Macallen Building Seeks Buyers & Renters

In what seems to be a developing trend, the Macallen Building in South Boston is beginning to offer a sizeable chunk of its remaining inventory (still owned by the developer, Pappas Properties) for rent.  Certain units have been identified as rentals, however, in effect, the entire inventory also remains for-sale, and for-sale prices have been dropped substantially all the way into the $400 per square foot range – in light of the economic downturn, rentals appear to be the best option for the Macallen and their current specials show that they are serious about having them rented fast.

This special rental offer is on the table for renters who choose a 14 month lease, beginning on or around April 1st, and involves two months of free rent – all utilities (even Direct TV), and one garage parking space all included in the rental fee.  It’s extremely rare for a building that offers such a stacked list of amenities and quality to offer such a promotion.  From its newly finished onsite gym to the heated three-season pool on the 20,000 square foot landscaped terrace, to the soon to open gourmet market, the things to do right at the Macallen Building outnumber those in several small New England towns.  Not to mention it’s located right next to the Red Line Broadway T stop  and the Harbor Walk.

Rents start at $2,200 for the one studio that is available, $2,250 for spacious and open loft 1 bedroom units, $3,500 for 2 bedrooms, and $6,900 for the one 3 bedroom currently available.  If you factor in the 2 months free, most of the rents will come down by at least $300 per month effectively, which makes this offer rather compelling for the trendsetting renter to live in one of the most unique buildings Boston has ever seen.

Allele South Boston Sales Velocity

After opening to residents in 2008, the Allele condo development in South Boston, which fuses standard housing features with those of typical lofts, has been somewhat slow to sell, perhaps a function of maintaining strong price per square foot values, competition from other condo developments in the immediate area that offer different living styles, and even the ups and downs that the financial markets have had on Buyers’ pocket books.

The current sales statistics for the building (below) evidence that the Allele sales team is remaining steadfast in positioning the value and price of the new development, and while the building is less than 20% sold, current residents have not been severely impacted by price reductions to the point where they find themselves stuck with negative equity in their units – a similar protective stance on behalf of early adopters is taking place at FP3 as well.

  • Number of Listings Sold: 9 of 48 (19%)
  • Average Sales Price: $627,889
  • Median Sales Price: $519,000
  • Average Price per Square Foot: $446

Two additional units (107 and 406) are currently Under Agreement, which would bring the percentage of building sold to 23%.  Parking spots in the onsite garage are being marketed as available for sale (and separate from the sale of a condo), and price points for remaining units are being maintained at levels of the previously sold units.

The Allele is not entirely alone in seeing slow sales velocity in the downtown market, however, there are other condo developments in the city (285 Columbus Lofts for instance) that have performed quite well in the volatile financial markets of the past 1.5 years.

Allele Boston Condos

While the new condo developments (Allele, Macallen, Lofts at 36 A) near the Broadway Red Line T-Stop are different on many accounts, HOA fees, and the amenities and services that those fees support, have been something that is talked about at each development, and a side-by-side comparison is warranted in order to ferret out if there are any real differences.

By putting together the below table, we have taken a look at units that are currently on the market at the three developments, and calculated the HOA fees on a price per square foot basis to help facilitate comparison.

Development

HOA Fee / Square Foot

What’s Included

Allele

$0.34

Heat, Hot Water, Gas, Water, Sewer, Master Insurance, Elevator, Landscaping, Snow / Refuse Removal

Macallen

$0.40

Heat, Hot Water, Gas, Water, Sewer, Master Insurance, 24-Hour Concierge, Swimming Pool, Elevator, Exterior Maintenance, Landscaping, Snow / Refuse Removal, Recreational Facilities, Exercise Room, Garden Area, Screening Room & Kitchen

Lofts at 36 A

$0.22

Water, Sewer, Master Insurance, Elevator, Exterior Maintenance, Snow / Refuse Removal

While breaking the numbers down in such a way makes it easy to see that the Lofts at 36 A have the lowest HOA fees on a price per square foot basis, and the Macallen Building the highest among the three, one needs to read between the lines in order to gain a truly fair comparison.  Simply put, the difference in fees is a function of what’s included or covered by that fee, however, it’s a nonlinear comparison.  The Lofts at 36 A truly have low HOA fees, and the construction of the building aids in keeping prices of certain amenities (heat for instance) in check, while on the higher end of the fee structure, the line is somewhat blurred between Allele and the Macallen Building, yet the Macallen Building has, by far, the most comprehensive amenity list in the area.  The energy efficient nature of the Macallen Building obviously helps keep fees low, but the economies of scale, given that the Macallen Building is almost three times the size of Allele, also plays a major role.

