Zero Marlborough Penthouse Sold

For more information on luxury condos currently available for sale at Zero Marlborough, please contact us.

The Boston Courant reported today that the penthouse at Zero Marlborough went under agreement with a list price of $8,355,000 (according the Boston MLS, this actually happened back on February 12, 2007). Four of the available 13 units at the boutique luxury development seated at the foot of the Public Garden are under agreement, with eight units remaining. Still for sale are two to three-bedroom units priced from $1,635,000 to $4,799,000.

Zero Marlborough is currently on schedule for a Summer 2008 completion, similar to its ultra-luxury sister development, the Boston Mandarin Oriental, which is poised for a June 2008 occupancy date.

The Boston Courant spoke with the often quoted Kevin Ohearn, who stated “This is demonstrative…of the overall strength of the downtown (Boston) market, which is reacting contrary to national and state trends.”

Perhaps Kevin read our article from last month, City Center Condo Prices Buck Trend, where we said the exact same thing. Or perhaps Kevin read our Boston Condo Sales Increasing article from July, where we, again, said the exact same thing, namely, many reports that have come out lately are discussing Massachusetts housing statistics, rather than the city of (downtown) Boston itself, note the difference when looking at statistics.

285 Columbus Lofts

The former Boston American Red Cross building at the corner of Columbus Avenue and Clarendon Street, on the border of Boston’s Back Bay and South End, is being redeveloped by Boston Residential Group into 63 high-end loft-style condos. Boston Residential Group is no stranger to working on landmark buildings, such as 360 Newbury, and they are quickly moving forward on the conversion of the former eight-story Red Cross building into what they are calling 285 Columbus Lofts.

285 Columbus Boston Lofts

The lofts at 285 Columbus add to a growing conglomerate of high-end new developments within a several block radius, including the Bryant on Columbus, the D4 condos, and the Clarendon Back Bay. 285 Columbus will add 55 market rate (which leads us to believe that there will be 8 affordable units – more information on Boston affordable housing) loft-style condos to the area, ranging in size from 753 square feet to 1,579 square feet, with prices ranging from the high $500’s up to approximately $1,500,000.

The units are slated to include high-end, sophisticated finishes, hardwood floors, large windows and high ceilings. The building has double loaded corridors with front units on Columbus Avenue, back units fronting the Hancock Tower, and back and side units on Clarendon Street. There will be nine (9) units per floor, along with extra storage in the basement.

Parking will be available behind the building at 131 Dartmouth Street – unfortunately, parking will be leased, however, 285 Columbus Lofts is negotiating exclusive long-term rates with the garage. A restaurant (name not announced yet) will occupy the 9,000 square foot commercial space on the ground floor. The tentative occupancy date is June 2008 – matching the Bryant on Columbus, FP3 Boston, and the Boston Mandarin Oriental (it’s going to be a busy June).

For more information on unit statistics, please see the 285 Columbus Lofts page at Boston Condo Guy.

Bryant on Columbus

According to inside sources, the Bryant on Columbus at 303 Columbus Avenue (Google Map) on the border of Boston’s Back Bay and the South End has poured its first concrete wall as part of its underground parking garage. According to construction sources, we should begin to see part of the structure rise out of the ground within the next few months. We have the below exclusive construction photos.

The Bryant is scheduled for a June 2008 completion, however, looking at the difference in progress between the Bryant and other similarly scheduled developments (i.e. the Mandarin Oriental, FP3 Boston), the Bryant has to pick up the pace. For preconstruction pricing, or to make a reservation for a unit at any of the above-mentioned condo developments, please contact us.

Bryant on Columbus

Bryant on Columbus

Bryant on Columbus

US Condo Downturn Troubles Lenders and Developers

The Wall Street Journal reported this weekend that in cities across the US, namely Miami, instances of foreclosure and condo development bankruptcy are increasing. The problems are emerging as some buyers who signed contracts to by new condos two to three years ago, when construction was just starting, seek ways to back out as they encounter trouble getting financing in the suddenly dicey mortgage market. Falling prices are forcing appraisals down, so banks aren’t willing to lend the full amounts that people committed to in the sale contract.

