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.”
A very rare opportunity has opened up in the Seaport District, with an incredible penthouse loft.
33 Sleeper Street is perfectly situated across from an open air lot with 100 year city lease, protecting the unobstructed water and city skyline views from this beautiful penthouse.
The authentic loft space boasts an entire wall of red brick, exposed sand blasted wooden ceilings and beams and incredible high ceilings complete with four skylights.
The open space offers the perfect opportunity for a new resident to really customize it and add their own creative touch.
There is a custom platform with hardwood floors and built-in bookcases that offers a definition to the space and separation. The layout can easily be converted into a second bedroom, creating many possibilities for the space.
Other building amenities at 33 Sleeper Street include deeded courtyard parking just steps from the entrance, deeded storage, extra bike storage, in-unit washer and dryer, large closet space, a doorman and new elevators.
The location is unmatched, situated right in the heart of Boston’s newest restaurant row, just minutes from multiple transit lines and with easy access to the Financial District, Downtown and the rest of Boston.
Contact Kristy Ganong or Manuel Davis to find out more about this rare opportunity to own this beautiful Seaport District space.
150 Seaport Boulevard, the massive new residential and retail development, has been approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
Although the project can still face issues with an influential environmental group and needs state approvals, this was the first step for this waterfront tower becoming a reality.
The proposal includes a 22-story glass tower, transforming what is currently two waterfront bars.
The building would house 124 condo units and if all goes to plan the developers aim to begin construction next year.
The main backlash the project is facing is from the Conservation Law Foundation, which is worried that the development will take up too much of the Seaport’s waterfront space.
Along with the project, developers will also help finance civic assets throughout South Boston, including: Martin Richard Park at Children’s Wharf, building a new space for the Fort Point Arts Community and paying for a new stretch of the Harborwalk between Pier 4 and the World Trade Center.
150 Seaport Boulevard would overlook the harbor and work to protect and enhance the area around it.
The development would also include retail space, commercial space and parking spots.
Contact our advisors for more information on new developments in Boston and for advice on finding your new home today.
Architectural robotics are being tested at new residential developments in the Seaport, hoping to maximize the always decreasing square footage.
At the Watermark Seaport a 481-square-foot studio is testing out this new technology that makes small spaces like these feel bigger and more practical, according to Boston.com.
The luxury unit features a kitchen space along one wall, a bed area, living room space, floor to ceiling windows and high-end finishes.
The unique aspect is actually hidden within what appears to be a wall separating he bedroom and living room space.
On the side of the wall is a control panel, allowing the wall to be moved to the left or right, making either the bedroom space or living room space bigger.
Built into the movable wall are cabinets, closets, a pull out desk and even a space for the bed to slide in. These additions allow you to quickly tuck the bed away and transform the space into an office, or larger living space.
Called architectural robotics, this technology quickly and easily makes the most use of your space depending on your individual needs at any time and is conveniently controlled from your phone or the button.
Not only does it divide the space, but it unlocks potential for smaller spaces, especially since these size spaces are becoming increasingly popular on the market.
These technologies are currently still being tested at the Watermark and other cities around the country, but the developers at Ori Systems are hoping to get into real homes in 2017.
Contact us for more information and advice on finding your new home.
Perched along the waterfront at the edge of Pier 4, sits the empty building that once housed Anthony’s Pier 4 restaurant. This week Anthony’s Pier 4 restaurant could finally see demolition, according to The Boston Globe.
Tishman Speyer, a New York development company now owns the property and has plans to redevelop the area, incorporating it into the vastly expanding Seaport District. A 9-story luxury condominium with 100 units is set to go up in its place at Pier 4.
Surrounding that are plans for a one-acre park at the end of the pier where residents and locals can take advantage of strolls and evenings along the water’s edge. President of site developer Tishman Speyer, Rob Speyer, said, “We need to honor the site’s history by creating something that will be as relevant to the future as [Anthony’s] was to the past.”
Opened in 1963 by Anthony Athanas, an Albanian immigrant, Anthony’s Pier 4 was a staple of the Boston Waterfront. Celebrities like that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and even Julia Child dined at its white table-clothed tables. Celtics players, businessmen, politicians and United States presidents walked through its doors.
