Downtown Crossing to add six new restaurants
Jul 2011 15

While it looks as though Borders is going to close no matter what, all is not lost in the Downtown Crossing neighborhood of Boston.

At least six new restaurants are on tap for this, the city’s shopping district.

As well, Hayward Place, which will bring over 240 apartment units to the neighborhood, is scheduled to break ground within two weeks, according to Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino.

Multi-milion dollar sale recorded at W Boston Residences
Apr 2011 07

A penthouse condominium in the W Boston Residences sold yesterday, the 35th in the 123-unit mixed-use building.

The penthouse sold for $3.7 million. It has ~3,082 square feet of space, three bedrooms, three and ½-half baths and came with one parking space included in the price.

Warren Residential Group (us) represented the buyer on the sale.

It is the third penthouse sale in the building and, because of our skill at negotiating, the lowest-priced per square foot. The other two penthouses include PH4, which sold for $3,537,000, ~2,631 square feet at $1,344 per square foot, and PH3, which sold for $3.2 million, ~2,574 square feet at $1,243 per square foot.

The internal sales team at the W Boston Residences has now sold 28% of the units in the building but many remain of all sizes in all prices. A ~427 square foot, 19th-floor studio, for example, is listed for $445,000. An 18th floor two bedroom, with ~1,286 square feet of space is listed for $1,265,000.

Please contact me for more details on recent sales in the building and to discuss buying strategies.

The Clarendon | Back Bay hits 50% sold mark
Feb 2011 25

Just fourteen months after its first closings were recorded, The Clarendon condominium development in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston has hit the 50% sold mark, an impressive achievement given the state of the economy and national real estate market.

The Clarendon was designed by AM Stern Architects and built by a partnership of Related Companies and The Beal Companies. The residences have closed at an average price per square foot of more than $1150.

Sales continued at an even pace during 2010 after the expected rush of pre-construction closings just after completion, back in December 2009 / January 2010.

The condominium residences start on the 15th floor and feature captivating panoramic views of the downtown skyline, the Charles River, and Boston Harbor. The one to four- bedroom residences offer gracious layouts and are priced from $780,000 to more than $4 million. There are three penthouse suites available, too. Homeowners can enjoy access to a private spa and library among other amenities.

Floors three through fourteen are made up of apartments. It is branded as One Back Bay and is 100% occupied, currently. There is a two-story restaurant (Post 390) and US Postal Service branch on the first floor.

I have a private appointment with The Clarendon sales team and principals of Related Companies on Tuesday. I’ll have more to say after our meeting.

Please contact me if you would like more information on The Clarendon and to set up a private appointment to view any of the remaining homes.

Boston condo sales volume down in January, avg. prices down
Feb 2011 22

The Warren Group is out with condo and single-family home sales data for January 2011.

Condominium sales in Massachusetts posted a significant decrease in January, dropping almost 18.5 percent to 808 from 991 in January 2010. January marks the seventh consecutive month that condo sales decreased in Massachusetts.

The median condo price in January also declined 4.6 percent to $233,750 from $245,000 in January 2010.

Boston Proper condo sales dropped 4.76% from January 2010.

The median condo price dropped, according to the Warren Group, by 19.23%, from $572,000 to $462,000.

The drop is confusing to me because of the size. Obviously, something else is going on here.

Let me take a closer look and get back to you. My guess is that we had a bunch of high-end condo sales closings (The Clarendon and/or The Bryant) that is skewing the numbers.

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

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