Meet the Archer Residences, 67 very fancy units coming to Beacon Hill in the near future. The Archer’s penthouse, which is currently the most expensive home for sale in the city at a whopping $18 million, is poised to be architectural marvel when it’s completed. Both levels of the home are connected by a floating wood-and-steel staircase enclosed by glass—and the shiny glass accents don’t stop there. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors in the main living area open directly to a rooftop terrace, where there’s a Jacuzzi and an infinity-edge pool.
Welcome to Boston, tech wizard/financial planner/GE executive! Your new apartment has elegant fixtures, stainless appliances, underground parking, a fireplace, and a view of the harbor in a gleaming new building.
But that name, though.
All over Greater Boston, luxurious new living quarters are sprouting up like gleaming, modernist weeds. And a lot of them, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, have names. Not names like the apartment building you may have grown up in — “23 Stanley Street” — but Names. The Eddy. VIA. TROY. The Kensington. Watermark. Alloy. The Allele.
Allele is, of course, Adele’s less talented younger sister (you may have heard her hit song: “Hello. It’s me . . . Allele”). No, that’s not right. Since most Americans are fluent in the chromosomal genetic science, we obviously know that an allele is (Googles frantically) a different version of a gene.
Somewhere along the way, we started naming our cats like people and our people like cats. “Meet my son, Plank, and my cat, Bruce.” Now we’re naming our apartment buildings like swanky hotels. Pretty soon hotels won’t even have names, just a picture of a buffalo that looks like a caveman drew it.
“It gives them a little panache,” said Mary Kelleher, a real estate agent with Gibson Sotheby’s International in Boston. “You can say to me ‘150 Dorchester Avenue,’ and you’re like ‘Where the hell is that?’ ”
And because the marketing of high-end apartments and condos sometimes hinges on a little panache, the names race is on.
“We’ve named quite a number of projects,” said Javier Cortes, partner and creative director of KORN Design, a brand strategy and design firm in Boston. “The process involves a fair amount of research — we try to honor the place and its history.”
Remember the “Mad Men” episode where Don Draper sells a slide projector with a speech so thoughtful and impassioned that it sent an ad executive scurrying away in tears? It’s sort of like that, but for high-rises. Cortes and his team whittle down a list of maybe a hundred names to about a dozen that they bring to their clients.
“You want to make sure the name is memorable, applicable, not too hard to pronounce,” Cortes said, and then you have to scan for “egregious meanings in other cultures” — the classic (and largely apocryphal) Chevy Nova problem, in which Spanish-speaking countries allegedly declined to buy a car named “doesn’t go.”
KORN named the Liberty Hotel — it seems obvious now, but when it was an abandoned, rat-infested jail next to the hospital, it didn’t scream “luxury hotel” or “liberty.” Alloy, at Assembly Row in Somerville, was so named because it represents the “fusion” of Boston and Somerville, Cortes said, and echoes the area’s industrial history.
The Eddy, he said, emerged from historical research and calls on three different ideas. Eddy, most simply, sounds a little like Eastie, the neighborhood where the building sits on the water. Robert Henry Eddy, an architect and civil engineer, worked on various early maps of East Boston in the 19th century. And “eddy” describes circular movement in water running counter to the main current.
“If you’re deciding where you’re going to live in Boston, choosing to live in Eastie is a little counter current,” Cortes said. “Here’s a building that’s on the water and runs counter current.”
“It’s OK if you don’t know it on face value. It sounds cool and it works,” Cortes said. “We work hard to make sure there’s very deep meaning.”
But they can’t all be this deep. Right?
Lars Unhjem, vice president of development in Boston for Mill Creek Residential, said Modera Medford earned its name because “Modera” is Mill Creek’s flagship brand nationally (the Medford part is self explanatory).
“No meaning,” Unhjem said in an e-mail, “just a word someone made up.”
“Some of it, honestly?” Kelleher confided, “we pull this stuff out of you-know-where.”
This all started happening in earnest during an earlier building boom, said Colleen Barry, chief executive officer of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty.
“The units were getting scooped up. We weren’t really worried, per se, about whether they were going to sell,” Barry said. “What we were starting to think about was how do you distinguish one from another? The idea was to brand these so they each kind of had a different feeling.”
“It was the very early stages of a slightly different way of thinking about development,” Barry said.
As it happens, Kelleher credits Barry with naming The Allele.
The Allele’s name, Kelleher said, grew from a discussion about the building’s concept: All the best elements of loft living (high ceilings, open floor plans) without the drawbacks (sleeping in what is essentially the far corner of the kitchen; commune-level privacy).
“I think ‘allele’ is a biological term — the fusion of two elements,” Kelleher said. “I’m probably simplifying it. Maybe even bastardizing it.”
