Boston Luxury Condos

PRICE PRESSURES

In Boston’s luxury condos, supply-and-demand economics don’t apply

Boston’s luxury condo market is facing a mismatch between supply and demand: Developers are building condos aimed at the wealthiest buyers, but buyers are looking for a wider range of prices, according to real estate experts and recent data.
While Boston’s population is growing, wage growth hasn’t kept up with the fast rise of prices, according to a recent recap of Boston’s luxury condominium market by The Collaborative Cos.
“Buyers have not been able to fully engage in this new, costlier market,” the report said. “The factors which would traditionally support a fast-absorbing pricing dynamic do not appear to be available for this current supply of product.”
In other words, thousands of luxury units are being built across the city, but sellers may have to lower those prices or risk sitting on unsold condos until the supply-demand imbalance gets restored. The report recommends that a consistent volume of sales can only happen if new residential units are designed with a broader range of sizes and price points.
Record-high sales prices

Total home sales fell over the course of 2019, sending worries through Boston’s residential brokerage community. But at the same time, Boston saw record-high sales prices: The median cost for a condo in Boston was $810,000 in 2019, and average listing prices were $280,000 higher in 2019 than in 2018, said Laura Gollinger, vice president of The Collaborative Cos., who oversees research and design development programs for the Boston-based residential consulting and analytics firm.

“Some people were kind of saying the sky was falling. And in reality, yeah, the absorption was less. But the price points were much higher,” Gollinger said. “The number of transactions was slightly less, but the price points were record-setting.”

For instance, at both the recently opened Four Seasons Private Residences One Dalton Street in Back Bay, and at Pier Four in the Seaport District, some units sold at over $4,000 per square foot. “The city’s never seen anything like that,” Gollinger said.

Some 25,700 units are either planned or under construction across Greater Boston, according to the report. In the Seaport alone, some 1,200 apartments and condominiums are expected to come online within one block of each other, at NEMA Boston, EchelonSeaport, Gables Seaport and the St. Regis Residences, Boston.

EchelonSeaport is a good example of unit diversity: With a price range of $700,000 to $5 million and higher, EchelonSeaport has seen a “brisk pace,” selling around 10 units per month.
This year prices may level off, which could allow wage growth to catch up, said Mike Schlott, president of Kinlin Grover Real Estate, which operates from Cape Cod through Plymouth and Bristol counties.

“The last couple of years I think we’ve seen a more normalization in price appreciation in Massachusetts,” Schlott said. “Hopefully wage growth is keeping up with that.”

Million-dollar battles

The heaviest competition continues to be for homes priced under $1.5 million. In past years, the buyer pool would have been focused on the under $1 million range, Brian Dougherty, managing director of residential brokerage Compass in Boston and head of the firm’s private brokerage division, said.

“The price band under $1.5 (million) is where buyers have to roll up their sleeves and really make a very strategic effort to find a place in core Boston,” Dougherty said.

Dougherty recalled one property, priced at $1.25 million, that recently received 17 offers to buy. “There are for sure buyers that in years past would have been in the mix, and they’re kind of waiting it out, or they’re priced out of the market,” he said.

Boston’s buyers have predominately been locals, Gollinger said, as opposed to Manhattan, which tends to draw a larger pool of foreign investors. As a result, the pool of buyers who can afford an ultra-luxury product is small relative to the city’s entire residential market. In 2019, for all of Boston’s luxury residential buildings, there were just 60 transactions at $6 million and above, Gollinger said. Most of those were at One Dalton and Pier 4.

“As you get larger in terms of your price point, your demand dips,” Gollinger said.
At the ultra-luxury Raffles Back Bay Hotel & Residences, now under construction now at 40 Trinity Place, a majority of units will be priced between $2 million and $5 million. That’s an example of where The Collaborative Cos. is advising developers to not emphasize the top 1% of buyers.

“There’s definitely demand for both new luxury and new mid-luxury,” Gollinger said. “I just caution that, as people are planning new projects, really keeping in mind who the buyer is, because having empty buildings isn’t good for anybody.”

100 Shawmut Developer Says Presales Strong

By Banker & Tradesman | March 9, 2020

The developer of a 138-unit luxury condominium tower in Boston’s South End says presales activity has been strong ahead of its scheduled completion this fall. The Davis Cos. partnered with the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church and Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association on the 100 Shawmut condo development, which held a topping-off ceremony Tuesday.

