Boston Real Estate

Coronavirus fears reshape home design

COVID home

By Cameron Sperance | Boston Globe June 30, 2020

The 1918 flu outbreak gave us the powder room. What will COVID-19’s design legacy be?

A pandemic is temporary, but its impact on residential design could last for generations.

“Security” became the buzzword in building design and construction following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Stronger reinforcement, increased fire safety, and heightened security are baseline expectations in an office building since the tragedies at the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Architects expect COVID-19 to leave its legacy on building design, from new forms of apartment living to suburban single-family homes, long after a vaccine is discovered.

“There’s a lifestyle change happening. It’s been three months since shelter-in-place orders came out,” said Liz Morgan, creative director at Portland, Ore.-based JHL Design. “That’s plenty of time to change habits, so there’s just going to be more attention to home design — period.”

The longer quarantines and operation restrictions last, the more people will rely on their homes as mission control for daily life. But a kitchen counter as a home office, or free weights shoved into the corner of a guest bedroom masquerading as a gym, are only stopgap measures.

As corporate teams warm to the idea of working from home, heightened short-term health measures are becoming protocol — think of the health equivalent of a TSA screening at the airport. As social distancing remains in the back of everyone’s mind, home expectations will adjust, Morgan said.

“It also depends on someone’s means and how much space they have,” she added.

Dedicated spaces for home offices or gyms are among the more talked about home design changes, but these can still be achieved with dedicated areas in smaller spaces like a studio apartment.

Improved air filtration systems as well as pivoting away from synthetic materials like glues and certain padding under flooring may appeal to buyers with compromised immune systems or asthma. A recent study of home buyers found that 66 percent would spend another $1,000 on their home if it included a whole house air filtration system, according to Mollie Carmichael, principal of Meyers Research. That’s up from 56 percent least year. Homeowners or potential buyers will probably also crave flexible space or indoor/outdoor rooms to boost their access to natural air.

More elaborate design changes include adding a “drop zone” or transition space from the outdoors to inside like a mudroom.

“People are going to have to have places to keep things that haven’t been sanitized and where you can sanitize materials,” Morgan said.

More than half the home buyers in Gazelle Global Research’s America at Home Study, which was conducted in late April, said they wanted features like germ-resistant countertops and flooring, touch-free faucets and appliances, a better-equipped kitchen for cooking, and more storage for food and water.

Kerrie Kelly, a design expert for Zillow, is predicting an uptick in smart-home features. “Touchless faucets and bidets are only the beginning,” Kelly said. “Just wait until the floor tile takes your temperature and the bathroom mirror checks your vitals. Exciting new products are on the horizon when it comes to keeping a clean, safe, and healthy home.”

More than 30 percent of those surveyed in the America at Home study wanted amenities like touchless home entry, a home office, and an adaptable space with flexible walls. In research Zillow released on June 22, Katie Detwiler, vice president of marketing for Berks Homes, said buyers will see the return of doors. “Open floor plans are changing. People are feeling like they need more privacy, so we’ll see more doors — especially for home offices — more insulation for noise control, and separate spaces to keep the kids busy while parents work,” Detwiler said. “More people will work from home in the future — period. There will need to be space and privacy to accommodate that.”

“A home office has been part of the plan for a number of our builders over time, but not everyone has asked for one over the last 10 years,” said Donna Tefft, director of marketing and sales at The Pinehills — a 3,200-acre residential development in Plymouth. “Recently, potential buyers are asking for not only one at-home office but two.”

The Pinehills is home to nearly 2,500 families, with an expected build-out of 3,000-plus homes. Buyers are flocking to the development 45 miles south of Boston because of its outdoor spaces and 10 miles of walking trails, Tefft added, but they are also looking for new amenities within their own home.

To accommodate two home offices, various home builders in the Plymouth development are weighing whether to convert loft spaces or finish walk-out basements to accommodate two offices in future homes. More recently, prospective buyers of homes in development have asked about fitness facilities and even “getaway spaces,” or go-between areas to take a call that aren’t open environments like a living room or a bedroom.

While many of these amenities were under consideration precoronavirus, the pandemic has throttled forward the planned rollout.

“One of the consultants we work with says disruptions like this amplify changes already underway,” said Tony Green, the development’s managing partner.

Any changes to building and home design stemming from COVID-19 would be the latest chapter in centuries of architectural responses to public health crises.

Wide front porches and increased ventilation gained popularity following three cholera pandemics in the first half of the 1800s. Carpeting and upholstery in bathrooms became far less fashionable later that century as scientists began to understand how germs and disease are spread.

