Has Boston Ritz Carlton Lost its Mystique?

When it opened its doors to both residents and guests in 2001, the Ritz Carlton Hotel & Towers Boston Common offered a new level of luxury to Bostonians who sought the comforts of the condo-hotel lifestyle, the aura of the Ritz Carlton name, and some of the most prominent views in the city.  Eight years later, the development remains one of the most popular luxury buildings to call home in downtown Boston, but, have the high-end accommodations lost some of their mystique?

Turnover in the development has slowed over the past several years, while inventory is up, and the number of days it is taking to sell a unit is higher than past years.  There are over 300 luxury condominiums spread across the two Ritz Carlton Towers that sit at the junction of Avery and Washington Streets in Midtown, a stone’s throw from Boston Common.  Since the Ritz’s inception, there have been a large handful of luxury condominium developments to hit downtown Boston, but it was only recently that a large-scale luxury development, 45 Province, came online in the Ritz’s backyard.

“Luxury is not diminished by company.  The entire Boston market has moved toward full service buildings, elevators, concierge, and quality management.  Boston has become a well to do city.  Buyers are looking for and paying for the best of the best of the best,” says William Shirreff, a residential sales agent with Otis & Ahearn, who currently has multiple listings for sale at the Ritz Carlton.

Since 2006, when 56 condos sold in the development (an approximate 18% turnover rate), the number of units that have sold at the Ritz has continued to decrease year on year.  For the first six months of 2009, there has been six (6) sales at the Boston Ritz Carlton condos, significantly behind the pace of 2008 total sales of 36.  Coupled with a high inventory of 35 currently available units in the development, the numbers alone beg the question of whether the Ritz Carlton condos are beginning to lose their momentum as one of the most coveted condo developments in downtown Boston.

“For me it is the location of the Ritz Residences that is the distinguishing difference.  Every full service building has unique characteristic that attracts particular buyers.  I like  the easy access to transportation, e.g. the new ramps to the Expressway at the end of Essex Street,  four “T” transit lines within a block, and short walks to Financial District, Theater District, Charles Street and Copley Square, and the Common and Public Garden at your door,” comments Shirreff.

The median list price for the 35 currently available luxury units is $1,369,000 (while the $1,918,457 average is a much higher number than the median mainly due to the $8.5 million listing price of Manny Ramirez’s penthouse), with an average price per square foot of $980, and average days on market (DOM) of 142.  If compared against 2006 – 2009 sales data (table below), DOM may continue to rise for currently available units given a potentially inflated average price per square foot asking price.

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Regardless of the numbers, the classic Ritz name and brand, along with the amenities and location of the development, will continue to drive interest in units at the Ritz Carlton Boston.

“It is the features associated with a particular unit that attracts buyers more than a particular floor plan.  Light, view and terrace or balcony are features most mentioned by buyers.  The particular units I’ve found that “wow” a buyer are the penthouse in the North Tower, the “E” units on high floors in the South Tower, and the units with terraces available in the Ritz III Residences,” says Shirreff.

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Condos for Sale in Ritz Carlton Boston

In March of this year, we noticed that the inventory of available Ritz Carlton condos was growing (see Ritz Carlton Flush with Available Condos), and since that time, there has been approximately 28 units at the two building development that have either gone Under Agreement or have Sold. Today, the inventory level of condos for sale in the Ritz Carlton Boston is now sitting at 23 units, priced from $540,000 to $4,250,000.

All current Ritz Carlton Boston Listings: Ritz Carlton Condos (1.9 MB PDF)

For more information on the Ritz Carlton Boston condos, or any other luxury downtown development, please contact us using the link at the top of this page.

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45 Province Boston

Following the topping off party in June 2008 at 45 Province, one of Boston’s most anticipated luxury condo development projects, the public has quickly turned its attention to the planned early 2009 opening.  The 32-story high-rise on the foot of Beacon Hill in Boston’s Midtown neighborhood (steps from Downtown Crossing) can boast as one of the most comprehensive condo developments in all of Boston.  Read on for an updated review of the development, including sample listings, and exclusive photos.

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Downtown Crossing One Franklin Tower

If you haven’t stopped by the old Filene’s Basement area in Downtown Crossing, you’re going to be quite surprised to see what has been happening. To set the stage, the below photo was taking at the end of January 2008, just before the Filene’s lettering was removed from the side of the “basement” in preparation for demolition.

Filene's Basement Boston January 2008

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Construction crews are making way for the preservation of, and renovation to, the existing eight-story Filene’s building at the corner of Washington and Summer Streets, and the nine-story building at the corner of Hawley and Franklin Streets, combing to form a new mixed-use development called the One Franklin Tower at 426 Washington Street.  One Franklin will boast over 1,200,700 square feet of hotel, retail, office, and residential Midtown condos.