Allele South Boston

After much anticipation, the  Franklin  Cafe opened on the ground floor of the Allele, yet, that too has gotten off to a shaky start.  In early January 2009, reports were released that portions of the internal ceiling in the restaurant collapsed.  The incident caused approximately 8  people  to  be transported to the  hospital, none with life  threatening injuries. Boston Fire Spokesman Steve MacDonald stated the Franklin Cafe roof collapse occurred at the 152 Dorchester Avenue location just after 10 pm on January 3, 2009.  MacDonald stated that decorative panels attached to the ceiling may have caused the collapse, though a full investigation is underway.

Macallen Listing Stands Alone

Not long ago, all of the remaining developer units at the Macallen were removed from the Boston MLS and LINK systems.  The sales staff at the Macallen continues to show units via direct appointments, but does not currently appear to be soliciting sales via the broker community.  In light of this current, and more than likely temporary, situation there is only a single unit listed for sale at the Macallen Building via the MLS systems of Boston, and it just underwent a significant price reduction, making it the most attractive (figuratively and literally) condo in the 140-unit development.

Unit 206 is an 801 square foot south-facing unit on the 5th floor that is currently configured with a sleeping alcove, but could easily be converted into a true one-bedroom.  The Macallen Building, and its sister development, Court Square Press, are stacked with amenities, and given the economies of scale with the two buildings, access to these amenities is kept reasonably low with a $396 monthly HOA fee.  Originally listed at $448,800, the Seller recently reduced their asking price to $419,900.

The first open house at this new price point will take place Sunday, January 18, 2009 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

Macallen Building 206

Macallen Building 206 Kitchen

Lofts at 36 A Offer Unique Value

In the Summer of 2007, a hotbed of activity was happening surrounding the (Red Line) Broadway T-Stop in South Boston.  The Macallen Building had recently opened with fanfare as Boston’s first green building adjacent to the existing Court Square Press loft development, work was underway on the Allele, and a boutique development on the corner of A Street and W 4th Street called the Lofts at 36 A promised to offer something unique to its residents. In late 2008, 36 A is approaching sold out status, and residents and potential Buyers are enjoying the building.

Lofts at 36 A Exterior

36 A goes beyond the no frills exterior and posh interior finishes, and someone who knows this well is Beth Dailey, who has served as the Sales Director for the Lofts at 36 A since preconstruction.  Dailey is a prominent listing agent in South Boston, and speaks very knowledgeably about the 36 A property and the surrounding area.

One of the things about the Lofts at 36 A that residents are most excited about is the the low condo fees, which give you “everything you’d want in a building in the city without the expense of a concierge or gym passed on to unit owners,” says Dailey.  “People are choosing to buy a second parking space [in the building] because the condo fees are so low – they are purchasing a second vehicle with the extra money they save in condo fees.”

Proximity to the Mass Pike and 93, as well as being just 280 steps to the T are amenities that don’t go unnoticed by residents.  36 A truly shines when you turn to the inside of the building and begin to look at some of the finishes with which the developer outfitted the boutique development.  The developer was actually planning to move into the building with his wife, young daughter and pets, however, when his wife became pregnant with their second child, he needed a little more space.  The fact that the developer was going to call the building home is a blessing in disguise to residents, as the building was constructed with personal care.

Lofts at 36 A Concrete Floors

The building has been built with some of the latest advances in systems, and some of the sleekest finishes in Boston, for instance, the stained and scored concrete floors are by far the most unique and hip floors you will currently find in the city.  The quality of the (high velocity) systems have helped condo Buyers save on heating and cooling bills says Dailey, as “many residents have not even turned on their heat yet this season, sound deadening insulation, and staggered stud 2 x 6 construction between units, and concrete between floors,” all assist in making the most efficient use out of the available square footage

The contemporary loft-style units at 36 A are all south facing, and offer curtain walls of glass.  All condo fees in the building are below $280 per month, and Buyers seem to appreciate the straightforward pricing that is inclusive of at least one parking space in the two-level garage parking (street level and a below grade level accessed via a car lift).  The building is built to be family and pet friendly, and has a bicycle and baby carriage area, and extra storage.

