Fort Point Channel / Innovation District / Seaport District / South Boston Waterfront apartments and condos available
Apr 2011 15

If you’re looking for an apartment or condominium home in the hot Fort Point Channel / Innovation District / Seaport District / South Boston Waterfront neighborhood, you have plenty of options, with more coming soon.

The Boston Herald had an article in today’s newspaper about the neighborhood, pointing out many of the options.

They talk about the new Atlantic Wharf apartments. Originally planned as condos, the developer of this new office / residential hybrid chose instead to take advantage of the hot rental market, building 85 “loft-style” units.

Boston Properties has just completed Atlantic Wharf, consisting of residential, restaurant and commercial space between the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and the harbor.

The Lofts at Atlantic consist of 85 luxury rentals priced from $2,200 to $8,000 per month with amenities including a clubroom lounge, a fitness facility and on-site boat slips.

Also in the area are the FP3 condos, priced from the $400,000′s to over a million. Further into the neighborhood is the Park Lane apartment complex, practically at the tip of Boston, facing its Harbor and near the new Liberty Wharf destination spot, complete with restaurants and bars.

There is also a wide selection of already-built condo projects in the neighborhood, including the Channel Center, along with attractive, spacious lofts in the Leather District, near South Station.

And, just a block from Atlantic Wharf are the Residences at the InterContinental and Rowes Wharf.

For more information about rentals and condos in these neighborhoods, send me an email.

Above, artist’s rendering of the lofts at Atlantic Wharf.

Fourth group bails on Rose Kennedy Greenway developments
Feb 2011 17

Sad news regarding the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

The Boston Globe reports today that the YMCA has canceled its plan to build a new facility on a parcel atop the Rose Kennedy Greenway. It’s the fourth and final organization to pull out after being awarded rights to build. The others are the New Center of Arts and Culture, the Boston Museum, and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s “Garden Under Glass”.

The most disturbing part of the announcement is what was said by a city official regarding future plans for the multi-acre swath of land.

I spit up my lunch at this quote:

“The notion that this could be one continuous space, and not subdivided by buildings, is a powerful realization,’’ said Kairos Shen, the city of Boston’s chief planner. “The question now is, how do we make sure there are enough activities on or around the Greenway to bring more people down there?’’

The four parcels set aside for buildings were chosen because they are the sites of off- and on-ramps from and to the now-submerged Central Artery.

Leaving them exposed means no one will be able to enjoy the entire walk from one edge of the Greenway to the other. It won’t be aesthetically pleasing, at all.

This latest development means we are back at square one. The wrong decision would be to not build anything. With a turning economy, perhaps now is the time to hear new proposals. By the time they get going, we should see a lot more spending, both private and public. We can certainly find people to donate money to fund new museums and centers.

I was ambivalent about the YMCA proposal, only because the facility wouldn’t be located in a neighborhood, but beside it (the North End). The other proposals were for projects that could be enjoyed by “everyone”.

But, it’s a moot point. They all failed.

The Greenway was conceived from the beginning as a mix of open space and short buildings to be used by community and cultural organizations.

That’s the only smart decision those in charge of the Greenway have made over the past twenty years!

The image above is from the Boston Globe website. It comes from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority – because, of course, they’re involved, too

Rare foreclosure auction takes place at Ritz-Carlton Towers, Boston
Feb 2011 15

10:01 PM UPDATED

If you were walking through the Boston Common on the way to the Financial District earlier today you caught a glimpse of something as rare as the white winged dove: a real-life foreclosure auction in the city of Boston.

Unit #906 at 3 Avery Street was set to be auctioned today. I’m getting the information second-hand, but, if sold, it appears the final price was somewhere near $685,000.

The original owner purchased the 1,240-square foot condo back in 2005 for $1.1 million, which was a lot of money for what is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit. I’m confused as to why it would be for so much, given what other units were selling for. And, the original loan looks to have been for $1.144 million, more than the actual purchase price. Something was going on there, not sure what.

Subsequently, the loan was refinanced and, apparently, reduced to $805,000, with Mt Washington Bank (now a part of Eastern Bank, according to the public record). But, the owner wasn’t able to keep up with the monthly payments, it seems. In 2007, the owner received a past-due property tax bill from the city of Boston for $6,446, an amount that was never paid off, apparently.

The condo association was also on the hook for past-due condo fees that eventually totaled $21,391.90. With few options, it filed a petition to foreclose. The auction today was the final step in that process.

Five units are currently on the market for prices in the $486-$619 range (three closer to $486 and two closer to $619). Unit #806, which may have the same floorplan but slightly more square footage, is listed at $649,000. Presumably, unit #906 would be “worth” more than that if only for its 1,200-square foot private balcony.

A couple of things of note. For one, the unit is located at 3 Avery Street, so it’s not part of the “main” Ritz-Carlton Towers; it’s across the street. It has its own condo association, the ‘Millennium Place North Low-rise Residential Condominium Association’. Plus, it was originally built as extended-stay units for the hotel and only turned into condos when the real estate market got hot. The interiors were redone and fixtures and appliances upgraded, but the building doesn’t have the “cache” of the other two towers. A great place to live, but you still need to have realistic expectations and recognize its real value.

There hasn’t been a sale at 3 Avery since early 2010, when unit #506 sold for $623,000.

Condo fees in the building run high, from $1.25 to $1.50 per square foot. Even people who spend a million dollars on a property don’t like paying high condo fees, unless the amenities outweigh the costs.

This is a case of something going terribly awry, I’m not sure how.

An interesting event on an otherwise quiet February afternoon.

Oh, and the name of the corporation under which the property was purchased?

Tulip Acquisitions.

There’s a joke there, somewhere.

P.S. The image above is not of the Ritz-Carlton Towers in Boston; it’s from their tower in Hong Kong.

Welcome to the Boston Condo Blog
Jan 2011 13

Hello, new visitors to the Boston Condo Blog.

WRG is full-service brokerage firm located in the Back Bay. We help buyers and sellers of residential real estate in all of Boston’s neighborhoods. We also have a team of rental leasing agents located in the Back Bay and in Allston, at the corners of Commonwealth and Brighton avenues.

This blog will be helpful for anyone looking to buy or sell a condo or single-family home in Boston. News about pricing, listings, neighborhood developments, and quality of life issues. It will also include news and information on new residential, commercial, institutional, and educational construction projects and developments.

Please bookmark the Boston Condo Blog website and track us on facebook and twitter.

Thank you.

Fort Point Channel to see residential housing, not offices
Jan 2011 11

A project that has been on hold due to the economy looks to be taking at least one step toward eventual construction.

The Boston Globe is reporting that plans to redevelop as set of buildings on Melcher Street in the Fort Point Channel neighborhood of Boston have been modified.

The developers’ plan has been overhauled since it was first proposed in February 2008, and consisted of combining all three buildings into a monolith, which would house solely retail and office space. The new proposal, which the developers will present to Fort Point neighbors on next week, will include 38 residential units, including five affordable artist live/work spaces.

The co-developers are the Archon Group and Goldman Properties, who are also behind the proposal to construct an 180-unit apartment building on nearby A Street.

Click through to read more about how the two projects are related to one another and how neighbors are wondering if something fishy is happening.

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