Plates of popovers, local seafood dishes and an extensive wine list, made Anthony’s Pier 4 a favorite among locals as well. Overlooking Boston’s harbor, Anthony’s Pier 4 restaurant hosted fundraisers, family dinners and business meetings with views of Boston’s harbor teeming with boats and vessels.
At one point in its storied past the restaurant was one of the most profitable restaurants in the nation, bringing in $12 million a year. Three years ago, Anthony’s Pier 4 shuttered its doors to patrons as the family focused on other businesses.
As the demolition of Anthony’s Pier 4 paves the way for new cityscapes, the surrounding Seaport District continues to evolve into a live, work and play neighborhood. Amid the new Pier 4 luxury residences will sit a 13-story, 373,0000-square-foot commercial building and two levels of parking to draw residents from all over Boston to the Seaport District, just as its restaurant predecessor had once done.
Twenty Two Liberty and Fifty Liberty are other luxury condominiums and apartments building up the Seaport District, near the site of GE’s new headquarters in Fort Point.
It is clear from all of the new construction that something exciting is happening in the Seaport District. Luxury condo buildings, luxury apartment buildings, new restaurants and large corporations (including GE’s new headquarters) are now making their home in the Seaport District. With an abundance of businesses, including hotels, retail and outdoor recreational spaces located in this area, the Seaport is quickly becoming one of Boston’s most popular new neighborhoods.
To meet this rapid increase in demand for new homes, developers are pushing the definition of “luxury” in Boston to unprecedented heights. Below are a few of the most exciting new luxury residences that were delivered in 2015 or will be delivered from 2016 until 2018.
22 Liberty – 22 Liberty was sold out before delivering residences in November 2015. By January 2016 it was completely closed out. 22 Liberty has 106 market rate condos on the Fan Pier and was designed by CBT Architects. With views overlooking the harbor, penthouses fetching over $8.3 million dollars and world-class amenities, it is no wonder 22 Liberty was sold out without area broker participation. 22 Liberty was the pioneer in “luxury condos” in the Seaport District and set the “New Market” with resales and same-day flips all fetching more than $2,000-per-square-foot.
Pier 4 – Pier 4 is being developed by Tishman Speyer, one of New York’s most prominent real estate building and operating companies. Pier 4 is a luxury condo building with over 100 units set to deliver in 2017/2018. To be located where the iconic Anthony’s Pier 4 Restaurant once stood, Pier 4 is surrounded by water on three sides, which will allow for both city and harbor views. Residences will have access to various concierge services, a clubroom with an outdoor grilling area, as well as a fitness and yoga space. In addition, Pier 4 will host dining and convenient retail options and beautiful, open public spaces on the ground level.
50 Liberty – Following in the footsteps of 22 Liberty, 50 Liberty is an upcoming development that will reside on Fan Pier next to 22 Liberty. 50 Liberty is designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects and is expected to have 118 units and is anticipated to be delivered for 2017. Soaring balconies and harbor views accent this development.
50 Liberty, Pier 4, and 22 Liberty are sure to make an additional impact on the waterfront area in the Seaport District, continuing to add to the buzzing new construction happening each day in the area.
For the first time in history, Boston will host the 2016 Grand Prix of the IndyCar Series. May of last year is when city officials announced the Boston race had been added to the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The Grand Prix of Boston will be a three-day racing competition held in the streets of South Boston and specifically the Seaport.
The race will feature more than twenty of the world’s most talented drivers, and the event will span September 2nd – September 5th, 2016. INDYCAR and IndyCar Boston will offer multiple options of entertainment and activities before, during, and after the race for all ages.
Many different hotels and restaurants have partnered with Grand Prix of Boston to offer the best experiences for all fans and spectators. The Westin Boston Waterfront hotel is located at the heart of the event. You can enjoy the race from the luxurious suites that offer an amazing view or you can join the crowd right on the course. Either way the Westin is a top-notch spectator location. The Seaport Boston Hotel is located on the waterfront in the Seaport District, and offers beautiful city and harbor views, and convenient access to the main entry point of The Grand Prix, the Boston Convention Center.
It probably won’t be easy to get a table on this weekend but there are some great restaurant spots in the area including: Some of the restaurants in the area include Menton, Ocean Prime, and Strega Waterfront just to name a few.
