Boston’s Seaport District Is Fast Becoming a Neighborhood

Discover Boston’s Booming Neighborhoods:  Spotlight on the Seaport District

Boston Seaport has been riding a wave of phenomenal growth over the last five years that has given rise to exciting new development and transformation in the area. Once a dead zone of parking lots located along the prime real estate of Boston Harbor, the Seaport District is now blossoming into one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods—for residents, businesses, and visitors alike. Amidst the ongoing construction, this special part of the city now boasts everything from top restaurants and retail to green spaces and waterways, with much more coming down the pike.

Upcoming: More Greenery and Shops

The Boston Globe recently reported on new plans for added greenery to the Seaport district area—“Harbor Way,” a one third of a mile long tree-lined walkway for pedestrians that is expected to add to the area’s blossoming neighborhood appeal. Harbor Way would not only bring more green space to the Seaport, but would host new restaurants, stores, and buildings, helping to create a lively spine in the business district. In addition to a walkway, the new development would also be a waterway, extending from Summer Street to the edge of the Boston Waterfront.

As Yanni Tsipis told the Boston Globe: “Our vision for the Seaport is focused on creating soul for the district. This means building buildings whose beauty and elegance will stand the test of time, and infusing every city block with restaurants, boutiques, residents, workplaces, and most importantly with diverse civic and cultural uses, all set amidst an extraordinary public realm.” Tsipis is leading the Harbor Way project for WS Development, which includes a larger plan for the undeveloped section of Seaport Square, located in the heart of the district. That plan envisions replacing the current mix of parking lots and construction sites with nine blocks of new residential buildings, shops, offices, and hotels. The street and lower levels would enjoy more than 100 new storefronts.

To help make the Seaport district more friendly to neighborhood foot traffic, plans are in place to cut down on the number of parking spaces in the area while investing in bike lanes, shuttle service, and other pedestrian improvements. The Seaport will also be getting its first grocery store, a neighborhood market called Frank Anthony’s Gourmet Market at 11 Fan Pier Boulevard.

And at BISNOW’s “State of the Seaport” event held on February 23 at the Westin Boston Waterfront, speakers referred to the continuous evolution of “Boston’s most happening neighborhood” as the first Master Plan Development that Boston has experienced since the filling in of the Back Bay. At the event, Boston-based business leaders including keynoters Matt O’Toole, president of Reebok and Michael Phillips, President of Jamestown LP considered big questions that Bostonians have long pondered about the area, from whether Boston Seaport has become a true live, work, and play neighborhood, to transportation issues, to the latest buildings planned for development.

Alex Twining, CEO of Twining Properties, was one of the speakers to address the question about whether the Seaport is in fact morphing into a real residential neighborhood. In a recent interview for BISNOW, Twining answered strongly in the affirmative: “the Seaport is transforming Boston, by emerging as a new mixed-use neighborhood that has physically connected Downtown, Fort Point Channel, the Fan Pier and the World Trade Center.”

Twining should know, since his firm was the one responsible for developing the master plan of Seaport’s residential redevelopment, including the first apartments as well as retail. The new development, Watermark Seaport, was completed last year and is located at the new subway station, surrounded by more than 500,000 square feet of new retail stores. Other plans for retail growth in the Seaport include Kings Bowling and an ICON movie theater at Seaport Square.

In addition to close proximity to shopping and restaurants, neighborhoods thrive when they offer residents opportunities for a critical mass of uses, including easy access to health and fitness centers. Equinox Gym is on the way to the area, and Reebok recently helped out on this front as well, choosing the Seaport for its new global headquarters along with a 30,000 square-foot gym that features CrossFit, boxing, fitness studios, a mile-long track, and more. The growing popularity of the Seaport as a neighborhood destination is visible in the rise in community events, such as the first-ever Seaport Christmas tree lighting—Light Up Seaport—which took place near the waterfront last December. An expanding list of new restaurants will be opening up in the Seaport as well, including Aceituna Grill (there’s currently a location in Kendall Square), Better Bagels, the vegan NYC-based By Chloe, London-based Yo! Sushi, and the national steakhouse chain Mastro’s, all scheduled for fall arrival.

