Posts Tagged ‘new buildings in Boston’

“Fenway Center” Greenlit and Moving Forward This Year

Monday, March 25th, 2013

New developments in the Boston area are a great sign of a burgeoning economy and improving market. There has been a lot of attention surrounding the on-again, of-again project intended to cross the Mass Pike, called “Fenway Center.” According to Curbed Boston, the development plans include “at least 550 apartments, plus retail and commercial space, at Brookline and Commonwealth avenues.” The project intends to include four buildings, the majority of which will be built above the turn-pike.

Up until now, construction has been delayed due to hold-ups with an adjoining landowner. However, lead developer, John Rosenthal triumphed over these challenges. Since then, Rosenthal has progressed by buying a parking lot nearby on Landsdowne Street in partnership with The Boston Red Sox.

According to The Boston Herald, these actions signal big strides for the  $450 Million project, “set to break ground this year.”

According to Fenway Center’s  website www.fenwaycenter.com, the project is environmentally conscious and “plans to include one of the largest solar energy generation plants in the Commonwealth.” It also will include a new commuter rail T stop and pedestrian access to Fenway Park, according to WBGH-TV.

And that’s not all! The project anticipates creating about 1700 construction jobs and 200 permanent ones for Boston area laborers.

Rosenthal explained in his interview with WBGH that while there is a sky deck at Prudential and Copley, there hasn’t been one to cross the turnpike in over 30 years. “Try to envision an overpass extending the bridge from Brookline Ave…west to Beacon Street…”

While building on air rights may sound complicated, Rosenthal asserted, “You have to create the land!”

New Developments Coming To Boston

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Boston’s skyline is expecting a few new developments. We’ve posted about Millennium Place in the past- a new building planned for the downtown area on Washington Street, with 256 luxury units forming fifteen stories of living space. The building will add a modern glass and steel look for  eye-catching extravagance in the Boston Common neighborhood.

Millennium Place plans

In addition to Millennium Place, a few other future developments have caught our attention. It’s recently been noted that the Christian Science Plaza, a local landmark known for its reflective pool, will have two new buildings in its midst. Filling up the space previously reserved for public parking and empty city space, the city plans to add “a 50-story tower containing a hotel, condos, stores and restaurants, as well as a 20-story building with additional apartments and retail space” (according to Boston.com.) These two multi-purpose buildings will be planned by Cambridge area developers, “Carpenter and Company.” The Christian Science website states, “Carpenter and its team will be responsible for designing, financing, constructing, and maintaining the new buildings.”

Locations of future Christian Science Plaza developments

While some may bemoan the loss of parking in the Christian Science Plaza vicinity, many are excited at the prospect of more living space alternatives in the Back Bay area, as well as other benefits planned for these new buildings. With restaurants, hotel space, and retail capabilities, the building has potential to add a lot to Boston’s commercial center. The Christian Science landmark, as it stands, will not be affected by these developments. Mayor Menino confirms in a recent statement, “I am very pleased that the development of these buildings will allow the Plaza itself to be maintained for the enjoyment of Boston residents and visitors for many years to come.”

Lastly, a new development in the waterfront area is sure to gain some attention as time goes on. While the city may have approved the “Portside at Pier One” plans eight years ago, it is just now starting construction. The building is intended to be five stories of luxury living space, containing 176 units, and retail space on the ground level. Developers claim that renting each of these living spaces should cost around $3,000 a month. The development, spearheaded by Roseland Property and Co., is a $67 million project.

New Waterfront property to come

As things progress, we can’t wait to see the final products, and we’ll be keeping our eyes out for more construction in and around the Boston area.

Boston’s BOOMING Rentals

Monday, June 13th, 2011

I recently attended a panel discussion hosted by Link Boston in an absolutely stunning unit on the 26th floor of the new building in downtown Boston, 45 Province. Here is a view from one of the floor to ceiling windows in the brand new 3+ bed, 3 bath unit:

Suffolk Construction, First Republic Bank and Gentle Giant Movers were all present, and helped contribute to the event. Many Realtors and developers were also in attendance, and the conversation was focused on “Building Boston.” Specifically, the future of new construction in the city.

I will preface my recap of the discussion with two things. 1. Boston is by far one of the healthiest markets in the country right now. 2. Rentals versus sales is a cyclical process.

With that said, Boston is all about the rentals right now…luxury and otherwise. The BRA, Boston Redevelopment Authority, has approved many developments of late, and they are almost exclusively rental housing. A lot of people just aren’t in a position to buy right now, but just about everyone wants to rent. (However, many of the rental units being built are being designed so that perhaps someday they could be converted into condos).

So, the first thing we know about the Modern Bostonian is that they want to rent. What else? Since buildings are being designed and built for them right now, it is important to understand the culture of these target clients and create something for them that reflects their culture– complete with its values and expectations from housing. Here is a list the Modern Bostonian’s priorities:

Number 1: Fitness center. Gone are the days when a few treadmills in the corner of a building’s poorly lit basement sufficient for a rental building. It used to be that people would be able to justify a unit saying, “Oh, I’ll work out if I live here…” and then forget about it. Now, it is absolutely essential for there to not only be a fitness center, but it needs to be large, well lit, front & center and state of the art. It all boils down to the Modern Bostonian needing to see and be seen. Which leads to…

Number 2: A club room: a place for people to communicate, connect, relax, see and be seen. People will accept less space in their unit if there is an attractive common area for them to interact with others.

Number 3: No parking. The Modern Bostonian is no longer dependent on parking. Therefore, gone are the days of 1.7 spaces on average per unit. The Modern Bostonian lives right next to work, likes a walk and isn’t afraid of a taxi. I hate to say it, but it’s moving towards the NYC lifestyle in some parts.

Number 4: Service. People want service in their rentals: cleaning, food, maintenance, etc. The Modern Bostonian, and people in general, like to feel like they are getting a lot for their money.

Number 5: Environmentally friendly. The Modern Bostonian loves solar panels, rain barrels and HE appliances.

Now that I’ve talked about the residential market, we see some of the same trends in the commercial buildings.  Although Boston’s market is healthier than most, it is in no position to build a brand new high rise office building. However, we are already seeing changing office spaces. Today, they are more open than ever.

No longer are we seeing private “corner offices” surrounded by other closed off spaces on a building where the higher up in floor number you are, the more powerful your influence is. Today’s offices are opening up. In the spirit of collaboration and cooperation, people are interacting in one large open space where ideas can flow and people can talk. Interestingly, as a result we are also seeing a shift in office furniture design. New, modern, streamlined & airy designs are taking precedence over large, dark, bulky wooden installations.

I am excited to see what happens down the road. As buildings continue to pop up around Boston, I am looking forward to seeing the new styles and cultures. This city is evolving and changing in response all of the new dynamic forces that continue to shape the values and expectations of the Modern Bostonian.