Boston appears to be bucking that trend slightly, or at least serving up a different flavor of the same end result. Consider that Bostonians continue to lay down large deposits on units in condo developments that are far off on the horizon, with what on the surface, appears to be little to no concern over obtaining financing when the occupancy date approaches, and final checks have to be written (take for instance the Mandarin Oriental, which is practically 100% sold, and will not open until June 2008, as well as 45 Province, which is on track for a 2009 completion, but is experiencing strong sales, and large deposits, thus far).

Where condo developments seem to be experiencing issues in Boston is not so much on the consumer financing end, or consumer demand for that matter, but on construction costs that have increased to levels that do not allow developers to turn a profit on making the project a reality. Take for instance, Columbus Center, which was approved years ago, but has not broken ground due to rising construction costs that erode project profit potential, the Broadluxe that is currently foreclosed upon by TD Banknorth for various construction cost related issues, the original Channel Center effort that saw a whole block purchased by a developer, only to see a small portion of the area developed, or perhaps most recently, the announcement that East Pier (Portside at Pier 1) in East Boston may flounder because developers anticipate not obtaining the profit levels for which they had hoped.

However, a broad brush stroke story on the state of the entire US provides little insight into the local market here in Boston. Despite the four above-mentioned condo development projects experiencing issues, be that temporary or permanent, construction still continues and will continue. Take for example The Clarendon and Russia Wharf (to name only two), both of which have recently broke ground on new construction in the Back Bay and on the Waterfront respectively.

With the little consistency that is seen (or unseen) in even the Boston market, it leads one to question whether the failure of certain condo development projects in the city are simply a result of particular developers seeking to take advantage of the demand from three to four years ago (the time when planing and permitting took place) , and a lack of planning and foresight to build proper safeguards into their projects.

Boston Mandarin Oriental Construction Photos

We’ve updated a previous post on the Boston Mandarin Oriental with exclusive new photos for your visual enjoyment.

Boston Condos for Sale on Ring Road

You may have noticed the off and on closure of Ring Road in Boston’s Back Bay over the past nine months, as well as the stealthy looking structure covered in black mesh that has rather quickly changed the skyline at the southwest corner of Ring Road and Boylston Street (close to Shaws and Starbucks).

Boston Mandarin Oriental

If you don’t already know what that structure is, impress your friends by letting them know that the building will be the new Boston Mandarin Oriental. Both a luxury hotel, and a 50-unit ultra-luxury condo development (minimum price tag of $3 million for a unit), the Mandarin will be a nice addition to the corner of Ring and Boylston, but will perhaps block the sun for patrons of Starbucks, Atlantic Fish Co., and others. The official address for the Mandarin will be 750 Boylston Street.

Condos at the Mandarin Oriental never made it into the MLS, and have sold out, simply through word of mouth and little to no significant marketing presence. For more information about the Mandarin, or other Back Bay condo developments, please contact us.

Boston Mandarin Oriental

Boston Mandarin Oriental

Boston Mandarin Oriental

Does Boston Need Another Luxury Condo Development?

You’ve more than likely seen it, it’s the mystery building shrouded in black canvas at the southwest corner of Boylston Street and Ring Road (just northeast of Shaw’s) – it’s the upcoming Boston Mandarin Oriental.

There’s no doubt that the residences at the Mandarin (with a $3 million minimum price tag) will further the class and style that the Back Bay is known for, but is the Mandarin Oriental pushing the ultra-posh factor too far? With the city, and what seems like the bulk of the Boston population, pushing “affordable housing”, are the Mandarin Condos a hypocritical slap in the face?

The 50-unit condo development at 750 Boylston Street is nearly sold out. With prices ranging from $3 million to $12 million, no expense is being spared with these Boston ultra-luxury residences.

What’s your opinion, log your vote in the below poll, and leave us a comment.

The Clarendon Back Bay

If you once used the Post Office in between Clarendon and Berkeley on Stuart, the building is no more. Construction has now begun on one of Boston’s newest luxury mixed-use condo developments, called The Clarendon Back Bay.

More details are forthcoming, but the new Back Bay condo development will feature upwards of 400 units and a redesigned Post Office. The Clarendon Boston will join several new luxury condo developments in the Back Bay that are slated for completion before 2010, including the ultra luxury Mandarin Oriental Boston Condo Development.

The exclusive photo below is of the Clarendon Back Bay construction site in early October 2007.

The Clarendon Back Bay Construction Site