Real Estate News

The latest news about the residential real estate market in Boston and the surrounding areas

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.”

Pier 4 Office Building / Elkus Manfredi Architects

By ArchDaily | June 10, 2020

Pier 4-Tishman Speyer

Pier 4-Tishman Speyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

•Architects: Elkus Manfredi Architects

Area: 385,000 ft²
• Year: 2018
• Photographs: Magda Biernat
• Manufacturers: AutoDesk, AGC Interpane, Alucabondusa, Doors, Flooring, Interior wall systems, Trimble, Windows
• Design Team: Elkus Manfredi Architects
• General Contractor: Turner Construction Co.
• Structural Engineer: McNamara/Salvia
• Mep: Consentini Associates, Inc
• Civil Engineers: Tetra Tech
• Geotechnical: Haley & Aldrich
• Landscape: Reed Hilderbrand LLC
• Lighting: George Sexton
• Building Code: Jenson Hughes
• Traffic Consulting: Vanasse & Associates, Inc.
• Parking Consulting: Walker Parking Consultants
• Leed Consultant : The Green Engineer
• Developer: Tishman Speyer

The Pier 4 complex includes two buildings, one an office building and the other a condominium building. Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, the office building is a striking addition to the architectural landscape of the Seaport District as visible from the water and the new Seaport District neighborhood.

The building’s waterfront prime location determined the design of an iconic building that would have high visibility from the Harbor, from the city and within the Seaport neighborhood. The building’s modern glass and steel exterior provides two distinct and different signature façades one facing the harbor and the other facing the city.

The West façade, facing Boston, has a more subdued gesture. It opens up to the city with a convex façade and having its three main features, the main entrance, a trapezoidal cut-out terrace at the fourth floor facing the Institute of Contemporary Art museum, and an open to the sky Penthouse terrace. All of these moves are located in a staggered rhythm creating movement towards the water.

The East Side, facing the harbor in a more intimate way, have these two story undulating triangular moves that shift and slide between each other, creating a constant movement that changes though out the length of the day. At night, the underside of the waves is lit up continuing to show this same effect causing a reflection on the harbor and the pedestrian walk below.

To achieve an oversize dimension of the glazing units (IGU) without the use of visible horizontal mullions, an intermediate transom or ‘kiss mullion was introduced. This allowed uninterrupted sleekness to the curtain wall surface.

The office lobby is located in the center of the building creating a public corridor from east to west serves as an important element in the public access requirements of the building, creating permeability through the building.

Elkus Manfredi Architects has been central to the redevelopment of Boston’s Seaport District since 2010. That year, with its initial project One Marina Park Drive, the firm set a high architectural standard for mixed-use buildings in the area. Elkus Manfredi’s next District project, Liberty Wharf, was completed in 2012. Liberty Wharf is a lively waterfront restaurant/office complex that strategically reinstated a missing section of Boston’s famed HarborWalk and has been recognized with a number of design awards, including the Preservation Achievement Award of the Boston Preservation Alliance. Elkus Manfredi has since played a substantial role in ongoing urban planning, and architecture in the Seaport: in a three-square-mile area, the firm is responsible for over six million square feet of new and re-purposed space, including retail, office, life science, hospitality, and mixed-use.

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.

 

Tales from the Field: Selling a Penthouse During a Pandemic

By Manuel Davis | Sr. Vice President of Advisors Living | Inman | April 21, 2020

What’s it like selling a penthouse during a pandemic? One agent shares the process — from penning a soft-launch email to receiving five offers in one day of showings and finally closing the deal.

In early March, our clients were calling my business partner (Kristy Ganong) and I on a daily basis. The cadence of every conversation was consistent. It began with talking about fear for our collective health, followed by how the global pandemic was affecting the economy and shared concerns about the value of real estate as a result.

 

We’ve been at this for 25 years and know how to navigate the normal anticipatory fears of when the right time to list is. During pre-COVID-19 times, we would have been confident that our marketing introduction to our clients’ rare and stunning sun-filled duplex penthouse would be well-received. However, the pandemic unraveled the norm, leaving buyers, sellers and agents speculating what to do next.

We still don’t have all the answers, but we were confident that listing a home seemed impossible without the human touch and interaction necessary to experience and close. We spent hours discussing if and how we should list. There’s no formula for the unprecedented predicament, other than a value derived from a report produced weeks prior to our country sheltering in place.

Scared, uncertain and in full acceptance that there might not be a safe way to do this, Kristy and I relied on our longevity in the business and the technology we had at our disposal to prepare the listing. Our priority was to do this safely, while remaining vigilant — one step at a time.

We spent the next four weeks preparing the marketing material with the overtone that once complete, we would reassess it, with no expectation to actually list.