Designed by The Architectural Team of Chelsea with Suffolk as construction manager, 100 Shawmut redeveloped and expanded a 6-story office building into a 13-story, 232,000-square-foot condo tower. The building will feature high-end finishes designed by Embarc Studio and a 13th floor indoor-outdoor lounge.

Advisors Living is the project’s sales agent. Other members of the project team include Copley Wolff Design Group, Howard Stein Hudson Associates, McNamara Salvia and WSP. Construction lenders include M&T Bank, Berkshire Bank, HarborOne Bank, Needham Bank and Bank of New England. The project complied with Boston’s inclusionary development policy by designating BCEC and CCBA as recipient of its affordable housing contribution. The organizations are planning to develop 536 apartments and condos on neighboring parcels, including 26 percent dedicated for affordable housing.

South End’s 100 Shawmut tops off, with fall opening expected

The 13-story condo building in the busy Boston enclave is expected to have 138 luxury units

By 

The 13-story, 138-unit condo building at 100 Shawmut Avenue in Boston’s South End officially topped off on March 9, lead developer the Davis Companies announced. The luxury development in a neighborhood peppered with them is expected to open this fall.

Pre-sales have already started at 100 Shawmut, and a release from Davis says that they’ve been met “with strong interest.” But a spokeswoman declined to elaborate.

The development at Herald Street and Shawmut Avenue is due to include 22 studios, 34 one-bedrooms, 23 one-bedrooms with a den, 27 two-bedrooms, 15 two-bedrooms with a den, 12 three-bedrooms, three three-bedrooms with a den, and two four-bedrooms. Eleven of the units will be penthouses.

“We are thrilled to celebrate yet another milestone of 100 Shawmut,” Jonathan Davis, founder and chief executive of the Davis Companies, said in a statement. “This project is a great example of an innovative and sustainable development in what is becoming a new nexus between the Back Bay and South End neighborhoods.”

Davis broke ground on the project in summer 2019. It had acquired the six-story office property there for $26.2 million four years earlier, touching off speculation about what the developer might build in a South End used to construction cranes and new housing.

The 232,000-square-foot 100 Shawmut incorporates the 1920s facade of the office building that was there within a new glass structure. The Architectural Team, based in Chelsea, handled that design, and EMBARC Studio of Boston designed the interiors. Copley Wolff is the landscape architect.

The building’s amenities are due to include a 24-hour concierge, private parking for 112, billiards, a fitness center, a dog-washing station, and a playroom for the kids. A rooftop lounge is expected to include gas grills and fire pits.

In the end, the years-in-the-making project came about through a partnership between Davis, the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church (BCEC), and the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA).

Davis, as part of advancing 100 Shawmut, is contributing $15 million to a city-controlled escrow account for developing affordable housing at a CCBA-owned site at 50 Herald Street next to 100 Shawmut. That project is expected to hold 313 apartments, 26 percent of which will be designated affordable.

The partnership also means an expanded BCEC building at 120 Shawmut Avenue in the same vicinity, which will house ecclesiastical space as well as 84 housing units. Davis has also committed $200,000 to various community programs as part of the partnership, the developer said last summer.

Steel Framing Rising for 100

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By BLDUP | January 11, 2020

Steel framing is rising for the luxury condo project, 100 Shawmut in the South End. The project will offer 138 homes featuring elegant finishes including white oak wood floors and Silestone countertops. Resident amenities will include a 24-hour concierge service, valet parking, a fitness center, library, pet spa, children’s playroom, and a rooftop sky lounge.

A Warm Welcome to Woods Hill Table’s Kristin Canty

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We are thrilled to introduce you to restaurateur Kristin Canty who will be establishing the Seaport’s first farm-to-table restaurant at PIER 4.

You may recognize Canty’s name as the mastermind behind Concord’s popular Woods Hill Table. Wood’s Hill Table is an organic restaurant, complete with a full bar, that is a culmination of Kristin’s passion for food, family farms, sustainable sourcing and ancestral health.

Read the below Q&A to learn about her inspiration, favorite dishes, why this location, and more.