If you are a part of the community that resides in the Seaport area you already have a front row seat or pretty close to it. Residents of the Twenty Two Liberty luxury condos and the 100 Pier 4 luxury apartments will be able to walk out their front doors to be a part of the action. And if all goes well and this becomes an annual stop on the racing schedule, future residents of 50 Liberty and Pier 4 will be right there with them.
319A Street, cradled in Fort Point, is a chic and contemporary loft-style building, designed with modernity in mind, yet staying true to the industrial history of the neighborhood. As residents enter through the lobby, they’re met with the industrial spirit and detail of the building’s past. Exposed bricks and beams are seen throughout the space and high ceilings sweep the interior with natural light. Inside the units, polished chrome fixtures, zebrawood finished cabinets and black granite countertops bring in the modern touches.
Originally built in 1914 by the Boston Wharf Company, 319A Street was the site to Kistler Leather Co.’s manufacturing facilities for the leather soles of shoes. 319A Street embraces the sophisticated and refined elements of the building, maintaining the heart of its history while bringing in functional, modern spaces. A freight elevator shaft is repurposed for cozy brick dens in a number of units, sliding tinned pulley doors mark the corridors, and tin shutters welcome residents to the lobby floor.
A roof deck gives residents breathtaking views of the surrounding neighborhood and Boston skyline. An indoor bike storage system and covered drive-through provides residents with updated amenities for all of the comforts of loft-style living.
The neighborhood of Fort Point just outside 319A Street’s walls is home to New England’s most established artists communities. A short distance down the street the Boston’s Children Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art sit along the waterfront. District Hall, Boston’s newest innovation space is a few steps down the street on Seaport Boulevard. Restaurants such as Gather, oyster bar Row 34 and Bastille Kitchen, a contemporary French bistro, dot the sidewalks of the ever-evolving Seaport neighborhood. 319A Street houses its own fine dining with an on-site restaurant developed by the team from the Ceia Kitchen + Bar in Newburyport.
319A Street is a new development coming to market in 2016. 319A Street will have 48 unit loft-style condos from studios to two-bedroom units available. Email us at email@example.com for more information on reserving a home at 319A Street.
How much space does one really need to live comfortably? Evidently for many it isn’t much. Innovation Units or Micro Apartments are classified as being under 450 square feet and more and more are starting to become part of the local housing market. The Boston Redevelopment Authority is regulating this product niche, however. As of now, unless a unit was “grandfathered in”, new Micro Apartments are only able to be built in the Seaport’s Innovation District on the Waterfront. BRA is keeping a close eye on the tight living quarters before they decide whether or not to expand into other parts of the city.
If you are thinking that the smaller home footprint would result in a smaller monthly rent, that may not necessarily be the case, especially with the opportunities for the most part only existing in the Seaport. Some units can fetch $2,000+ for monthly rents and range in size anywhere from 280 to 450 square feet.
One of the biggest advocates for the Micro Apartment growth in Boston is the architect firm of ADD Inc./Stantec. They have designed 200+ Innovation Units in Boston and they hope for the restrictions on the apartment locations will be lifted and offered all around the city. Their design is being implemented at the Residences at 399 Congress Street that will be 414 total units of which 60 will be Micro Apartments ranging from 325 – 450 sq ft. ADD Inc./Stantec has had a hand in many luxury buildings around the city such as 315 on A, Pier 4 and The Victor.
Boston continues to to introduce unique and innovative real estate opportunities and Micro Apartments are just the latest in a long list.
As reported yesterday by The Wall Street Journal, Chinese insurance firms are investing in the Pier 4 Condos to be built in Boston’s seaport district. China Life Insurance Group Co. and Ping An Insurance Co. are joining Tishman Speyer Properties in the $500 million development where the Chinese investors will have a majority stake according to the Journal’s sources.
It is expected that the residential portion of the project will consist of 100 condos. The preliminary timeline is for the Pier 4 Condos to open in early 2018 after the opening of the office-building portion.
These residences will join the Park Lane Seaport Apartments, Twenty Two Liberty condos among other new luxury living choices in the growing area. With the 2018 arrival set for Pier 4 condos, the area should already be booming with the massive development of Fan Pier already underway. Even the smallest of condos are likely to fetch seven figures easily 3 years from now. A 2 bedroom/3 bathroom unit at the Intercontinental just came on the market this week for $2.375 Million located in the same area at 500 Atlantic Ave.
With foreign money more interested than ever in the city of Boston, there is no doubt the local real estate will continue to grow.