Lofts at 36 A Kitchen

Given the economic downturn that Boston is faced with, 36 A positions itself from a unique value perspective as “a small boutique building with very low condo fees and taxes relative to the other buildings in the neighborhood.  It’s brand new construction which limits the exposure to assessments and having to replace common area elements,” says Dailey.  The ground floor commercial space is uniquely controlled, and deemed a low impact commercial space (i.e. no restaurant or food use), and is currently occupied by a residential real estate brokerage. The common space that does exist in the building is decorated in a contemporary and subtle way, especially the elevator lobby, which is adorned with a commissioned piece of artwork by a resident in the building.

There are currently 6 units for sale at 36 A, ranging in price from $519,000 to $659,000, which includes at least one heated garage parking space, as well as access to a common roofdeck with expansive city views.

Lofts at 36 A Lobby Artwork

Lofts at 36 A Bathroom

Lofts at 36 A Roofdeck

Least Expensive Macallen Building Listing

According to the Boston MLS, there are currently 11 units for sale at the South Boston green Macallen Building.  The development, and the process that made the Gold LEED certified building a reality, was featured in a documentary film called the Greening of Southie – for those that live in the development, and for those interested in potentially living in the development, the film is an eye-opening experience to the painstaking process that went into the LEED certification effort.

Macallen Building

The 11 condos for sale at Macallen currently have an average listing price per square foot of approximately $614.  Unit 206, an open floor plan south-facing one-bedroom 801 square foot unit is currently listed at $448,800 ($560 per square foot), and represents the least expensive one-bedroom Macallen condo.

The Macallen Building represents concierge luxury living in a convenient location, with easy access to downtown via the Red Line across the street, and the city’s highways in close proximity. For more information, please use the contact us link at the top of this page.

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Macallen Building Open House

South Boston’s Macallen Building, Boston’s first Gold LEED certified condo development, offers Buyers a stocked lineup of amenities, from a heated lap pool, to screening room with adjacent kitchen and bath for private parties, high-end fitness center, and 24-hour concierge.

Listed at $448,800, the least expensive 800+ square foot condo in the building for sale, unit 206 offers an open floorplan with sleeping alcove and high-end amenities galore.  Monthly HOA fee of approximately $396 includes Heat, Hot Water, Gas, Water, Sewer, Master Insurance, Security, Swimming Pool, Elevator, Exterior Maintenance, Landscaping, Snow Removal, Exercise Room, Internet, and DirecTV.  Onsite direct access parking is available for rent, or purchase (at $50,000).

Unit 206 at the Macallen Building will be held open Sunday, October 19, 2008 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.  Across the street from the Red Line’s Broadway T-Stop, it’s a convenient location to stop into during your Sunday afternoon.  For more information, please contact us using the link at the top of this page.

Macallen Building

Macallen Price Reductions Generate Interest

Absorption of the 140-unit new green (LEED certified) Macallen Building in South Boston has been steady since its opening in summer 2007.  Given the complexities and care that go into the development of such an environmentally-friendly and progressive building, price points are naturally  higher than its adjacent sister condo development, Court Square Press. That said, we predicated that a fully sold out Macallen Building would take slightly longer than perhaps a “standard” condo development elsewhere in the city, but nonetheless, Macallen is quickly approaching a sell out.

Macallen Building

The sales team at the Macallen has the privilege of pushing a really good product.  And when we say good, we mean amenities galore, attention to clever details, accommodation / willingness to work through any punch list items to make a unit perfect, easy transportation (public and private) access, and an anchor property in a neighborhood now well-grounded in high-end condo developments and emerging commercial and retail space.  Additionally, the marketing effort has been helped by some innovative sales plays, the most notable of which involved the sales office giving a free hybrid car to unit Buyers that went Under Agreement and closed by certain deadlines (see Buy at Macallen, Get a Free Hybrid Car).  The latest move is perhaps not as headline catching, but provocative in its own right, as some units have been reduced in price upwards of $100,000.