Powder rooms surged in popularity following the flu pandemic of 1918, according to City Lab, Bloomberg’s urban life publication. Similar to Morgan’s prediction that mudrooms could gain in popularity as a drop zone because of COVID-19, powder rooms were billed as a way to sanitize quickly upon first entering a home.

Pandemics have a history of shaping residential design, but it still may take awhile for COVID-19′s legacy to permeate the Boston housing market. Projects currently underway or on the cusp of breaking ground have been in the planning and approval process for months, if not years. But some building infrastructure changes, such as increased air filtration and improved HVAC systems, have already been adopted into various municipal building codes in Greater Boston and in major metropolitan areas around the country, those interviewed for this story said.

It may take time for a contemporary post-pandemic legacy to emerge.

“All these things are being considered but, really, for our area, this only erupted in early March. People are still figuring things out,” said Frank DiCenso, a vice president at Bridgewater-based Callahan Construction Managers. “If we have this interview in three, four, or five months from now, I’d bet we see some changes.”

It’s simply a matter of when, not if, changes arrive to design, Morgan said.

Social-distancing measures in phased economic reopenings have led to temporary barriers in commercial properties like offices and restaurants. While health and safety concerns made those responses more immediate, it could take months for home design to shift.

“It’s kind of like asking a designer how long until the next big fashion cycle will come around,” Morgan said. “With home design, some people are still concerned with having a contractor come inside, so it’s hard to predict when this will all manifest.”

Making the most of your outdoor space, no matter how small

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By Boston Globe | June 25, 2020

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Coronavirus quarantines have many people rethinking the interiors of their homes this spring. DIY projects were tackled, and rooms reorganized. Now that summer’s here, why not give the same mini-makeover to backyards and outdoor spaces?

You’ll feel less cooped up if you bring some indoor style outside, even if it’s just to a tiny balcony or front porch, said New Jersey interior designer Anna Maria Mannarino.

“You’re expanding the real estate really by bringing the indoors out,” Mannarino said.

Here, she and two other design experts — Connecticut landscape architect Janice Parker and Houston interior designer Lauren Rottet — share advice on how they create stylish outdoor spaces that can accommodate a range of activities, from cooking and socially distant entertaining to relaxing and working from home.

Comfort and coziness

Even the smallest outdoor space probably has room for one or two comfortable chairs and a bistro table, Mannarino said. If you don’t normally keep a table outside, Rottet suggested bringing out a small folding table when you want to dine or work outside. Add a crisp linen tablecloth, she said, and even an inexpensive card table will look special.

Layering the space with pillows and a throw blanket for evenings adds a cozy vibe. Choose pillows and cushions in an outdoor-friendly fabric like Sunbrella, which needs little care to stay looking and feeling good throughout the seasons, Mannarino said.

“And I would definitely add an outdoor rug if you have the space to do it,” she said.

If you don’t want to buy an outdoor rug, Parker said, just bring out a throw rug from inside to use on a sunny day.

Sounds and scents

The sounds of rippling water or birdsong can be great antidotes to rumbling traffic or barking dogs. Parker suggested buying an inexpensive tabletop fountain, and bird feeders to attract songbirds.

“It’s a great time to get into bird-watching,” she said, “because they do seem to be more abundant than in the past.” (Get a squirrel-proof feeder if you want to make sure the food actually goes to the birds.)

There’s an even simpler, virtual option, Parker pointed out: When you sit outside, play recordings of chirping birds or rippling water from your phone or other device.

Pleasing scents will also elevate your outdoor space. Buy a potted lavender plant, Parker said, or flowering plants like nicotiana (also called “flowering tobacco”), which “are iridescent in the evening and have a wonderful scent.”

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Many grocery stores are selling potted plants, and “you don’t have to fuss with re-potting them,” Parker said. If they come in plain plastic containers, simply wrap the container in a bit of burlap or other fabric to make it more attractive.

For something more dramatic, Rottet said, potted citrus trees look and smell lovely. Or add a pencil cactus or other succulent in a tall planter; it can withstand summer heat while functioning like a sculpture in your outdoor space. When summer ends, fill the planter with a hardy flowers like pansies, which might even last through the winter.

No time or resources to add plants this year? Floral or lavender candles are another option, Parker said.

Dining and cooking

A gas grill can be an asset if you’re cooking outdoors a lot. But Rottet also recommended the Big Green Egg charcoal grill. “It’s not a huge commitment,” she said, “because you can roll it into a tight little space.”

If you have a grill and would like to create more of a kitchen around it, add an outdoor table or console that can serve as a work surface and perhaps has some storage, Mannarino said, “so you’re not just walking over to a grill and holding a tray in your hand.”

Want to create the feel of an outdoor bar? Add a rolling bar cart, or, even more simply, fill your biggest salad bowl with ice, Parker said, and bring out a selection of cold drinks.

