True Back Bay Lofts

We oftentimes get questions from condo buyers about what loft style condo options there are in the Back Bay.  Boston’s Back Bay is considered one of the most premier and desirable neighborhoods to call home, and historical rowhouses and ornate townhomes dominate the tree lined streets.  That said, finding a trendy loft-style condo in the heart of the Back Bay is naturally difficult.

Buyers won’t be able to find a classic exposed brick and beam loft-style condo in the Back Bay, it’s just not really an option.  What condo buyers do have access to is 360 Newbury, which represents probably the most modern and contemporary living option in the Back Bay, and gets you the closest to Back Bay lofts. From the entrance (picture below), and up through the elevator ride to the units with big windows and big views, 360 Newbury exudes the hip, slightly edgy, but luxurious feel of loft-style living.

Turnover in the 54-unit building is relatively low, however, there are currently four units available for sale at 360 Newbury, two one-bedroom units and two two-bedroom units, ranging in size from 869 to 1,626 square feet, and in price from $699,000 to $1,599,000.


Bryant Back Bay Open House

After several delays in opening, the Bryant (formerly the Bryant on Columbus and now called the Bryant Back Bay) is poised for closings to begin next week.  The luxury development played host on Tuesday evening to a swath of real estate agents, many of whom were getting their first look at the development.


The Bryant boasts many of the amenities that have become nearly ubiquitous for high-end condo developments in downtown Boston, in one of the premier locations in the city (offering both neighborhood South End feel and easy access to Back Bay and Midtown).  The questions, and more importantly, their answers, that are on the minds of most include:

  • Between 15 and 20 percent of the building has been sold
  • South End views really open up starting on the 8th floor (see panoramic view below taken from the 8th floor)
  • The back of the units (where the master bedrooms are situated) are much farther away from 131 Dartmouth than originally anticipated.
  • Lower floor units do receive substantial amounts of light

The most notable concern from buyers has been the proximity of the Bryant to 131 Dartmouth, and it’s impact on the building.  While 131 Dartmouth is immediately visible outside of the Bryant’s bedroom windows, 131 Dartmouth tapers away from the Bryant, and especially in the summer months, light pours into the back of units.

The Bryant Back Bay has a resident manager Katherine Collins, who will serve as concierge during the day, and Tillinger’s Concierge will handle the post after 4pm and on weekends.  Barkan Management is providing management services.  Soon to come amenities will include a fitness center with a massage room, a spa and state of the art equipment.  For a limited time, Buyers will receive a single one-year membership at Equinox Fitness Club, located around the corner at 131 Dartmouth.

With direct elevator access to units and parking, a highly desirable location supported by excellent nearby dining and nightlife, the Bryant is a stellar addition to the South End / Back Bay border.

Bryant 8th Floor View

Bryant 8th Floor Balcony Looking Down Columbus Avenue

Albert Pope Condo Sales in Boston

There are several condo developments in the heart of the city that maintain their appeal over the years in the midst of new inventory and choice around Boston, and the Albert A. Pope Building is one of those developments. That said, it’s rather surprising to see that the latest sale in the luxury building came at $577 per square foot.  Not so surprising is the fact that there has only been one sale in the development over the past six months – residents seem to stay longer in the Pope Building than in other developments, and coupled with the fact that there are only 25 units in the building, turnover is rather low.

221 Columbus Avenue Boston, MA 02116

Unit 203 in the development sold for $875,000 on April 30, 2009 after being on the market for 82 days with an original listing price of $949,000.  Condo fees for the unit are $1,094, and the unit came with a deeded parking space in the onsite garage, and access to the building’s common roofdeck.

Unit 203’s lower price per square foot, compared to a 12-month moving average of over $600 per square foot, could be attributed to its placement within the building, level, and the fact that the Clarendon Back Bay will block views of the Hancock Tower from the Pope Building (see Clarendon Back Bay to Block Pope’s View).

Nonetheless, the real estate community will need to place assumptions on the sidelines until another unit in the building comes available, at present, no condos are listed for sale in the boutique concierge-served Albert Pope Building.

Albert A. Pope Building

Luxury Back Bay Condos at Zero Marlborough

After two years of (re)construction, closings at the luxury Zero Marlborough building began in September of 2008.  Anticipation grew as the art deco 12-unit building was transformed into one of the latest boutique concierge buildings in the Back Bay, sitting in an ideal location at the corner of Arlington and Marlborough Streets, adjacent to the Public Garden. Quietly, Zero Marlborough has come very close in unseating the Mandarin Oriental for consistently driving the highest price per square foot values in the Back Bay (and the city for that matter) with closing prices averaging approximately $1,400 per square foot – the Mandarin, over the course of its 52 closings, has an average price per square foot of over $1,500.