But not according to one of the world’s leading geneticists. Dr. Stephen Elledge is the Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He’s also a 2017 recipient of the Breakthrough Prize, which “recognizes paradigm-shifting discoveries in the life sciences, physics, and mathematics,” according to the Harvard Gazette. The board is a who’s who of tech billionaires, and the prize comes with $3 million.
In an e-mail that was surely a profound waste of his very valuable time, Dr. Elledge said collections of alleles account for differences between people — height, eye color, etc. Many of those differences aren’t inherently good or bad.
“I am ok with ‘Allele,’ ” Elledge wrote, emphasizing that the variation they’re referencing isn’t bad — just different. “In this case, I suspect they feel like their change is one for better.”
Washington Village has been in the works for over a year and will bring over 650 housing units and 99,000 SF of retail space to the area.
The developers, DJ Properties LLC, have proposed a project that spans eight buildings bounded by Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester Street and Old Colony Avenue.
The huge new development is hoping to transform the area, with convenient Red Line access at Andrew Station and by offering a community for residents. The project is among the largest residential developments recently approved by the BRA.
While there will be rental and ownership options within the residential units, there will be more for sale than for rent. There will be options ranging from studios to three-bedroom units available within the development.
The eight buildings will range from three stories to 21 stories and construction will be carried out across three phases.
Along with the residential and retail space will be 42,500 SF of new open space, including pedestrian plazas and landscaped areas and a new roadway network hoping to compliment the surrounding neighborhood.
Within the retail development there is expected to be a grocery store, a pharmacy, restaurants and cafes.
Contact our advisors for more information about Washington Village and other new developments around Boston!
Plans for the tallest tower in Roxbury have been in the works for over a year, but news from the developer suggest that they have been revised and should be filed with the city in September.
Developers Long Bay Management originally had plans to put a 25-story glass and steel building above the Institution for Savings in Roxbury. Dudley Square Tower would be located right across from the Dudley Square MBTA Station on Washington Street, so residents would have convenient transport links.
The revised version of the plan adds four more stories making it 29 in order to not only add more residential units, but incorporate above-ground parking and aid in paying for the development.
As well as the top floors of condos and apartments, the lower floors would provide retail and office space.
Plans for when Dudley Square Tower would actually be complete are yet to be confirmed, however developers have planned to file the proposal with the Boston Redevelopment Authority within the next month.
Stay tuned for upcoming developments and contact us for more information on finding your new home in Boston.
Luxury amenities in new developments are becoming more common and increasingly important to residents and developers.
One of the top amenities seeing a major increase throughout Boston is upscale restaurants built into new residential developments.
By incorporating a restaurant into a luxury residential development, they are adding another level to the generic high-rise and making it into a community and giving residents easy access to another high level service.
Many new developments in Boston are bringing in luxury brands and head chefs to up the ante and attract more residents.
One of the largest scale developments utilizing this is Millennium Tower in Downtown Crossing. PABU, led by award-winning chef Michael Mina, will open in the building this fall, but residents will also be able to experience the delicious cooking privately in the building’s owners’ lounge. Pre-measured ingredients will also be available for residents who prefer to cook on their own.
The Van Ness in Fenway is hoping to become a dining destination with several chef driven restaurant concepts and Porto has just recently opened in the Avalon in Back Bay.
Ink Block is a major complex in the South End that has really focused on creating a neighborhood feeling within the development, including opening Bar Menzanna, designed with residents and the success of the restaurant in mind.
By giving residents not only close access to highly sought after chefs and restaurants, but also the ability to gain private access or extra privileges is something that makes their new home even more valuable.
High rise development in Boston is booming and with more people spending more money on dining out, this was the logical step for most developers to make.
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.
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.
For years the Downtown Crossing area has been a popular shopping destination, with plenty of retail and restaurants, but very little residents.
The transformation of this area into a more residential space started when Emerson College began building housing off Washington Street just a few years ago. Since then, developments have increased dramatically.
The iconic Millennium Tower has just been completed and the new development at Winthrop Square is expected to be complete by 2020. There have also been speculation about a skyscraper on Bromfield Street, however no plans are finalized for that space.
The Downtown area is always busy with a diverse mix of tourists, shoppers, residents and those working in the area. This diverse mix is only increasing with the added residential space, making for a very lively and inviting neighborhood.
Plenty of factors keep this area accessible to everyone and will prevent it from becoming solely sterile condo buildings.
The Millennium development at Winthrop Square Garage alone will bring a great hall with restaurants and retail and plenty of public space.
By the time these new developments are complete the city hopes to have a clearer picture of the future of this neighborhood, but it is clear right now that it is going to create a more residential, neighborhood feel in the heart of the city.