Q: Why this location?

A: Having grown up in the Greater Boston area, I have fond memories of celebrating with friends and family at Anthony’s PIER 4. As a restaurateur, I’m inspired by its impact on the Boston restaurant scene. While the Anthony’s PIER 4 experience could never be replicated, we do hope to honor its legacy by providing the Seaport a convivial waterfront dining atmosphere and warm hospitality.

Q: Where do you source your products?

AWe source our products from our proprietary farm, The Farm at Woods Hill, in Bath, New Hampshire, and several other small, supporting purveyors. Purchased in 2013, our farm is the source for the vast majority of the food served at Woods Hill Table, including pasture-raised cows, pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, ducks, lambs, blueberries, garlic, pumpkins, apples and more. The 265- acre property also boasts four beehives, and 200 mushroom logs that sprout mushroom varietals including oyster, shiitake, lion’s mane and maitake.

Q: When did you open Woods Hill Table and why?

A: I purchased the farm in 2013 and opened the doors to Woods Hill Table in March 2015.

Ever since I was personally impacted by the healing power of food many years ago, ancestral health has become a personal and public passion. Defined by pasturing farm animals, growing produce without pesticides and embracing raw and fermented foods, the concept is seamlessly woven through the Woods Hill Table menu, allowing me to share the foods that I’ve long created for my family with the larger community.

Q: What’s your favorite dish? Ingredient?

A: I’m a huge raw food advocate, and I eat our Woods Hill Farm Beef Tartare almost every day! It’s made with beef from our own pasture raised, grass-fed cows and is both flavorful and incredibly nutrient dense.

Q: Tell us more about Farmageddon.

A: After seeing the impact the incorporation of raw milk had on my son’s health, I spent years working with and advocating on behalf of farmers locally in New England and across the country. This inspired me to produce my documentary, Farmageddon – The Unseen War on American Family Farms. The film, which was released in 2011, captures the obstacles faced by the modern farmer and the injustices, including government raids and search and seizure, so often faced by the families that form the foundation of America’s food system.

 

 

Developer Kicks Off 39-Unit Condo Development in JP

By: The Warren Group

City Realty Group has begun construction of Tempo, a 39-unit condominium complex at 3193 Washington St. in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood.

The 5-story, 45,605-square-foot project will include units ranging from 495-square-foot studios to 1,305-square-foot three-bedroom condos. Amenities include a pet wash station, automated garage parking and bike storage.

New Boston Builders is constructing the project, which was designed by Embarc Studio of South Boston and is scheduled for completion in April 2020. Units will be marketed by Boston Realty Advisors/Advisors Living.

Studios are being marketed starting in the $400,000s and one-bedroom units will start in the $500,000s, according to the developers.

City Realty Group Begins Construction on TEMPO Condominiums in Jamaica Plain By Boston Real Estate Times

 

BOSTON– City Realty Group, a community-focused real estate development company serving the Greater Boston area since 2004, recently celebrated groundbreaking on TEMPO Condominiums in Jamaica Plain.

Located at 3193 Washington Street, TEMPO embraces the unique rhythm of Jamaica Plain.  TEMPO features 39 striking homes and quaint retail space that matches the blend of authenticity and vibrancy which makes JP one of Boston’s most appealing neighborhoods to call home.

TEMPO provides needed home ownership opportunities in the desirable Jamaica Plain neighborhood. The five-story building will total 45,605 square feet, with 31,365 square feet of net living space and available units ranging from studio to three-bedrooms. The studio units range from 495-615 square feet, one-bedroom units from 585-680 square feet, two-bedroom units from 785-985 square feet, two-bedrooms plus a study are 940 square feet, and three-bedroom condos will measure 955-1,305 square feet.  Retail units range from 1,050-1,105 square feet.  All retail space will be marketed with a preference for local small businesses.

Combining functionality with luxury, TEMPO is perfectly situated, just an 8-minute walk to the MTBA’s Orange Line and in great proximity to popular Boston destinations such as Fenway, Back Bay and the Longwood Medical area. TEMPO will accentuate everything that makes JP a special place to live – the exciting local restaurant scene, iconic Sam Adams Brewery, the historic and picturesque Arnold Arboretum and Emerald Necklace.  These stylish, pet-friendly condos are thoughtfully designed to fit the modern lifestyle.  Amenities include: automated garage parking, pet wash station, bike storage and private outdoor space. Construction is expected to be completed by March, 2020.