Back Bay housing prices have stayed resilient over the past year, with average and median prices increasing substantially when looking at performance over the same 3 month period from 2008 to 2009

January 1, 2008 – March 25, 2008
Back Bay Condos Sold: 70
Back Bay Average Sales Price: $1,185,402
Back Bay Median Sales Price: $671,250
Back Bay Average Price per Square Foot: $793
Back Bay Average Days on Market:    107

January 1, 2009 – March 25, 2009
Back Bay Condos Sold: 47
Back Bay Average Sales Price: $1,334,491
Back Bay Median Sales Price: $781,000
Back Bay Average Price per Square Foot: $785
Back Bay Average Days on Market: 155

It’s interesting to note that these numbers are not inflated by ultra-luxury closings that would include Zero Marlborough or the Mandarin Oriental, as there have been no closings for either of these two buildings during the first quarter of 2008 or 2009.

8 of the 12 units at Zero Marlborough have sold, the 4 that remain for sale are all 3,300+ square foot 3+ bedroom 3.5 bathroom units listed for sale between $4,669,000 and $4,765,000 (approximately $1,421 per square foot).

Zero Marlborough Back Bay Condos

Are Mandarin Oriental Condos Selling?

The luxury condos at Boston’s Mandarin Oriental sold out well before construction was complete, one of the first condo developments to pull off such a feat in the city.  Once closings took place in the September / October 2008 timeframe, roughly 10% of the units in the building went up for resale, even before owners moved in.  Approximately 20% of the building (11 units) is now for sale.  Buyers seem to have a fair amount of choice, in terms of unit styles, location, and amount of finishing (some units are being delivered as shells), however, Sellers at the Mandarin Oriental aren’t seeing their product move that quickly.

Despite the overall lull in sales activity, unit 9H in the east building may be the forerunner for future sales, after being listed in late January 2009 for $2,600,000, it went Under Agreement last week.  9H would represent the first resale following project completion.  The unit is a 2-bedroom 2.5-bathroom 1,906 square foot unit that includes one deeded garage parking space (valet).  Condo fees for a unit like this are approximately $2,800 per month.  Closing at or around the list price would maintain the $1,000+ price per square foot that has been seen at the Mandarin, one of a (growing) handful of condo developments in downtown Boston that commands a four digit price per square foot.

Boston Mandarin Oriental East Building

In addition to unit 9H, there are currently 10 condos for sale at the Mandarin, ranging in price from $2,554,000 to $16,990,000.  Units at the ultra luxury development have been sitting on the market for an average of 163 days, with that average somewhat bloated by a listing that has been available since January 2008 (or approximately 420 days).

Why did unit 9H go Under Agreement while the others sit on the market?  As always, it depends, but price surely had something to do with it.  At $2,600,000, unit 9H is offered at approximately $1,364 per square foot, while the remaining condos for sale in the building have an average price per square foot of $1,846.

Boston Mandarin Oriental East Building

Boston Mandarin Oriental

Clarendon Back Bay Condo Photos

To the surprise of many working in the John Hancock Tower, the Clarendon Back Bay has shot out of the ground to quickly become the building’s tallest adjacent neighbor.  It is estimated that approximately 15 of the 104 condos in the development slated for a late 2009 opening are Under Agreement.  Pricing for studios at the Clarendon Boston begins at $695,000, and goes well past $5 million for the highest floors in the building known as “the tower”.  View a sample of listings (PDF 210 KB) for more further information.

Readers have been requesting updated photos of construction at the Clarendon, and we have these exclusive photos to share with you.

Clarendon Boston

Clarendon Boston

Clarendon Boston

Clarendon Boston

Clarendon Boston

Prices Slashed at Mandarin Oriental Penthouses

News on December 2, 2008 of the first price reduction at the luxury Mandarin Oriental was quickly followed by two additional price reductions, this time on the penthouse level.

Unit PH1-C, a 5,100 square foot 3 bedroom 4.5 bathroom accompanied by 2 parking spaces was reduced on December 5, 2008 from $12,500,000 to $9,950,000.  The significant outdoor terrace and deck space (1,000 + square feet) of this unit, now priced at $1,951 per square foot, is much more in line with the average price per square foot of $1,970 for all current resale listings at the Mandarin.

Unit PH 1-D, a 2,000 square foot 2 bedroom 2.5 bathroom unit that is accompanied by 1 parking space was reduced on December 9, 2008 from $7,000,000 to $5,500,000.   Despite the large private roof deck boasting superb views, the $2,750 per square foot price tag is still grossly out of line with other price per square foot numbers in the 50-unit building.

