Columbus & Clarendon CVS Opens

Residents of 285 Columbus Lofts, as well as those near the new Back Bay / South End condo development, were anticipating the arrival of a high-end restaurant in the ground floor commercial space at 285 Columbus Avenue, but were surprised to see a significant course correction earlier this year when it was announced that a CVS would occupy the space (see CVS Replaces Restaurant at 285 Columbus Lofts).

The CVS at the northwest corner of Columbus Avenue and Clarendon Street has opened its doors to both its upstairs neighbors and surrounding residents. Store hours for the new 285 Columbus Avenue CVS are 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM, while the Pharmacy is open Monday to Friday 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and Saturday to Sunday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

South End CVS

CVS Columbus & Clarendon

285 Columbus Avenue CVS

CVS Replaces Restaurant at 285 Columbus Lofts

285 Columbus Lofts on the border of the Back Bay and South End opened to much success, and despite the development recently selling out, the ground floor commercial space has remained vacant since the inception of the building.  According to inside sources, the space remained empty as a suitable high-end restaurant was found.  Adding such a restaurant to the ground floor of the development would put it on par with such developments as Trinity Place, the Albert A. Pope Building, Folio, and Allele.  The residents of the building, and the local neighborhood are surprised to see that the pending restaurant signs have come down to make way for a CVS Pharmacy.


With the arrival of a new CVS Pharmacy, gone is the potential amenity of on demand gourmet meals for residents that accompanies condos with an onsite restaurant.  However, there are some condo owners who would prefer not to have food, and everything that comes with having a restaurant below you, in the building.  Certain condo developers purposefully construct buildings with the intention of not having food on the ground floor commercial space, take the Lofts at 36 A for instance, which intentionally limits the types of tenants that can occupy its ground floor commercial space. 


285 Columbus Lofts Lobby

[youtube: 285 234]

Only One Left at D4

The sales cycle is very close to completion at D4, one of two landmark buildings in the South End to be renovated into high-end luxury condos over the past 2 years (the other being the Penny Savings Bank).  Yesterday, unit 15, a 985 square foot two-bedroom one-bathroom unit, went under agreement, thus leaving only a single unit remaining for sale in the building.

Final remaining units at D4 underwent several price reductions over the summer, and with the entrance of 285 Columbus Lofts earlier this year, experienced heightened competition in the northern areas of the South End for luxury living.  D4 offers a boutique community feel of 25 units, and a calm and sophisticated ambiance amongst the cleverness of the Philippe Starck design features.

Unit 15, a 1,426 square foot two-bedroom two-bathroom corner unit is now the last unit for sale at D4.  Priced at $835,000 ($586 per square foot), the unit offers a solid value for getting into one of the South End’s most unique condo developments, and puts you just behind the Atelier 505 building, off the head of Tremont Street and all the restaurants and shops of the South End.  For more information, feel free to contact us using the link at the top of this page.

D4 Condos

285 Columbus Lofts Roofdeck

So how’s the view from the common roofdeck at 285 Columbus Lofts? Stunning. But perhaps more exciting is what’s been happening inside at what is one of downtown Boston’s hottest new high-end properties. Pat Cutter and Elaine Dolley (the real estate salespersons representing the seller) have blazed a trail, selling 49 of 63 units in the loft-style development, positioning themselves to take a real run at selling out the entire building in less than one year (a rather unheard of feat for a building of its size and price point in the Boston market). The majority of the units that have sold at 285 Columbus Lofts sold in preconstruction, before doors ever opened to residents in May 2008.

View from 285 Columbus Lofts Roofdeck

Back to the roofdeck…the deck is situated in what seems to be an ideal spot, with the Hancock building towering behind you, the Financial District skyline to your left, and the South End front and center. Click on either of the two exclusive pictures to enlarge them. In terms of remaining units at the loft-style development, one-bedroom units are priced in the mid $500K to mid $600K range, while the least expensive two-bedrooms that remain are priced starting at $975K (on the Columbus Avenue side). For more information, feel free to contact us using the link at the top of this page.

View from 285 Columbus Lofts Roofdeck

285 Columbus Lofts Open for Business

We had the opportunity stop into the 285 Columbus Lofts development this week. Closings began last week at the development after receiving its certificate of occupancy (ahead of the originally proposed June 2008 opening, which puts them well ahead of the Mandarin, FP3, and the Bryant), and some residents have already moved in and have begun customizing their units. We have to say, 285 Columbus Lofts is slick, the finishes are excellent, and it just feels “plush” and has an aura of calm luxury.

Upon entering the development from the Columbus Avenue main entrance, you’re greeted by the 285 Columbus Lofts Concierge who is on duty Monday – Friday 8 am to 6pm and Saturday and Sunday Noon to 5pm. With only 19 units remaining, nearly 70% of the building is sold – phenomenal pace and numbers that are setting the new baseline for success in the luxury market.

An exclusive video below of the 285 Columbus Lofts lobby and concierge:

If there are any drawbacks to this development, the list is short, namely, lack of views in some units on the north side of the building and no direct access parking. Unit floor plans 01, 02, and 03, which overlook the Back Bay Orange Line T Stop, do not offer great views – you really need to get on floor 7 and 8 (penthouse) before you get above the adjacent parking garage (see exclusive photos below). Parking is, unfortunately, not direct access – garage parking is a 25 year deeded lease at $320 per month (which is on top of monthly HOA fees at approximately 60 cents per square foot).

Interested Buyers can contact us to learn more about available units – the development is move in ready.