Residential Developments

But the biggest indication of how hot Boston’s Seaport District has become is its burgeoning slate of residential developments. Besides Watermark Seaport, other major developments are on tap for completion in 2017. These include the largest mixed-use development project that Boston has seen in the last three decades, The Benjamin (scheduled to open this month) and VIA (scheduled to open this summer in July) at One Seaport Square. At 1.5 million square feet on three acres between Seaport Boulevard and Northern Avenue, the property contains 832 modern residential units, from studios up to three-bedrooms . The Benjamin will be 22 stories tall and VIA will be 20 stories tall, showing off a new standard in modern luxury for the Seaport District. Not only will both new amenity-packed buildings offer their residents sweeping views of the Boston skyline and Boston Harbor, but they will also qualify for LEED Silver sustainability certification, reflecting the fact that they are environmentally friendly. Additionally, 96 of the apartments in the two buildings will be designated affordable.

This growth is the tip of the iceberg for Boston’s Seaport District, with numerous other major residential developments (as well as office developments) scheduled for 2018 and 2019. The Boston Globe recently reported that more than $1.5 billion is currently invested in Seaport construction projects—from apartments and condos to storefronts and office space—with an additional $850 million scheduled to begin construction in the near future. Tucker White, a research analyst from Avision Young, told BISNOW recently that these completions “will open the floodgates in regards to foot traffic, disposable income and commuting, making 2017 more of a preparatory year compared to [2016 and 2015]. In short, the stage will continue to be set for the main performance commencing in 2018, starring GE and a wave of construction deliveries.”

White’s mention of GE refers to the electric company’s planned move to Seaport, with three new buildings comprising new corporate HQ, which will provide 1.5 acres of public space and incubator space in addition to offices for GE employees. Other major firms are flocking to Boston Seaport as well, including PWC, Vertex, Goodwin Procter, and Boston Consulting Group, the latter of which has a move planned from downtown Boston to the Seaport next year. Even the Seaport World Trade Center, current home of Fidelity Investments and 565,000 square feet of office space, is scheduled for potential redevelopment, which could bring even more retail to the area as well as more office space.

Looking to Discover What Boston Has to Offer?

To learn more about your options for temporary furnished apartments and corporate rentals in Boston including in Boston’s Seaport District, contact Furnished Quarters at 1-800-255-8117.

FP3 Boston Lofts Lower Prices on Several Condos

As Bostonians push through what has now become a hot summer in downtown Boston, FP3, a 92-unit loft-style condo development in the Seaport District recently dropped prices on several units in an effort to continue driving sales.

Earlier this week, two of the six units that represent the Seaport District condo development in MLSpin, one of Boston’s two MLS systems, were lowered in price by approximately 6%.  Unit 203, a 659 square foot condo representative of the studio units in the building was lowered to $329,000, and unit 218, a 1,183 square foot unit was reduced to $549,000.  These latest price movements bring some units on the lower floors of the development into the $400 price per square foot range.

FP3 has held its certificate of occupancy since late 2008, and Buyers are able to immediately move into units upon purchase.  According to LINK, Boston’s second MLS system, 21 of the 92 units in the building have been sold (23%).

Sales Spike at FP3 Boston

FP3, a large-scale new construction and redevelopment building in the heart of Boston’s Seaport District, has seen a spike in sales during the month of July.  Three units have sold in July, practically doubling the total 2009 unit sold count to 7.  Sales statistics for the 3 condos represent a trending upward in average sales price and price per square foot.

Average Sales Price: $455,547
Median Sales Price: $426,640
Average $/SF: $472

The spike in sales may have been attributed to several price adjustments that took place in the April 2009 timeframe  Furthermore, the increase in average sales prices and price per square foot in the face of price reductions can mainly be attributed to previous statistics being heavily influenced by the recording of affordable housing sales in the building.

LINK, one of Boston’s two MLS systems, shows that 20 units have sold at FP3 Boston, which represents approximately 22% of the building.  In addition to FP3, there are approximately 10 other condos for sale in the Seaport District, priced from $589,000 to $3,100,000 in Channel Center, Fort Point Place, and Dockside Place, all of which are loft-style condo buildings.

FP3 Boston

FP3 Boston

Latest Sales at FP3 Boston

We’ve been receiving inquiries related to the latest sales at FP3.  Over the past 6 months, according to LINK (which does a scan of the Registry of Deeds on a regular basis), the only units that have closed in the building have been the affordable housing units.  Condo developers, by choice, opt-in to the affordable housing program sponsored by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). FP3 participated in the affordable housing program, and units deemed affordable went to a lottery and since have closed – no further affordable housing options are available at FP3.