Sunshine and shade

If you’re working outside, you need shade to see the screen. Retractable awnings are helpful, as are large outdoor umbrellas that stand alone or fit into an outdoor table. (They also let you spend more time outside, if it’s raining.)

In the evening, Rottet said you can expand the feeling of even a small backyard by wrapping strands of small white lights (available in outdoor-safe versions that are battery-powered or solar-powered) around your trees.

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Lanterns with lit candles inside are lovely outdoors after the sun goes down, though LED candles can be a more practical choice on a breezy night.

A fire pit will also brighten up your outdoor space, and warm it up this fall and winter.

Rottet created one for her Houston home using a large concrete planter that can withstand heat.

But as Parker pointed out, you don’t have to buy anything to have a fire pit. It might be fun to create one the old-school way: Dig a wide hole in the ground, she said, contain the space safely, and build a campfire “Boy Scout style.”

The changes you make to your outdoor space don’t have to be elaborate, she said. “Just get out there. Take your chair from the kitchen table if you need to. Take your coffee cup and go.”

In a sign of stability, US new-home sales have posted a surprising gain

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By Bloomberg | Boston Globe | May 26, 2020

New-home sales in the United States unexpectedly increased in April after swooning a month earlier, suggesting the housing market is starting to stabilize.

Purchases of new single-family houses climbed 0.6% from March to a 623,000 annualized pace, government data showed Tuesday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a drop to a 480,000 rate of sales. The median sale price fell 8.6% from a year earlier to $309,900.

The report boosted the stocks of home builders, which have rebounded in recent weeks. An index tracking the industry had jumped 19% in May through Friday, beating the gain in the S&P 500.

Mortgage rates near historic lows may be putting a floor under the housing market. And even as soaring unemployment and tighter credit standards threaten to complicate the recovery, home-building is proving to be a bright spot. Builders have been helped by local governments, which in many cases have deemed the industry essential and allowed work to continue.

Job losses are primarily hitting renters who are more likely to be working in lower-paying service and hospitality jobs that were damaged most by social-distancing rules, said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo.

Unlike the existing home market, which has seen a big drop in inventory, builders were able to accommodate buyers, showing floor plans virtually and even offering drive-thru closings.

“If the reopenings continue, housing may provide an upside surprise to the economy this year,’’ Vitner said.

Three of four US regions showed stronger home sales in April than a month earlier, reflecting 2.4% gains in the South and Midwest, the Commerce Department’s report showed. Purchases climbed 8.7% in the Northeast and dropped 6.3% in the West.

The government’s data measure signed contracts to buy homes. The slight gain in April came after sales dropped the most since 2013 in March, when much of the US economy shut down to stem the spread of coronavirus.

While housing is holding up better than expected, the recovery will depend on how quickly the rest of the economy bounces back.

“We’re still trying to understand what is the new normal,’’ said Alex Barron, an analyst with the Housing Research Center in El Paso.

Take a look at 10 luxury properties on the market during the pandemic

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By Megan O’Brien | Boston Globe | May 4, 2020

The COVID-19 public health crisis has slowed many industries since Governor Charlie Baker introduced a stay-at-home order in March, and real estate is no exception. Even so, multimillion-dollar listings continue to pop up on the market.

300 Pier 4 Boulevard, Unit PHN, Seaport District

$6,765,000

3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 1 half bath

2,506 square feet

Janice Dumont at Advisors Living-Back Bay has the listing.

 

Lots of unique treasures in this Chestnut Hill mansion

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By Todd Larson | Boston Homes | March 19, 2020

The new sunroom, kitchens, bedroom suites, game-room loft, multipurpose garden level, heated three-car garage and classical terrace/patio reflect the architects’ vision of “picturesque charm and proper setting” and “sympathetic relation to the established historical domestic styles,” as Architectural Record described the house in 1910.

The angular wingspread of 152 Suffolk Road’s Spanish Mediterranean Mission façade – an architectural anomaly in Chestnut Hill – speaks volumes about its unique features: the wide variety of rooms it encompasses, the open-armed welcome it extends and the four elevator-accessible levels of comfortable living it offers.

“Because of its unique flanking design, the home does not feel so overwhelming and linear” said Manuel Davis of Advisors Living–Back Bay, who, along with Kristy Ganong, is co-offering the 14,109-square-foot, seven-bedroom residence at $12 million.

Its hospitality also owes to a three-year restoration, renovation and expansion of its 1904 design by Chapman & Frazer. This included replacing the roof with Spanish barrel clay tiles sourced from the company that made the originals (Ludowici of New Lexington, Ohio) and restoring century-old oak paneling, leaded-glass windows, fireplace mantels and other period details.