Our clients, Kristy and I were in uncharted waters. When the custom marketing materials were ready, we leveraged our personal database to test our virtual platform and sent a “coming soon” email. The creative pointed to a Matterport tour, floor plans and a comprehensive website. We coupled the creative and professional photography with descriptive copy:

“Coming soon … A tastefully designed and impeccably cared-for penthouse duplex. Located on Braddock Park in the South End and steps from the Back Bay — with an absolute emphasis on its superior location. Boasting a new rooftop deck with panoramic views of the Boston skyline and a large back deck off the dining room. Offering 1,662 square feet of opulent living space with a magnificent blend of transitional finishes, anchored by high-ceilings and over-sized windows. This urban top-floor sanctuary offers ample natural light, 2 levels of living, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, deeded parking, a custom chef’s kitchen, custom finishes, gas fireplace, new bathrooms, new systems, in-unit washer and dryer and the luxury of living above it all while maintaining the irreplaceable tangibility of this exquisite neighborhood.”

Our soft launch email was well-received and gave us the confidence to consider the next step. After several weeks of advising our clients, we decided to list on Thursday, April 9th.

We realized that the news of the pandemic wasn’t so new anymore, and now, people are, for the most part, accepting the gravity of our times. In lieu of a better reality, we took all precautions to ensure everyone’s health and safety.

We listed our clients’ penthouse for $1,985,000, which resulted in an entire Saturday of back-to-back showings. We had 17 total showings in half-hour intervals — with masks, gloves and a requirement of “absolutely no touching” in place.

We left all closet doors closed and supplemented with a photo gallery on the property website, providing straight-on pictures of each closet and storage interior. This worked brilliantly.

I have been home with my family for 30 days until Saturday, April 11th. There was a sense of angst before the showings commenced. Kristy and I split the day, starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. Each buyer was calmed by the controlled environment.

The day concluded with our clients returning home at 6:30 p.m. to help ensure the unit aired out for 2.5 hours after receiving a disinfection on all “potential” touch points. By 8 p.m., we fielded our fifth and final offer. With the work of several dedicated agents and a protocol that made everyone feel safe, the day was a success.

We are now under agreement for well over asking, but we did not accept the highest offer. We advised our clients on accepting the offer with the largest down payment (in this case 65 percent down). With the uncertainty of our financial future, we could not afford to risk accepting the highest offer with only 20 percent down.

The entire turn of events on Saturday was an eye-opening experience. We were back in the field, engaging in a much different, socially distant way — but an effective one, nonetheless. Along with the successful turn of events, we realized that our industry will be faced with many new norms. We might not always know our next move, but our commitment to excellence and dedication remains invaluable and unchanged.

Manuel L. Davis is a senior vice president with Boston Realty Advisors in Boston, Massachusetts.

 

 

Luxury living at affordable prices at The Mezz

By Wayne Braverman | Boston Homes | April 5, 2020

The Mezz is the newest and one of the most exciting developments to come to South Boston, offering fortunate homebuyers luxury living in one of the 42 exclusive condominium residences.

Back in the 20th century, one of the most popular places to be in South Boston was the Broadway Theater. Opened in 1920, this was a place to watch “old” vaudeville shows and movies.

It still holds a lot of memories for residents, one of whom recalls that during the 1950s, kids would go into the theater on a Saturday afternoon and watch cartoons, Three Stooges shorts and a full length movie – all for just a quarter.

This was known as “the city’s largest, most attractive moving picture house.”

At the site of this treasured Broadway Theatre today is an icon reimagined and repurposed into a five-story tower of delight getting ready to start the property’s second act.

The Mezz is the newest and one of the most exciting developments to come to South Boston, offering fortunate homebuyers luxury living in one of the 42 exclusive condominium residences.

Boston Property Ventures is the lead in this development while the Boston-based RODE’s team of architects, designers and urban planners are handling the architectural design and master planning. Advisors Living of the Boston Realty Advisors is the full-service luxury real estate lifestyle and brokerage company leading the sales.

When construction is completed later this year, the curtain will rise on this new 420 West Broadway production, and residents at The Mezz will have quite a treat to enjoy: homes brimming with luxurious details and design; generous perks such as garage parking, private outdoor spaces and low HOA fees; and an abundance of fun at all the amenities that the heart of historic South Boston offers.

The Mezz offers studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom residences, ranging in size from 544 to 1,061 square feet with prices starting at $499,900 (much lower than, yet just as nice as Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Waterfront or Seaport homes).

As you enter the main lobby of The Mezz, you will notice the perfect blend of Art Deco styling and modern sophistication with a subtle nod to the past and the famed Broadway Theatre, adding a touch of specialness to your experience.