On the market-rate front, list prices were lowered on several units this week.  For instance, unit 311, an 850 square foot one-bedroom one-bathroom was reduced from $489,000 to $449,000, unit 205, a 1,031 square foot one-bedroom two-bathroom unit was reduced from $599,000 to $499,000, and unit 215, a 1,382 square foot two-bedroom two-bathroom unit was reduced from $719,000 to $699,000.  According to LINK, 16 of the 92 loft-style condos at FP3 have sold (17%).

FP3 Boston Lofts

FP3 Boston Condos

FP3 Seaport District Condos Slow to Sell

When Berkeley Investments Inc., local restaurateur Barbara Lynch, and Mayor Thomas Menino broke ground at the mixed-use FP3 condo development on Friday, April 20, 2007, the project was heralded as the new luxury baseline in the Fort Point Channel.  More than a year and a half later, the development is now a reality, but the 92 residential loft-style condos are not moving off the market.

In July of 2008, a Berkeley employee was quoted in Banker & Tradesman saying that 38 units were Under Agreement poised to close when the certificate of occupancy was issued later in the summer (see Brokers: Fort Point Condo Project Too Pricey for Neighborhood 100 KB PDF), yet, fast forward to today, and a very different reality exists with the certificate of occupancy indeed in place, but only 9 units have sold, and 2 are Under Agreement.

The pertinent condo sales statistics at FP3 currently include:

  • Number of Listings Sold: 9
  • Percentage of Building Sold: 9.8%
  • Average Sale Price: $610,436
  • Median Sale Price: $541,000
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $659
  • Average Days on Market: 120

FP3 Boston Condos

The popular restaurateur Barbara Lynch has opened the much hyped Sportello restaurant on the ground floor of FP3, alongside her new lounge, simply called Drink. The presence of Lynch onsite has been one of the cornerstones of marketing for FP3 developers, both for the condo development itself, and the overall neighborhood, but condo sales in the building have not been able to keep pace with the opening of Lynch’s new posh attractions.

Local real estate broker, Elad Bushari of Bushari Group Real Estate says that he is a fan of the area,”the location is great, close to the Financial District, the red line and great restaurants. The top floors are amazing, big windows, outdoor space, and great views.” However, Bushari cites price in accounting for the significant difference in sales velocity between FP3 and more popular condo developments such as 285 Columbus Lofts that are approaching sold out status in a much shorter sales cycle with,”I think that it has a lot to do with the developer’s flexibility on prices, most of the feedback I received from my buyers is that it’s just too expensive; the area is going to be great but it’s not there yet.”

While the price points, and lack of price reductions, may be keeping potential new Buyers at bay, current residents have reason to smile. Berkeley Investments has yet to cut prices to the point where current residents are stuck with negative equity in their units, an unfortunate reality for some Bostonians who buy early at new luxury condo developments. It’s a balancing act to try and buy the specific unit that you desire in a new condo development early in the preconstruction sales cycle, but at the same time, avoid buying in too early so as to avoid (oftentimes inevitable) developer price reductions on future unsold units that will ultimately bring palatable building price points below preconstruction levels.

“I don’t think they need to do much more. Their marketing looks pretty good to me, I don’t know their traffic, but they are noticeable, at least in the brokers community,” states Bushari.

Heading into the winter months, there are currently two units (210, 217) Under Agreement at FP3 Boston, both units at the lower end of the price scale in the building with a studio and a one-bedroom listed at  $349,000 and $449,000 respectively – FP3 condo fees
do include concierge services.

FP3 Boston Lofts Lobby

Boston Lofts for sale at Channel Center

We have been receiving an elevated number of inquiries regarding Boston lofts at the Seaport District’s Channel Center development. The Channel Center lofts development is a 2005 mixed-use development, comprising both new construction and renovation of existing warehouse space – residences are spread across three separate addresses at 15, 25, and 35 Channel Center.

Currently, there are six (6) listings available at Channel Center (see currently available listings 8 MB PDF), ranging in square footage from 1,489 to 2,323, and in price from $549K to $1.325 million. Regardless of which address you have at the development, you’re in for a loft feel (high ceilings, flowing and oftentimes open, floorplans), what changes will be the style of the loft feel from true exposed brick and beam architecture, to a more modern look with drywall versus the brick.