While statistics have shown a luxury market slowdown hitting Boston, these price reductions simply bring units that were priced well above the curve back towards the average of currently available Boston Mandarin condos for sale.

First Price Reduction at Mandarin Oriental

After 49 days on the market, unit W-11A at the ultra luxury Mandarin Oriental is the first resale unit in the building to undergo a price reduction.  Originally listed at $5,570,000, the luxury 3,100+ square foot unit was reduced in price by $420,000 (7.5%) on December 2, 2008 to a new asking price of $5,150,000 ($1,620 per square foot), putting it well below the average price per square foot of $1,970 for current resale listings, but still above the $1,416 average price per square foot mark for the original set of sales in the building.

Unit 11A in the west building is a front-facing corner unit that boasts two bedrooms and an additional library / den space on the 11th floor. The unit boasts a terrace with views of the Charles River and Back Bay, along with direct elevator access, and two deeded garage parking spaces.  Monthly HOA fees for the unit are approximately $3,677.

Statistics for currently available Boston Mandarin Oriental condos:

  • Listings: 10
  • Average Price: $7,489,400
  • Median Price: $6,900,000
  • Minimum: $2,200,000
  • Maximum: $16,990,000
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $1,970
  • Average DOM: 103

Condos at the Mandarin are spread across its two east and west buildings along Boylston Street, above the street level commercial spaces, and the minimum $495 per night hotel rooms.

For more information on available condos for sale at the Mandarin, contact us using the link at the top of this page.

Boston Mandarin Oriental Condos (West Building)

Luxury Back Bay Penthouse Reactivated

The Back Bay is no stranger to ultra luxury real estate listings, and the penthouse unit at 294 Newbury Street (known as the Providence on Newbury) sets the luxury bar high overlooking Newbury Street shopping and dining.  If the seen and be-seen oasis of the Back Bay’s Newbury Street is right for you, the direct elevator access penthouse unit at the Providence offers high-end living both inside and outside, along with adjacent alley parking.

Originally listed for $5,000,000 on April 15, 2008, the penthouse unit stayed on the market for 132 days before being canceled on August 25, 2008.  At that point, the listing was put back into the Boston MLS system at a new price point of $3,995,000.  The condo appears to be on a month-to-month listing, as it has gone expired and reactivated on the 1st of October, November, and now, December.

294 Newbury Street Dining Room

We first toured this building in the height of construction in May 2007 (see Providence on Newbury Condos), and the building, and especially the penthouse, has come a long way in fulfilling the developer’s vision.  The hot tub, grill, and audio / video capabilities on the 70+ square foot outdoor deck overlooking Newbury Street caps this unit off.

However, the penthouse unit at 294 Newbury Street currently has some stiff competition in the Back Bay luxury condo market, with nine resale units available at the recently opened Mandarin Oriental.  In fact, on a price per square foot basis, the Providence on Newbury penthouse is more expensive than the three Mandarin Oriental condos under $5 million listed below.

  • E-10H 1,437 square feet 2bed 2bath $2,200,000 (1 parking space)
  • E-9F 2,557 square feet 2bed 2.5bath $2,554,000 (1 parking space)
  • E-11F 1,830 square feet 2bed 2bath $3,050,000 (1 parking space)

Choices abound in the Back Bay, and throughout the city for that matter, allowing buyers to be quite particular about what they purchase.  As it relates to the Providence on Newbury, if a boutique feel and easy access to shopping and dining is a must, as well as the hustle and bustle of downtown life, it’s worth your consideration.

294 Newbury Street Master Bath

Recently Sold Condos at 360 Newbury

Since it was converted in 2005 to a luxury loft-style condo development, 360 Newbury in Boston’s Back Bay has been coveted as a true urban oasis.  On the southeast corner of Newbury Street and Massachusetts Avenue (above Best Buy), the 360 Newbury development greets residents with a sleek concierge-served lobby off of a Newbury Street entrance, and condos boast downtown skyline views, and high-end finishes and fixtures.

Boston 360 Newbury Lobby

In 2008, there have been two 360 Newbury condos that have sold, and there is currently one on the market for sale. Average price per square foot for the units that sold in the building was approximately $767.  Unit 405, a 1,342 square foot two-bedroom two-bathroom unit sold for $1,125,000 after 47 days on the market, and unit 603, an 847 square foot one-bedroom one-bathroom condo sold for $590,000 after 52 days on the market.  Neither of the units came with a parking space.

Turning to the present, unit 508, a 1,141 square foot one-bedroom two-bathroom unit is listed at $885,000 ($776 per square foot), and has been on the market for 21 days now.

Boston 360 Newbury Unit 508

Boston 360 Newbury Unit 508