Each unit is designed with an open-concept floor plan and 9-and-10-foot tall ceilings that adds to the light and airy flair. The large windows provide sweeping views of South Boston, the Seaport and the city along with an abundance of natural light. Five-inch white oak hardwood flooring along with the Wilsonart Ruskin Oak millwork add to the qualitative appeal.

The chefs will love the modern, open kitchens. Each one feature polished Concerto Quartz countertops, Black Jack pendant lights, a stainless steel gas range with an over-the-range microwave as well as the Bosch three-door, counter-depth refrigerator. Clean-up is easy with the pocket handle dishwasher.

The bathrooms offer a sleek design highlighting Porcelanosa Dover Acero tile with natural white Quarts countertops and white tiled showers. Hansgrohe and American Standard fixtures are also part of the deluxe bathroom packages. Doing laundry will be easy with the stackable LG front load washers and dryers.

Residents will enjoy spending nice days out on their private terraces or relaxing on the two tiered patio. There is also a grilling deck. For additional community fun, there’s a large clubroom with a fireplace, billiards table and a seating area with a wall mounted flat-screened television.

No need to wander the streets looking for legal parking space – The Mezz has its own covered parking garage. And for those who prefer peddle power, there’s plenty of bike storage, along with a cluster of Blue Bikes nearby.

Unit 202 is perfect for a first-time home buyer or an investor. This is a 545-square-foot studio available for only $499,900 – an extremely low price for a home in a new construction luxury building in a prime location. And the association fee is remarkably low at $212.74 per month.

Another home to consider is Unit 305, which offers 976 square feet of space that includes two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The price for this home is only $989,900 and the condo fee is a very affordable at $380.97 per month.

Unit 604 is a two-bedroom, one-bath home with 873 square feet of living space. This is a highly-desirable corner residence with a lovely private balcony that provides animating views of the South Boston neighborhood. The listing price is $1,047,125 with an incredibly low condo fee of $341 per month.

The condo fee includes water, sewer, master insurance, elevator, clubroom, exterior maintenance, landscaping, snow removal, refuse removal and reserve funds.

Over the last few years, the neighborhood of South Boston has become one of the hottest and fastest-growing parts of Boston.

The location of the new luxury condominiums at The Mezz is very desirable. South Boston is known for having some of the best eating establishments, flaunting the trendiest of restaurants, cafes and bars. West Broadway, in particular, is considered to be the “Restaurant Row of Southie” (where people from downtown Boston/Back Bay often frequent).

Residents are within walking distance of the 2019 New Restaurant of the Year – Fox & The Knife – as well as the popular Lincoln Tavern and Loco Taqueria. Just across the street from The Mezz is the popular Capo Restaurant & Supper Club. Some of the popular shopping destinations in the Southie neighborhood include Foodie’s Market South Boston and the South Boston Farmer’s Market at 446 West Broadway. And, of course, everyone enjoys a sweet treat from J. P. Licks.

South Boston is also noted for its beautiful beaches, many of which line the shore of Old Harbor and Pleasure Bay, including Carson Beach, the M Street Beach and the very popular Castle Island – famous for Sullivan’s and Fort Independence.

South Boston also hosts a plethora of parks and playgrounds, with pathways for walking, biking and inline skating, as well as tot lots and doggie plots for fun and playing. Moakley Park, which is currently under renovation, will soon be a great place for recreational and community gatherings, while Lawn on D, just east of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, offers seasonal entertainment and “over-sized” fun. Thomas Park, M Street Park and South Boston Maritime Park are a few others.

The Mezz is close to the MBTA Red Line and Silver Line as well as several bus routes for other destinations.

When tallying up the list of reasons why purchasing a home at The Mezz is a great investment – spacious, modern residences that embrace timeless, contemporary style and exceptional finishes; affordable association fees; prime location; and all the appreciated amenities within and around the complex (including energy efficiency and ease of maintenance, plus the other aforementioned perks), it would be very difficult to find a comparable place anywhere else in the Boston area.

Don’t wait to experience a new kind of urban chic in an historic landmark that’s taking center stage. While The Mezz is currently under construction, pre-sale opportunities to buy are available.

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.

100 Shawmut project will offer 138 new luxury condos

By Wayne Braverman | Boston Homes | March 10, 2020

“We are thrilled to celebrate yet another milestone of 100 Shawmut,” said Jonathan Davis, Founder & CEO of The Davis Companies during Monday’s Topping Off Ceremony. “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. We are honored to be a part of it.”

The last beam is in now in place at one of Boston’s newest and most exciting projects. On Monday, The Davis Companies, along with the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church (BCEC) and the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA), signed and raised the final steel beam on 100 Shawmut.