“TEMPO combines a fresh approach to urban living, with unmatched neighborhood amenities,” said Steve Whalen, Managing Partner of City Realty Group. “We are proud to bring much-needed home ownership options to the wonderfully diverse and vibrant community of Jamaica Plain.”

City Realty is teaming up with New Boston Builders to construct TEMPO Condominiums, which was designed by Embarc Studio, an architectural firm located in South Boston. Units will be exclusively marketed by Boston Realty Advisors/Advisors Living.

Pier 4 Penthouse Sells for Record Number

pier 4

The homes at Pier 4, the Seaport’s premiere luxury condominium, are now closing and ready for occupancy. The Penthouse homes at Pier 4 have sold for prices that had only previously been achieved in Back Bay and Beacon Hill, redefining the geography of Boston’s luxury condo market. One residence that has closed in the Penthouse Collection sold for $15,231,920 and achieved a record-shattering price per square foot of $4,180. As of June 2019, no other residential sale in Boston has ever closed for over $4,000 per square foot.  So what are some of the features of these amazing homes in the Penthouse Collection?

Each has its own uniquely designed feature staircase leading to an expansive private roof terrace, equipped with a fully appointed kitchen – perfect for entertaining this Fourth of July

A full-height 99-bottle wine fridge – let your inner sommelier free

Soaring 10’5” ceiling – plenty of room for art and furniture that fits your tastes

Gas fireplaces – ideal for colder winter months

Private balconies with captivating views

Indulgent soaking tub for rest and relaxation after a long day of exploring all that the Seaport has to offer

Another home that sold in Pier 4’s Penthouse Collection also achieved $4,180 per square foot and sold for over $13 million. To put these sales in perspective, the highest sale in Back Bay in 2019 did not cross the $2,700 per square foot threshold. These record sales at Pier 4 showcase the value of new waterfront homes in full service buildings versus inventory in Back Bay and Beacon Hill that has aged and is not fully amenitized.

Missed your chance to tour these amazing homes? Luckily, there are still a few penthouses available, just in time to move in this summer! Register on our website and book an appointment today.

South End’s 100 Shawmut Avenue breaks ground in busy area

Project with 138 luxury condos joins other nearby new-ish arrivals such as the Ink Block and Troy Boston.

by Tom Acitelli 

Boston-based developer the Davis Companies officially broke ground June 3 on a luxury condo at 100 Shawmut Avenue in the South End. The firm acquired the six-story office property there for $26.2 million in July 2015.

That acquisition touched off speculation about what Davis would build at the site as it’s smack-dab amid an ongoing, years-long building boom in that corner of the South End that has also included the Ink Block complex and the Troy Boston apartments.

Davis’ under-construction project at Herald Street will be a 232,000-square-foot condo building with 138 luxury units. It will run to 13 stories, and the units will run from studios to four-bedrooms, “many featuring a den space,” according to a release from the developer.

The project’s exterior is expected to incorporate the 1920s facade of the office building that was there within a newly constructed glass structure. The Architectural Team, based in Chelsea, is handling that design, and EMBARC Studio of Boston is designing the interiors. Copley Wolff is the landscape architect.

The building’s amenities are due to include a 24-hour concierge, private parking for 112, billiards, a fitness center, a dog-washing station, and a playroom for the kids. A rooftop lounge is expected to include gas grills and fire pits.

In the end, the years-in-the-making project came about through a partnership between Davis, the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church (BCEC), and the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA).

Davis, as part of advancing 100 Shawmut, will contribute $15 million to a city-controlled escrow account for developing affordable housing at a CCBA-owned site at 50 Herald Street next to 100 Shawmut. That project is expected to hold 313 apartments, 26 percent of which will be designated affordable.

The partnership also means an expanded BCEC building at 120 Shawmut Avenue in the same vicinity, which will house ecclesiastical space as well as 84 housing units. (Davis has also committed $200,000 to various community programs as part of the partnership, the developer said.)

The latter two projects are not under construction, and 100 Shawmut is supposed to open in fall 2020. Stay tuned.