The below exclusive photos provide views from floors 2, 4, and 8 respectively of the north facing views overlooking the Back Bay transit station. 285 Columbus has done a superior job of insulating both interior noise, as well as exterior noise.

285 Columbus Lofts - 2nd Floor

285 Columbus Lofts - 4th Floor

285 Columbus Lofts - 8th Floor

Condo Sales Strong at 285 Columbus Lofts

Sales continue to be strong as closings begin at the Back Bay’s (on the border of the South End) newest luxury condo development, 285 Columbus Lofts. Many higher floor units still remain for sale, as well as some of the lower priced one-bedrooms (starting at $525K), but the building is now over 60% sold – a very strong showing in comparison to other developments around the city when comparing sales cycles.

285 Columbus Lofts is being developed by the same team that brought you 360 Newbury, another boutique luxury development in an iconic building. You’ll notice similarities in entrances to the buildings of all things with the exclusive photos below. For more information on 285 Columbus Lofts, or any other luxury Boston condo development, please contact us using the link at the top of this page.

285 Columbus Lofts Entrance


Boston Real Estate Tidbits

Much has been happening this week, the activity levels on multiple fronts (announcements, under agreement properties, website traffic, auctions, etc.) is truly starting to create a buzz around town. Here is some of the latest.

Auctions – yes, that’s plural, it looks like downtown Boston residents will see at least two auctions in the near future, both at the Modern South End and the Broadluxe. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available (i.e. auction dates, etc.). Update: see Modern South End Boston Condo Auction.

285 Columbus Lofts – construction is flying along, as well as under agreement units. Occupancy is currently being targeted for mid May (this would be the first on time or ahead of schedule development in quite some time) and they are approximately 60% sold out at 285 Columbus Lofts – congratulations to Pat Cutter and the rest of the team there, fabulous property.

Parking Spaces – we just included a new Back Bay parking space for sale on our Boston Parking Spaces page – $90K for an inside tandem spot is pushing the envelope.

Macallen Building Video – the green Macallen condo development in what we call, northern South Boston, is getting some serious exposure from the Sundance Channel in a new feature film on the “greening of Southie”. Kudos to Pappas Properties for establishing green building as the new benchmark in Boston condos.

The Clarendon Back Bay – the ultra luxury Clarendon Back Bay began to install a huge plywood enclosure system from PERI Formwork Systems on the development. Soon the entire property will be covered in plywood so construction can continue behind it. Rumor is that large Boston Condo Guy ads will be displayed on the exterior of the plywood.

1330 Boylston Now Leasing – The new Fenway development is now leasing for August 1st occupancy. Contact the leasing team at 617 267 1330 for more information (look at that, catchy phone number, eh?).

Boston Marathon – not Robert Cheruiyot, but, John Keith. Congratulations go out to John for knocking out the tough course in a strong 3:45:29 finishing time, and for raising thousands of dollars for Community Servings in the process.

Some definite water cooler tidbits from the Boston Condo Blog. For more details, or for assistance in buying or selling a downtown Boston condo, please contact us using the link at the top of this page.

285 Columbus Lofts Builds Second Model

Where the Back Bay meets the South End, 285 Columbus Lofts is steaming towards a June 2008 completion. Over 35% of the development is sold, and the popularity and attention this development garners is well deserved, the redevelopment has been done right. From the triple pane windows and over the top interior insulation blocking out nearly all noise exterior to your unit (for instance, between floors, there is 2 feet of open air, 3 feet of cement, as well as padding), to the gorgeous finishes, 285 Columbus Lofts offers a high-end boutique development with a great location.

In addition to the signature multiple exposure corner unit (unit floor plan 5) that was built out early in the development process as a model unit, 285 Columbus Lofts has recently added a second model unit, a two-bedroom two-bathroom unit (unit floor plan 8). Both model units are located on the second floor, and provide a great feel for how your unit will look upon move in. Tall ceilings (9’6″) and large windows make these units flow well.  HOA fees are estimated to be approximately 60 cents per square foot, and are based off of numbers seen by the developer at another one of their developments, 360 Newbury.

For more information on these Boston lofts, please contact us.

285 Columbus Lofts

285 Columbus Lofts Buck Downtown Boston Trend

It was just over a week ago that we visited the 285 Columbus Lofts Broker Open House, at which time, there were 4 units Under Agreement at the luxury rehab of the former American Red Cross building at the corner of Clarendon Street and Columbus Avenue. According to Boston Homes, 12 are now Under Agreement slated for a June 2008 completion.

The absorption of 285 Columbus Lofts, now at approximately 20%, bucks trends elsewhere in the city for new downtown condo developments that have not yet opened. For instance, the neighboring Bryant on Columbus development is approximately 10% Under Agreement, while FP3 Boston in the Seaport District is approximately 20% sold, but has had a significant head start on 285 Columbus Lofts. As we detailed earlier this week (see What’s Happening at Penny Savings Bank?), Penny Savings Bank in the South End is approximately 30% sold, while the development has been open for several months, and had a significant runway of preconstruction showings.

Buyers are taking to the convenience of being next to a transit center – we’re seeing similar developments to 285 Columbus, such as the Carruth in Dorchester popping up adjacent to transit stations. You’ll be able to catch buses, the T, commuter rail, and even the Acela Express from 285 Columbus Lofts’ Back Bay transit station. The developer, Boston Residential Group LLC, at 285 Columbus Lofts did a good job insulating the walls and windows (triple pane) from the exterior noise.

For more information, or to setup a showing at 285 Columbus Lofts, contact us.