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.”
The longtime home of legendary Boston seafood restaurant Anthony’s Pier 4 is rapidly transforming into a luxury condominium complex, and the site’s developer just landed a lease with farm-to-table restaurateur Kristin Canty.
Interest is strong for the Pier 4 condos, said Janice Dumont, CEO of AdvisorsLiving. The firm, which is the residential division of Boston Realty Advisors, is the exclusive sales and marketing agent of the nine-story, 106-unit complex.
Pier 4, a nine story, 106-unit luxury condominium building, will open in late 2018 at the former Anthony’s Pier 4 site in Boston. Tishman Speyer is developing the complex, which was designed by SHoP Architects in collaboration with Boston-based CBT.
“Given the nostalgia of the site, and the fact that so many people have had wedding receptions, bar mitzvahs, confirmations, at the site, it’s been very exciting,” Dumont said in an interview with the Business Journal.
Two-bedroom units at Pier 4 will start at $2 million-plus. Each home has its own private outdoor space and water views, and penthouse units will feature private roof decks. Amenities include an outdoor terrace, an outdoor seating and dining area with a fire pit, virtual golf and 24-hour concierge services from First Service Residential.
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.
One Seaport Square construction is underway, bringing 832 new residential units to the area by summer 2017.
The residential development is located in the heart of Boston’s Seaport District and consists of two towers, The Benjamin and VIA.
The ground floors will bring 250,000 square feet of retail space including a Big Night Entertainment bar and nightclub, an Equinox gym, a movie theater, bowling alley and restaurants. Courthouse Square will connect the two towers and bring an open pedestrian plaza.
Residents of One Seaport Square can enjoy beautiful views of the Boston skyline and Boston Harbor through the floor to ceiling windows that make up the outside of the buildings.
Both buildings will have balconies and offer easy access to the Harborwalk, Fort Point and more.
Other amenities within the development include, three levels of underground parking, units ranging from studios to three bedrooms and shared and private outdoor spaces.
Both of the buildings have now been topped off and are expected to be complete by June of next year.
One Seaport Square will qualify for LEED Silver sustainability certification based on its construction.
Contact our advisors for more information about living at One Seaport Square or any other new developments around Boston.
Four of these six projects are residential and will bring new housing units to many areas around Boston.
One of the largest scale projects to gain approval is the second phase of Waterside Place in Seaport.
This development on the South Boston Waterfront has been a work in progress since 2007 and although it has been altered many times it will finally be adding on to the current development that opened there in 2014.
The next phase will include 307 rental apartments across a 23 story building adjacent to the current development.
Apartments will range from studio to three bedrooms, with 62 ‘innovation units.’ These units will be smaller than the rest, but benefits from the building’s communal amenities.
Along with the residential development will be 3,500 square feet of retail space.
As a part of the Massport property, Waterside Place benefits from great connections to public transportation with MBTA’s World Trade Center Silver Line stop right next door. South Station is also very close by.
Construction is scheduled to begin at the beginning of 2017 and be complete by early 2019.
Starbucks is a staple in most Boston neighborhoods, but two new possible openings are being very differently received.
The first is in Seaport, where the brand is looking to open their sixth location in the area.
Soon coffee lovers in the area will be able to visit the premium Starbucks location at 101 Seaport, as a part of the 17-story office building that is home to the headquarters of PwC.
Opening this summer, this location will feature the brand’s reserve coffee blends that come from Starbucks’ flagship roasting home in Seattle.
This Seaport location comes along with a huge amount of retail openings in that area and hasn’t received any negative feedback about the opening.
In Southie, residents aren’t so excited about the idea of a Starbucks coming to their neighborhood.
The plans for the chain coffee-shop to open at 749 East Broadway have already been denied once at the beginning of this month, due to residents disapproval and the fear that it would disrupt locally owned coffee shops in the area.
Those behind the disapproval are also worried about the possibility of increased traffic at the already busy corner.
Despite these concerns Starbucks is not giving up that easy and have already appealed the rejection, however it is not clear when the proposal will be reconsidered. A spokeswoman for Starbucks has voiced how this proposal can bring something to the community, yet most residents still don’t seem to be on board.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Starbucks will hurt local coffee shops or is it something every neighborhood needs? Let us know!
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.