Development in Back Bay, Boston: The Highlights

An easy way to tell that a neighborhood is getting hotter is to look at its slate of real estate development. A glance at recent headlines about the large number of development projects in Boston’s Back Bay shows that this desirable section of the city—which incorporates the fashionable Newbury Street, Boylston Street, and Commonwealth Avenue—is rapidly elevating its status from “trendy” to “coveted.”

At-a-glance, here are some highlights of construction projects underway, new buildings going up, and significant renovations that exemplify the changing face of the Back Bay.

Eataly Signs Lease at the Prudential Center

It’s out with the old and in with the new at Boston’s Prudential Center, where the three-level Italian food complex Eataly will replace the Prudential food court in late 2016. The world-renowned “galleria of Italian gastronomy” from Mario Batali and partners will stretch 45,000 feet, and will include space in a newly constructed building. The Italian food emporium will feature a new entrance into a café from Boylston Street, a rooftop restaurant and brewery, multiple quick and full-service eateries, and a gourmet marketplace. The addition of Eataly is expected to draw other new stores to the Prudential as well.

17-Story Office Building Under Construction at Prudential Center

In other news at the Prudential Center complex, construction began last summer on a 17-story office building at 888 Boylston Street. The project will lure new shops to the plaza next to the Hynes Convention Center, which incorporates about 60,000 square feet for retail stores. Natixis Global Asset Management signed a lease to occupy up to 150,000 square feet of the total 422,000 square feet of space. The new building will be the fourth office tower in the complex, filling the last vacant parcel that had been available alongside Prudential Tower, 111 Huntington Ave., and 101 Huntington Ave. Project completion is scheduled for June 2016.

Four Seasons Hotel and Residential Building Coming to Back Bay

More construction is in progress not far down the road, where real estate developer Carpenter and Company is erecting a $700 million skyscraper bordering the Prudential Center and the Christian Science Plaza. The resulting 61-story building will become home to a Four Seasons Hotel as well as private residencies—and standing nearly 700 feet tall will become the tallest residential building in all of Boston. In fact, 1 Dalton will actually be the highest skyscraper built in New England since the early seventies, with only the John Hancock Tower and the Prudential Center standing taller. The new Back Bay addition of the Four Seasons will be the second Four Seasons Hotel in Boston. Construction is scheduled to wrap up at the end of 2017. The private residencies are expected to be pricey, offering views from the upper levels of the Charles River, Back Bay, and Fenway.

New Residential Tower Planned for 30 Dalton Street

Another new neighbor to the Four Seasons at 1 Dalton will be the 30 Dalton Street Residencies, designed in collaboration by architects Cambridge Seven Associates and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, teaming with the Pritzker Realty Group. The residential tower will stand 26 stories high, featuring 218 luxury rental units. The lobby of 30 Dalton will face a new park on Dalton Street, which is being constructed in conjunction with the project. The address will also be home to ground-level retail space facing Belvedere Street.

Upgrades at Avalon at the Prudential

Last summer, the opening of Avalon Exeter became AvalonBay’s first luxury Back Bay Boston apartment development. Overall, the Prudential Center residential development added not only 1,000 apartments to the Back Bay, but also 1,300 feet of retail space. The 28-story development of Avalon Exeter itself offers 187 apartments. The addition of Avalon Exeter kicked off a series of upgrades at Avalon’s other towers, including Avalon at the Prudential Center (Gloucester Building) at 770 Boylston Street and Avalon at the Prudential Center (Boylston Building) at 780 Boylston Street. Avalon at the Prudential also recently created their new AVA brand, AVA Back Bay, at 790 Boylston Street.

“The Avalon—which has the best location in all of Boston—has undergone multiple renovations over the last two years, with wonderful results,” said Annette Clement, Executive Vice President and General Manager at Furnished Quarters in Massachusetts.   “The AVA building has had the entrance, lobby, hallways, and common areas redone, with the addition of a resident’s lounge and direct access into the Prudential Mall. Next they will begin renovating the apartment interiors.”

Clement added that Avalon’s other two towers at 770 and 780 Boylston are also being revamped with a renovated hallway and entrance area, as well as a new state-of-the-art fitness center, and the coming-soon addition of in-unit washers and dryers. “All of these renovations make Avalon an even more desirable address,” said Clement.

These highlights of recent Back Bay development represent the tip of the iceberg. As reported in Metro, people are clamoring for Back Bay addresses—the Avalon Exeter was 30 percent pre-leased before construction even started. “Homes in the Back Bay virtually sell themselves,” reported Metro in 2014. That observation holds even truer today, as the new residential and commercial additions bring a level of luxury and opulence to the neighborhood that has never been seen before.

Looking to Settle Down in Back Bay?

If you’d like a taste of Back Bay before making your final decision, why not try a temporary furnished apartment in the area?  This way, you get to explore your future neighborhood while also finalizing the last details of your move.  For more information about short-term apartments in Boston’s Back Bay, call Furnished Quarters at 888-907-4109.