“We are thrilled to celebrate yet another milestone of 100 Shawmut,” said Jonathan Davis, Founder & CEO of The Davis Companies during Monday’s Topping Off Ceremony. “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. We are honored to be a part of it.”

He added, “This project would not have been possible without the efforts of my leadership team, led by Brian Fallon, who have been working with our South End partners to reach this milestone. Thank you for your continued commitment to this project.”

The Architectural Team, Inc. located in Chelsea, was in charge of designing the building’s exterior and EMBARC Studio, located in Boston, designed the interiors. Suffolk Construction is the general contractor for 100 Shawmut. Also involved in this project is Copley Wolff Design Group. They are taking care of the landscape architecture.

Engineers for 100 Shawmut are Howard Stein Hudson Associates, McNamara Salvia and WSP. Construction lenders for 100 Shawmut include M&T Bank, Berkshire Bank, HarborOne Bank, Needham Bank and Bank of New England.

In a recent interview, Colleen Daniels, a member of the 100 Shawmut team, talked about how a lot of work has been done to preserve the “sweetness of the original structure.” When 100 Shawmut is completed, the 232,000-square-foot property will “seamlessly integrate the historic character of the original 1920s facade with a newly constructed glass structure, designed by The Architectural Team (TAT).”

The original brick and arched windows will form the heart of a hybrid building topped with elegant, angular glass curtain walls showcased on the upper levels.

This 13-story residential project offers a wide range (from studios to four-bedrooms) of one-of-a-kind condominium residences. The exquisite collection of 138 luxury residences encompasses 22 studios, 34 one-bedroom units, 23 one-bedroom units with a den, 27 two-bedroom homes, 15 two-bedroom homes with a den, 12 three-bedroom units, 3 three-bedroom units with a den and 2 four-bedroom homes – 11 of which are penthouses.

EMBARC Studio, the interior design team, “has created a modern approach to the interiors with a mixture of white oak wood detailing and textural stone conveying a warm, neutral color palette, transitioning and merging the historic architecture with a fresh, new interior.”

The new residents will enjoy a treasure-trove of features that create an exceptional blend of classic character and contemporary comfort, complemented by an ample expanse of glass providing impressive panoramas of the Boston skyline.

Some of these luxurious facets include high ceilings and white oak wood floors throughout; professionally designed upscale kitchens with state-of-the-art, fully integrated appliances; and Silestone countertops in the kitchens and baths.

100 Shawmut is a full-service lifestyle building offering a comprehensive suite of amenities that will make living here a special experience.

The enjoyment will begin upon arrival, stepping into the beautifully appointed lobby, punctuated by a stunning pass-through fireplace, and will continue in the adjacent suite of spaces designed for entertainment and leisure, co-starring a chef’s kitchen, library and a billiards room.

Residents will also enjoy the Great Room, private dining/conference rooms with entertaining/ caterer’s kitchens, and additional lounge/activity areas, including a fitness center. And that’s not all. Kids will delight in the children’s playground and the family pet will relish being pampered at their own spa.

According to project leaders, “the building will have an unprecedented amount of outdoor space, including a number of private balconies offering unmatched vistas of the city.”

In addition to the generous private balconies, residents will enjoy the 13th-floor, which features an indoor and outdoor lounge as well as a rooftop sky lounge equipped with gas grills and fire pits and a backdrop of the Boston’s skyline.

Other building amenities include 24-hour concierge, an elevator and private garage parking.

Thanks to a partnership between The Davis Companies with the BCEC and the CCBA, there will be up to 536 rental and home ownership units, including 26 percent dedicated to affordable housing, as part of this project.

100 Shawmut also incorporates the ground floor retail, commercial, community and cultural spaces that will enliven the Washington Street and Shawmut Avenue corridors.

Moreover, 100 Shawmut will provide 26 percent on-property public open space, including an East/West pedestrian connection that will provide local residents with a safe, well-lit public pathway.

The Davis Companies also committed $200,000 to community programs, including the planning, designing, engineering and construction of an open space area, job training and services to the Asian American Civic Association and additional funds to the Community Benefits Grant application process.

The new owners of 100 Shawmut will appreciate the location, which is at the intersection of Herald Street and Shawmut Avenue just around the corner from Whole Foods and minutes to Chinatown, Back Bay and Seaport.

Boston’s legendary South End neighborhood is home to historic brownstones and more than 20 parks nestled among its meandering, tree-lined streets, as well as an array of restaurants, locally-owned specialty shops, lifestyle amenities and a vibrant art scene.

The home is within walking distance of the very popular SoWa Art and Design District, not far from the Boston Center for the Arts and the Underground at Ink Block. It’s also within easy reach of Peter’s Park, Castle Square Parks, William Gary Walsh Playground and the Berkeley Community Garden.

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.