Otis & Ahearn Highlight New Developments in Downtown Boston

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1. The Downtown Condominium Market at YE 2015 Sales (closed transactions resales and new developments) are broken down in the following way: $0-$499k = 36.25%; $500k-$999k = 46.88%; $1M+ = 26.88%. We break the market down into a total of 6 segments and the $1M+ has four total segments. All segments except $0-$499k are growing consistently year-to-year.

2. The New Development Cycle is robust and is the most active of any prior period ever, due to a confluence of factors including demand (demographics), as well as national/international players having Boston on their radar as a Global Gateway market and this will only continue.

3. Due to high land, construction and development costs new projects are mostly but not exclusively targeted to the luxury $1000+/sq’ segment. In this segment there is a range in unit types studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, three-bedrooms – all sq’ except uber luxury are being driven smaller to make the numbers work for profitability, hence the Downtown Boston Condominium Market is exploding and the cycle will be a long one.

4. Timing for Empty Nesters on needing bigger space even though they are downsizing comes with compromises except for the uber luxe buyers. They need to adjust expectations either size, budget or location which is the only approach to meeting the goal of moving into the city.

5. Early Buyers Registration Lists are used by most/all projects so it is necessary to express early interest for first appointment opportunities for clients.

6. Sample New Developments (Uber Luxe + Luxe):

a. One Dalton, Four Seasons Private Residences (Back Bay): Four Seasons flag, 168 units, presales have started with a Buyers Registration List as well as Friends/Family appointments. A formal public start will commence soon. Information is being tightly controlled by the developer.

b. Spire Boston, 150 Seaport Blvd. (Seaport): 105-120 units, right on the water at the Whiskey Priest Bar/Restaurant site, 21 stories, views, decks, fairly broad unit type (1 bedroom to 3 & 4 bedrooms) still in permitting.

c. Millennium Tower (Midtown/Downtown): at the old Filene’s site, +/-60 stories, 442 units, 90% presold, first closings July 2016, Exclusive Residents only spa/exercise, pool, full amenities, 2 restaurants (1 restaurant only for residents and another restaurant will be open to the public), spectacular views.

d. 22 Liberty (Phase I) & 50 Liberty (Phase 2) (Seaport): 22 Liberty (Phase 1) is now sold out with resales occurring and 50 Liberty (Phase 2) is about to start. Original unit sales price ranges at 22 Liberty: Studios $500,000-$700,000; One Bedrooms $1M – $1,400,000; Two Bedrooms $1.8M – $3.2/3.5 Million; Three Bedrooms $3.5M – $5.5M+; Penthouses $2.5M – $8M+; Average of $1500+/sq’ and highest price $2718/sq’. Water and city skyline views plus many with decks, Penthouses are located on the 13th and 14 floors.

e. Sepia/Siena (South End): Old Herald site, anchored by Whole Foods. Sepia (Phase 1) is sold out (Certificate of Occupancy in 4Q, 2015) and a few resales. Siena (Phase 2) has started presales, transformative development name, INK BLOCK, underground garage parking, studios – 3 bedrooms ($800,000 – $2,500,000) some with decks, new construction, lofts with open kitchens/contemporary palette, Sepia has 83 units and Siena 76 units.

f. 55 India & The Boulevard

  • i. 55 India Street (Greenway across from Rowes Wharf): +/- 37 units, sophisticated lofts, studios (a few) to Penthouse units (500 sq’ – 2000+ sq’), almost all units have balconies or roof terraces (Penthouses 4 total), all have Greenway views, presales to start 2016 +/- 3Q/4Q, unit types including multiple 3 bedroom plans (1450 sq’ – 1750 sq’) priced $1.7 million – $2.5 million. Penthouses to be priced once plans are finalized.
    ii. The Boulevard: 110 Broad Street, 31 units, have started a Buyers Registration List, plus a website is up online.
  • g. One Congress Street (near Downtown City Hall/Government Center/Faneuil Hall): Just got approved, Phase 1 is rentals then will roll into condominiums. Demo of part of the garage to start soon and projected occupancy 2018/2019. Great Harbor & Downtown views, near new Public Market by Hanover Street/Haymarket area.

h. 40 Trinity (Back Bay/former Hancock Conference Center across from Stuart/Clarendon): In approval process, hasn’t started construction. Planned to be luxury condominiums plus a branded independent hotel (don’t confuse this building with Trinity Place, 1 Huntington Avenue at Dartmouth Street).

i. The Canvas (533 Washington Street located in Midtown/Downtown – near the Ritz Millennium on Avery Street, across from Millennium Place and 3 blocks from Millennium Tower – mentioned on this list). 94 units, 30 story “pencil tower” targeting smaller micro units, program will be loft studios (separate sleeping alcove) to two bedroom units (some three bedrooms) and some units with balconies. Views of Boston Common, Beacon Hill and Downtown Skyline. Permitted project/has not yet begun construction, marketing has not begun.

j. 171 Tremont Street (corner of Tremont Street and Avery Street): Permitting ongoing and hasn’t started construction. Project will be 20 stories, 19 uber luxury units with 28 underground parking. Will be a premier boutique building overlooking the Boston Common.

k. Pier 4 (Seaport): 106 units, 10 stories, unit types not announced but a few one bedrooms anticipated, interior Seaport views to uber luxury 3 bedroom plus units. Most of the units if not all with private decks. The ICA is an abutter to this site. Anthony’s Pier 4 Restaurant is being demolished for a park on the water in front of Pier 4 development. Great Harbor views, contemporary contextual architecture by SHoP. Developer has started marketing with a Buyers Registration List.

NOTE: 22 Liberty, 50 Liberty, Spire Boston and Pier 4 are all clustered together in the Seaport and the only condominium projects in this area/all on the water creating a new uber luxe/luxe for Seaport neighborhood.

l. Harbor Place (Waterfront/Harbor Towers Garage site): Going through permitting approvals, 5-star hotel, uber luxe condominiums, office tower, winter garden, retail, 2 towers with a max. of 600’ (+/-60 stories), breathtaking views of the Harbor, South Shore, Downtown Skyline, North Shore. Expected start of construction 2017 with Certificate of Occupancy +/-2020.

m. Starboard at Charlestown Navy Yard: Total of 56 units (10 affordable, 46 market rate condominiums), new construction – studios, 1 bedroom + den, 2 bedrooms, $750/sq’ average, average sq’ 900-1000 sq’ by design smaller units priced from $400,000 – $700,000, rental parking, no amenities on-site to keep the monthly condominium fee low.

n. Pierce Boston (Fenway):  At the convergence of Boylston Street and Brookline Avenue, across from Landmark Center and steps from Fenway Park. 109 condominium units and 240 rental units, 30 stories. Amenities     include: fitness, restaurants, outdoor pool with cabanas, garage parking. One/Two/Three Bedroom units with a number of them offering decks. Luxury pricing but not uber luxe. Views of the Charles River, Back Bay Fens/Gardens, Back Bay and Downtown skyline. Certificate of Occupancy construction completion 2018.

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