranging in size from 1,911 square feet to 3,990 square feet. With a restored façade and infused with French influences, Maison Vernon preserves the historical charm of the building dating from the 1830s and the Beacon Hill neighborhood, while bringing in opulent European finishes.
“The new reference of Bostonian Elegance” is how John Meyer, the architect on the project, defined Maison Vernon. His aim was to create a residence that “embod[ied] the essence of Beacon Hill in its grandeur of yesterday, today and tomorrow.” Maison Vernon does just that with the preservation of its red brick and limestone accents, infusing the architectural past with a fresh elegance into its craftsmanship.
Inside Maison Vernon hand-carved Italian marble fireplace mantels adorn the living spaces and imported French oak wood flooring, and hand-carved plaster moldings are featured throughout. A private terrace, 24-hour concierge and valet parking, offers Maison Vernon residents a sophisticated and personalized concierge building.
Current units for sale range from two to three to four bedroom floor plans and between $2,995,000 – $5,595,000. Explore Boston’s most sought-after and charming neighborhood through the rich charm of Maison Vernon. For more information or to schedule an appointment email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a full list of new developments and exclusive listings visit Advisors Living New Developments.
Beacon Hill is one of Boston’s most picturesque and historical locations but new real estate opportunities have been few and far between in recent years. It was announced back in February that Suffolk University would be selling two of its classroom buildings on Beacon Hill. The Archer and Donahue buildings are situated next to each other at the corner of Derne and Temple streets and both stand 6 stories high and are a combined 175,000 square feet.
The future of this location would be perfect for a boutique hotel, commercial office space but especially a residential building. There is very little inventory in this highly sought after location so a luxury residential building would be quite a draw. It would be a convenient location for anyone working at Mass General or in nearby Cambridge. Beacon Hill features amenities like the Charles River, Boston Common and numerous shops and restaurants.
On the rare occasion that homes do become available, they can easily fetch $1,000+ per square foot. For instance there is a 472 square foot, 1 Bedroom / 1 Bathroom until available on Revere street for $450,000 while there is also a 3,799 square foot, 5 bedroom listed at $4,100,000 on Pinckney Street. These two homes come in at $953/sf and $1,079/sf respectively. It will be very interesting to see what comes of this rare and valuable opportunity. To explore other existing for sale and rental opportunities in Beacon Hill, visit the Advisors Living neighborhood page.