Take for instance unit 804, a 1,191 square foot two-bedroom two-bathroom unit that features a balcony, lots of light on a high south-facing floor, and one deeded garage parking space in the direct elevator access garage, recently reduced approximately $100,000 to a new listing price of $689,000.  While the onsite sales office is accessible seven days a week, an open house was held this past weekend, and traffic in response to the price moves, was strong.

With the crisp, clean, and minimalist type lines and finishes at Macallen, the look may not suit everyone’s taste, but it’s hard to argue with the community that is being created between Macallen and Court Square Press (the two buildings now combine to form one condo association), and the living style and amenities (bordering on the “valet lifestyle” that we coined here) that are at your fingertips.  For more information on available units at the Macallen, contact us using the link at the top of this page.

Macallen Building

Court Square Press Lofts

The luxury redevelopment of the Court Square Press building in South Boston continues to offer up great floorplans and spaces for those looking to make the move to a concierge building with unparalleled amenities at a great price per square foot.

The latest addition to the mix of available Court Square Press Lofts is unit 110, a 1,207 square foot one-bedroom two-bathroom spacious and open floorplan. Unit 110 boasts soaring ceilings, exposed brick and beam, and all of the amenities that you’d expect from a luxury condo development. The unit is currently listed at $529,000 ($438 per square foot), carries a condo fee of $308 (and yes, that includes pool, concierge, gym, viewing room, etc.), and one deeded garage parking space.

Unit 110 at the luxury Court Square Press condo development is our Featured Open House this week – visit this loft on Sunday, May 18, 2008 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM. For more information about the northern South Boston area, one of the hottest areas of the city, please contact us.

Court Square Press Unit 110

Court Square Press Unit 110

Church Converted to Condos in South Boston

We get quite a few inquiries about “the church that is now condos” in South Boston. The church, formerly known as St. Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church, at 45 West Broadway was converted into 44 condos (8 in the former rectory, and 36 in the former church) with onsite parking in 2003. You may have also heard about the development last year, when a fire broke out in one of the penthouse units (see Former church catches fire in South Boston).

Map image

Currently, there are two first floor duplexes (units 102 and 112) available at the church, priced from $439,000 to $494,500 ($350 to $404 per square foot). At over 1,200 square feet each, these units provide great space in a historically (circa 1844) and architecturally unique building. Both units provide one deeded parking space. As you know, the area surrounding the church has been booming with luxury condominium development since 2000, from the adjacent Lofts at 36 A and Allele, to Court Square Press and Macallen around the corner, and 125 B Street Lofts (a former schoolhouse) nearby. A stones from the Red Line Broadway T-Stop, South Station is only one stop away.

For more information about “the condos at the church,” or others in northern South Boston, please contact us.

45 West Broadway South Boston

South Boston Church Condos

Allele Condos South Boston Near Completion

Dorchester Avenue in northern South Boston has been a hotbed of activity over the past several years, with multiple condo developments taking shape within a one block radius, including one of the latest developments, Allele.

Allele Boston is a 48-unit high-end condo development (prices start in the $400’s) that sits at the northeast corner of Dorchester Avenue and W 4th Street, opposite the Macallen Building, and adjacent to the Lofts at 36 A. While the Allele development may not feature the same amenities that one would experience with the Macallen / Court Square Press combination across the street, Allele does provide great interior packages (bamboo flooring, Bosch appliances, huge dual showers, etc), large signature bow front units (the 01 floorplan), and private balconies.

allele-condos-9 allele-condos-9-1 allele-condos-south-boston

The exclusive time series photos above show construction nearing completion at Allele.

A model unit on the 4th floor has been open to potential Buyers for several weeks now, allowing you to get a feel for a finished floorplan. As of last week, the developer was still running a promotion where the next 4 units that go Under Agreement will be given a free deeded garage parking space (parking is typically purchased separately for $40K).

A certificate of occupancy is expected in the June / July timeframe. One final note, it is rumored that the ground floor commercial restaurant space will not be occupied by Jae’s Cafe – two other restaurateurs are in talks currently on occupying the space (no names have been officially released).

allele-condos-south-boston- allele-kitchen