The new sunroom, kitchens, bedroom suites, game-room loft, multipurpose garden level, heated three-car garage and classical terrace/patio reflect the architects’ vision of “picturesque charm and proper setting” and “sympathetic relation to the established historical domestic styles,” as Architectural Record described the house in 1910.

This is evident upon entering the Spanish-tiled gateway to an axial path across the vast treed lawn to the arched center-entrance loggia, or motoring up the gravelly carriage drive. The façade hugs the drive, welcoming you warmly from the outset.

The entry gallery continues the warmth with oak paneling, leaded-glass casement windows and convenient direction everywhere. The west gallery leads to the dining room and great room. The east gallery accesses the back stairway/elevator hall and family room.

The central hall reaches the balustraded bluestone terrace from which a split stair descends to a bluestone patio overlooking conservation land – an elegant setting for a wedding. The hall also accesses the chef’s kitchen, the garden-level stairway and the bedrooms via a staircase with a balustrade of columned arches.

Flanking the vestibule are a walk-in coat closet and marble powder room with a hand-hammered metal sink.

The dining room, accessible by a swing door from the garden-level stair, is dressed for dinner with lamp-shaded crystal chandeliers, crown moldings upholding ceiling vaults and a marble fireplace with a carved mantel. For an apéritif or digestif, guests can withdraw to the octagonal sitting room, warm up by its fireplace, framed in carved animal/plant reliefs, and reach the terrace through a French door.

The sitting room and gallery access the great room through its curved wall of bookcases and square columns. Chicago windows with leaded glass, crystal chandeliers and fireplace-flanking French doors flood the space with light.

The French doors spill the entertainment onto a monumental Tuscan-columned porch and down to a balustraded side yard. This descends to a bluestone walk that passes through a stone archway under the terrace en route to the patio and the garden level.

The kitchens – one for formal catering, one for family cooking – boast custom Crown Point cabinetry, quartzite and marble counters including sink islands, six-burner gas ranges, Wolf stainless appliances, Miele integrated dishwashers and Sub-Zero refrigerators and wine coolers. The family kitchen has a Wolf espresso machine and a breakfast bay. Symmetrical with the sitting room, the bay also accesses the terrace through a French door.

The family room preserves a mantel of orange terra cotta tiles with fleur-de-lis and pinwheel accents and a stone hood with scrolled brackets and egg-and-dart moldings. Oaken ceiling beams, wall paneling and benched recesses for the leaded-glass casement windows add baronial grandeur.

Glazed double-doors introduce the sunroom, to which an Arts-and-Crafts tiled floor and a chandelier of bronze serpents and lions dangling bell lights give sympathetic relation to the historic family room. A door with arched transom accesses a deck over the garage.

The front stairway lands at a leaded-glass window on axis with the rear terrace before ascending to the bedroom level where all but one of the six bedrooms have en suite marble baths. A front-window sitting area precedes the junior suite with a bay window.

Across the corridor is the master suite’s dressing room with a window-seat, marble sorting island and a carousel chandelier.

Through a door is the palatial master bath of Calacatta Bellissimo marble.

“The designer Marie Share and ownership bought excess marble used to hand-pick only the tiles that perfectly match,” said Davis.

Matching fixtures include a bay-windowed Victoria & Albert soaking tub made from volcanic limestone, a twin-sink vanity with central makeup station, a benched shower with rain, fixed and hand-held shower heads, a towel-warming rack and water-closet where the commode automatically lifts up when the frosted-glass door is opened.

A double French door connects the bath to the master suite’s central hall, where a wet bar is handy. The hall accesses a triangular walk-in closet and the master bedroom, where a classic mantel frames a white marble fireplace and a double French door opens to the great-room porch’s roof, which can be decked.

Along the opposite corridor are the separate bedroom and bath, the bay-windowed study, a windowed laundry room and the three remaining bedroom suites. One has a sitting bay and a walk-in closet; another has deck access over the garage.

The hipped roof forms a cathedral game room with paneled square pillars that conceal the steel columns that were newly installed to support the rebuilt roof. Off the game room are a windowed bonus room, a shower bath and storage/mechanical attics under the wings’ roofs.

The garden level has three entertainment spaces. One displays framed original blueprints of the house and a reclaimed copper-hooded brick fireplace – newly framed with a classic wood mantel.

Also down here are a 4,000-bottle-capacity wine cellar; an overflow laundry room and an au pair suite with a separate entrance from the bluestone walk. There’s also a spa/gym with a bath, steam shower and cedar sauna; and a mudroom incorporating a pet spa with hand-held shower and an antique coal-burning stove by “Cyrus Carpenter & Co., 44 Hanover St., Boston” from the original basement kitchen.

Beside the mudroom are a powder room and garage access.

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

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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.