Fast forward to this past weekend, August 2008, and you will see the exclusive photos below show significant progress (or lack of, depending on how you look at demolition) on the One Franklin project site.

Filene's Basement Boston August 2008

One Franklin Tower Boston August 2008

Downtown Crossing Midtown Condo Tour

Spend this Saturday (May 10, 2008) discovering the unique spaces, breathtaking views, and convenience of living in Downtown Crossing. There will be a self-guided walking tour that visits 15 homes, from ultra-modern to historic and from loft to penthouse. Find out where over 6,000 people live in Downtown Crossing and discover their favorite shops and restaurants in the neighborhood.

Home Sweet Home in Downtown Crossing
Saturday, May 10
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Downtown Crossing
T Orange/Red Lines to Downtown Crossing

Tickets are available in advance for $20 and on the day of the tour for $25 at 520 Washington Street (near the intersection of Washington and West Streets).

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Ritz Carlton Flush with Available Condos

The number of available condos at the Boston Ritz Carlton Towers have continued to tick up over the past several months, with 16 currently available units for sale, and another 6 currently Under Agreement – there has been a lot of action at the luxury Midtown location.

There aren’t too many developments that rival the Ritz in terms of size, and availability of units, perhaps Harbor Towers is the only one (see Interesting Week for Boston Condo Pricing for further commentary on what is happening at Harbor Towers). The Ritz, however, is a classic concierge property that has a strong brand name going for it. Price per square foot is currently all over the map at the Ritz, stretching from $570 to $1,600 (list prices from $699K – $5.295 million).

All Ritz Carlton Listings: Ritz Carlton Condos (23.9 MB PDF with photos)

Why the build up in inventory at the Ritz? Quite possibly we’re seeing such a trend because of the new ultra luxury developments that are hitting the market, be that 45 Province right nearby, the Clarendon Back Bay, Mandarin Oriental, Bryant on Columbus, Battery Wharf, or even the Intercontinental, which is quite similar in genre to the Ritz. The Ritz was built in 2000, so it is a relatively new property, but perhaps does not have the same freshness, ceiling height, amenities, or location of other new developments in downtown Boston. There are many different unit types and styles at the Ritz, yet a fair amount of the units have more of an old world type charm to them versus some of the cleaner lines of more recent developments. Nonetheless, the higher units provide commanding views of the city, the Common, the Charles River, and the Harbor.

45 Province Boston Condo Development Photos

Boston’s latest Midtown luxury condo development, 45 Province, is steaming towards completion – target completion is April / May 2009. We’re excited to bring you the below exclusive time-series photos provided by one of our readers, Peter Carpi. You’ll see in the first photo below the crane rising over the soon-to-be structure of 45 Province, while the second photo displays significant progress made on the core of the 45 Province structure.

Check out these 45 Province sample listings (133 KB PDF) to get a feel for unit pricing, square footage and amenities. For more information, or to setup a tour of the 45 Province sales office, please contact us.

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Condos Available at Lafayette Lofts

Lafayette Lofts is a 42-unit loft-style development in Boston’s Midtown neighborhood, completed in 2005. Units seem quite rare to come by, which makes this an interesting time, as there are currently two lofts available in the building.

Also interesting is that these units represent the low and high price points at Lafayette Lofts, with a $479,000 one-bedroom in Unit 4D, to the $1,550,000 three-bedroom penthouse duplex in Unit 7F. Both units have sleek lines, and are available with rental parking, and the penthouse unit has some fabulous outdoor space which receives excellent afternoon light. The hip Midtown location puts you steps away from all corners of the city.

Unit 7F (the penthouse) will have an open house on Sunday, February 10, 2008 from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM.

For more information about both listings: Lafayette Lofts Condo Information (PDF). To setup a showing, or obtain further details, feel free to contact us.

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Boston W Hotel and Condos

For more recent articles on the Boston W Hotel & Condos, click on the Boston W Hotel Condos tag above.  Additionally, now that the sales center is open, contact us for more information about setting up an appointment.

Just when you thought (or rather, you are being fed the message by the popular press) that the housing market is in a downturn, Boston goes and breaks ground on a $200 million development that will change the skyline of the Theater District, and inject true upscale class and style in living accommodations for visitors and residents of Boston.

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What's Available at One Charles?

If you are looking for a condo at one of the most coveted new buildings around town, One Charles (1 Charles Street South), you’re in luck. There seems to be a spike in currently available units at One Charles, steps from the Boston Common and Public Garden.

One Charles

There are currently eight (8) units available at One Charles – from a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom up to a 2 bedroom 2.5 bathroom, ranging in price from $625K to $2.295 million.

One Charles Condos

One Charles Condos