Channel Center offers concierge service, and gives you a chance to get in on an area of the city that is poised to see significant development. For more information about available units at Channel Center, or to list your loft for sale, please contact us using the link at the top of this page.




Dockside Place Condos on Sleeper Street

We receive questions from Buyers somewhat regularly on whether there are units available at Dockside Place Condominiums at 15-33 Sleeper Street in the heart of Boston’s Seaport District. The typical answer is that there is rarely, if anything, available. That said, a rarely available unit at the 89-unit loft-style two-building condo development is now available.

Unit 203 is a 868 square foot one-bedroom one-bathroom loft that boasts exposed brick and beams, and excellent views of downtown Boston over the Fort Point Channel. Listed at $499,000 ($574 per square foot), this Boston loft comes with a $366/month HOA fee, which includes extra storage. No parking is included.

For more information, please contact us.

Boston Dockside Place Condominiums

Boston Dockside Place Condominiums

New FP3 Boston Condo Photos

The Seaport District of Boston is literally bustling with activity. FP3 Boston is the forerunner for the area, pushing through with development while others have been slowing, and doing a lot of the leg work in marketing the area. FP3 is now aiming for a Q2 2008 occupancy date, and you can see by the exclusive photos below, that construction is moving right along.

FP3 is a Congress Street condo development that includes the renovation of two existing buildings, the construction of a third infill building, and the creation of three upper-level floors set back from the street – all to create 90+ high-end loft-style condos.

Let’s start with the photo immediate below, which provides a good survey, seen from the northwestern end of Congress Street, looking back down towards the new convention center – immediately in the foreground is the fire house, the green mesh to the right of that is the new building being constructed, and the two buildings adjacent to the green meshing are the structures being renovated, thus making up the three building FP3 condo development.

FP3 Boston

The below two photos provide you slightly different angles of the construction, and most importantly, give a glimpse into the three-floor structure that is being constructed on top of the buildings, which will be set back from the street – these are the floors that will house outdoor terraces (see related story FP3 Boston Condos with Outdoor Terraces). For more information on FP3 Boston, please contact us.

FP3 Boston

FP3 Boston

FP3 Boston Condos with Outdoor Terraces

Interested in reserving a unit at the June 2008 planned FP3 Boston condo development, one with a private outdoor terrace? We thought you might. Bear in mind that FP3 will offer all residents a common outdoor roof deck, but, if you would like to get your hands on a private space, consider the following options:

  • A one-bedroom unit with 764 square foot of indoor living space and 265 square feet of outdoor space starting at $699,000
  • A one-bedroom unit with 783 square feet of indoor living space and 237 square feet of outdoor space for $749,000
  • A one-bedroom plus study unit with 969 square feet of indoor living space and 150 square feet of outdoor space for $779,000
  • A two-bedroom penthouse unit with over 2,200 square feet of indoor living space and over 1,000 square feet of outdoor space for $1,999,999

FP3 will run water, gas, and electrical onto each terrace. For assistance in making a reservation on a unit at FP3, slated for a June 2008 completion, please contact us.

FP3 Boston Condos

New Channel Center Penthouse Loft For Sale

A new penthouse loft at Channel Center (25 Channel Center) just hit the market yesterday at $1,595,000 ($748.47/square foot). With over 2,100 square feet of living space, gleaming hardwoods, and soaring 21 foot ceilings, this is an exquisite three-bedroom, three-bathroom loft-style condo for sale in Boston’s Seaport District.

This unit has some of the classic features that a discerning loft buyer is seeking:

  • Multiple exposures
  • Channel Center Penthouse floor – dual entrances
  • 21 foot ceilings and 18 foot windows
  • Gas fireplace in the living room and master bedroom
  • Master bath features a glass enclosed shower and a large soaking tub
  • Gourmet kitchen
  • Elevator and concierge building
  • Two (2) garage parking spaces

As we’ve shared with clients, Channel Center, as well as Fort Point Place at 21 Wormwood Street, continue to have at least one or two solid listings that hit the market each month. If you are looking to move into the Seaport District to get in front of the investment wave, this may be your opportunity. Channel Center currently has 11 units on the market, contact us for details on the penthouse featured here, or any of the other units.

See all listings at the Channel Center condo development: Channel Center Listings (11.9 MB PDF).