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

45 Province Catches On

It’s been just over a month since we spoke about the ingenuity of live construction web cams at condo developments (see 1330 Boylston Mixed-Use Rental Development), or perhaps, their lack in the Boston market. One of the first mainstream developments to implement a live construction cams was Battery Wharf, when over a year ago, they implemented a mechanism where Buyers that had put a unit under reservation could keep tabs on how things where progressing at the job site.

Not only do Buyers who hold reservations at a new development want to see progress of their purchase, but potential Buyers and even those in the community tell us that a live construction cam overlooking the construction site is an innovative way to communicate with the Boston real estate market.

The development team at 45 Province must have heard the noise on the street, because they have installed a live construction cam recently (thank you to John Keith for bringing this to our attention). 45 Province is a development of The Abbey Group, and is being architected by Bruner/Cott & Associates.

So who is doing it? Unfortunately, only a handful of Boston condo developments have taken the leap:

  • Battery Wharf – if you can wait through their rather slow flash-based website to load at http://www.batterywharf.com, there will be a a link in the far left column of the landing page called “Click For Site Camera”. This link serves up 10 distinct views of the development site, all live, featuring the buildout of the Battery Wharf condo development, as well as the Regent Hotel.
  • 1330 Boylston – the mixed-use rental developments seem to be quite popular in the Fenway as of late, and 1330 Boylston is no different. We reported almost a month ago that this development was hosting a new webcam, the camera being perched atop a neighboring high rise, providing an excellent vantage point on the development.
  • FP3 Boston – the coveted anchor development in the Seaport District has implemented something similar to Battery Wharf in that they provide three separate shots of the development. The pictures are located by navigating to the developer’s website, clicking “Enter Site” on the lower left, hovering over the “Building” link title along the top of the screen, and then selecting the “Webcam” link. The FP3 Boston condo development is currently slated for a 2nd Quarter 2008 completion, and will add almost 100 high-end condos to the core of the Seaport, as well as an upscale restaurant.
  • 45 Province – the long awaited 45 Province condo development, which bull-dozed the famous Littlest Bar of Boston is the most recent addition to the live construction cam club by hosting a single (rather tight) view of construction at http://www.rc3online.com/news.html.

We hope to see this list grow considerably over the upcoming months. There are a number of new condo developments in various stages of build, and adding a webcam is a simple and effective way to allow an engaging relationship to flourish.

Channel Center Seaport District Lofts Open Houses

Our Featured Open House of the week is taking place at the Channel Center condo development in Boston’s Seaport District. The development, located at 25-35 Channel Center Street opened in 2004, a combination of a loft-conversion of an existing warehouse, and the development of a new modern lofty-style condo building.

You’ll have the opportunity to tour two (2) units today in the development, which is located just up the street from Fort Point Place (21 Wormwood Street), and still quite close to the under construction FP3 development.

Unit 406 is a 1,489 square foot loft priced at $589,000 that features great brick and beam detail. Garage parking is not included, but the Seller has agreed to pay for 2 years of parking fees in the Channel Center lot located just south of the development.

Channel Center Unit 405

Unit 411 boasts 1,337 square feet, and is priced at a $615,000. This loft features 12 foot ceilings along with a wall of windows, and includes one garage parking space.

Channel Center Unit 411

Channel Center

Both units will be open on Sunday, October 28, 2007. Unit 411 will be open from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM, and Unit 405 will be open from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

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

Channel Center Seaport District Condos & Lofts

Channel Center, a two-building condo loft development in Boston’s Seaport District, is seeing a lot of market action right now, with price changes and new units hitting the market over the past several days, there are now a total of ten available units across the development. The Channel Center development is steps from Fort Point Place at 21 Wormwood Street, and less than half a mile down the street from the new FP3 Boston development.

According to John Keith, around 2004, the Channel Center condominiums at 25-35 Channel Street opened. They did pretty well with sales (although a couple of units stayed on the market, for years). There were two buildings – a converted loft building and a brand-new, modern-looking one, next door. Many of the units in the new building were duplexes with great 20-foot high ceilings. The original developer, Beacon Capital Partners, had grand plans to redesign the entire street, currently made up of a mixture of low-rise industrial and office buildings (with a smattering of artist space, spaced intermittently along the street). They bailed out, last year. The residential sales market cooled (although prices did not), so they decided to pocket their profit and move on.

As reported on August 15, 2007, Commonwealth Center Holdings VAF secured $67 million, and is taking on the second phase of the 1.6 million square foot Channel Center project originally conceived by Beacon Capital Partners, rehabbing the remainder of the area with new housing, office, and retail. Work will commence immediately on renovating three brick buildings lining A Street known as 10, 20, and 30 Channel Center.

As mentioned, there are currently 10 available units (click on link to see listing details for all 10), and what we like about Channel Center in the Fort Point Channel area is the projected $67 million project that will lead to the completion of what was started back in 2004. What does this mean for current residents and potential buyers? Short to medium-term (as well as long-term) gains in equity.

Given the amount of development, money, infrastructure, and attention that the Seaport District is getting these days, this can only lead to positive things as it relates to condo and loft values.

Contact us for more information on any of the Channel Center units, as well as anything else across the city. We have access to every condo in Boston, and enjoy representing buyers.

The below photos were taken of 35 Channel Center Unit 301, which is now priced at $879,000 after a $20,000 price reduction.

35 Channel Center Condos

35 Channel Center Lofts

Free Fort Point Channel iPod Audio Tour

The City of Boston hired our friends at Audissey Guides (Boston owned and operated) to create a new iPod walking tour of Boston’s “next great place” – the Fort Point Channel. The tour takes you along a 1.5 mile section of waterfront you probably never knew existed. You’ll meet artists, architects, and other avante-garde thinkers. And thanks to the City of Boston, it’s completely free. Download the Fort Point Channel Audio Tour now.

Mayor Menino and the City of Boston are hosting a launch party for the Harborwalk tour this Thursday from 5 – 7pm. It’s free.