the
Boston Real Estate Blog

John Ford Realty
137 Charles Street, Boston
realtyford@yahoo.com
617-595-3712
617-720-5454
151 Tremont Street
617-482-0010

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Best city in the state gets even better

Great things happening in Boston. Even with the national economy in a downward spiral and people losing billions (billions) in home value, things are going great, here in good ol’ MA.

From yesterday’s Herald:

Despite the downturn in the economy, work is moving ahead in Boston on a pair of posh condo towers and an upscale rental high-rise near North Station. There is also one major office complex under way on the waterfront at the long-awaited Fan Pier project, while Boston Properties is building a new office tower nearby at Russia Wharf.

And that is just the tip of the development iceberg in Boston. There are a total of 60 projects worth $4 billion under construction across the city, with another 250 developments worth another $14 billion under review at City Hall, according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Building booms in Boston; 60 projects, worth $4 billion, going up – By Scott Van Voorhis, The Boston Herald

The Moorings – Hingham Shipyard homes

Construction “Launch” at The Moorings Has Begun!

In case you’ve missed it, construction has begun at the site of The Moorings condominium homes in the Hingham Shipyard! Currently in progress, the work on the roads and utilities will be wrapping up this Summer with site work to be completed this Fall.

Construction for the North Building will be commencing this Summer, and the Central and South Buildings will soon follow to coincide with the flourish of construction activity Samuels & Associates has ongoing at the Shipyard. The Launch—the name given to the revitalized Hingham Shipyard as it is transformed from an historic World War II naval shipbuilding site into a vibrant 240,000 square foot waterfront community—will feature luxury residences in a serene setting with the urban conveniences of shopping, dining, and retail destinations just steps away.

Now available for purchase, the condominium homes of The Mooring’s North Building are expected to be completed and ready for occupancy in Summer 2009. These 1BR, 2BR, and 2BR + Den single-level floor plans with ocean views and private outdoor balconies, are now being offered at pre-construction pricing starting in the $400,000s to $1.2 million +. All homes include private garage parking exclusive to the residences.

Leslie Cohen, Vice President of Development at Samuels & Associates, recently depicted the vision for the new waterfront community in Banker & Tradesman saying, “The Launch will have a downtown feel to it with wide sidewalks, tree-lined streets and active storefronts…The Launch will be a lot more than a shopping destination…It will be a place for people to come and meet all their needs. You can live, work and play here, as well as easily commute to Boston” (Banker & Tradesman May 12, 2008).

The Moorings Sales and Marketing Center located at 53 South Street in Hingham Center is now open! To schedule your exclusive preview appointment and to learn more about the exciting, unique pre-construction opportunities The Moorings offers, give us a call at 888-880-9052 or visit the Sales Gallery.

Mandarin Oriental Residences hit the resale market

Since the beginning of the year, six listings at the Mandarin Oriental have hit the local Multiple Listing Service. These are all resales, listed by owners prior to completion of the building.

One came on and was then withdrawn; the other five remain listed “for sale”.

ACT: 776 Boylston Street, 2600 square feet+/-, 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, 2 parking spaces, $4,295,000
WDN: 776 Boylston Street, 3200 square feet+/-, 2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, 2 parking spaces, outdoor terrace, $6,900,000 (mispriced?)
ACT: 776 Boylston Street, 2500 square feet+/-, 2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, 1 parking space, $4,250,000
ACT: 776 Boylston Street, 1400 square feet+/-, 1+ bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 parking space, $2,200,000
ACT: 776 Boylston Street, 3100 square feet+/-, 2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, 2 parking spaces, $5,500,000

And, the latest, coming on the market today:

Penthouse unit, 5,000 square feet+/-, 3 bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths, three-sided balcony, private rooftop deck, two parking sapces, $12,500,000

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Battery Wharf hotel partner backs out

In case you missed it in today’s Globe:

One of the world’s premier hotel operators, Regent Hotels & Resorts, is abruptly out of the $300 million luxury Battery Wharf development on Boston’s waterfront just before the hotel’s scheduled opening this summer.
more stories like this

Regent’s departure not only leaves Battery Wharf without a signature operator for its 150-room hotel, but the developers have also lost their provider of top-shelf concierge services to the buyers of the multi-million-dollar condominium units in the building. Without Regent, Battery Wharf may have trouble selling its remaining units, priced from $1 million to $4 million.

Oy. Not a good development, at all.

Hotel – condo developments are all the rage, these days. The InterContinental did it, the Mandarin Oriental is doing it … Battery Wharf will being doing it. Too bad Howard Johnson’s isn’t still in business, it would make the perfect partner!

(These hotel – condo partnerships are not the same thing as a “condo-hotel” or “condotel”, that you hear about. In those situations, an owner has a deed to a property that he/she can rent out, using the services of a hotel management company, and often-times, the owner is only allowed to stay in his/her property for a set number of days per year.)

Hotel operator leaves luxury waterfront project – By Kimberly Blanton, The Boston Globe

Breaking: Carruth “offers” rental option

From the Boston Business Journal:

Trinity Financial announced Tuesday that it would make condominium units at The Carruth available for rent.

The developer will offer 38 units for rent at the Dorchester, Mass.-based mixed-use complex. The units will be made available for rent starting June 15.

Which means, all units will be rented. Who would be insane enough to buy a unit in a building where everyone else rented? More importantly, where would such an insane person get a loan?

Thanks for the tip, observant visitor to my site!

Complete story: Carruth units will be available for renters – Boston Business Journal

New hotel may rise at site of Renaissance charter school

According to GlobeSt.com, the Renaissance charter school, in Boston’s Bay Village neighborhood, is being sold to a private developer, who may turn it into a hotel.

[I]ndustry sources [are] maintaining that 100 Arlington St. is under agreement to Congress Group Ventures. Presently home to the Boston Renaissance Charter School, the 13-story, 200,000-sf building is situated prominently near Boston’s Public Garden on the edge of the city’s Back Bay district.

The school would remain until a suitable replacement is found.

No word on whether or not the school will be required to pay back the money it received in the form of “loans” from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, back when it was first converted, in the mid-1990’s. (No one besides me seems to care, actually!)

Source: Back Bay Building Seen Under Agreement – By Joe Clements, GlobeSt.com

Olmsted Green profiled

The New York Times profiles the Olmsted Green mixed-use development in this past Sunday’s paper.

When the project is completed in three to five years, the $150 million development will have 153 units of affordable and work-force rental housing, 83 units of affordable senior housing, and 287 market rate condominium town houses and apartments (priced from $278,000 to $550,000). There will also be a health and fitness facility; a job-training and education center; child care, youth and senior programs; and even an urban farm.

The project is currently under construction. Nineteen of the first 50 units should be finished sometime late summer; phase 2 should begin by the end of the year.

Prices for the two-beds start around $300,000-$350,000, and in the mid-$400’s and up, for three bedroom, 1,400 square feet homes.

Source: A New Emerald Is Fashioned for Boston’s Necklace – By Lisa Chamberlain, The New York Times

2nd try: The Modern goes back into MLS

Ten of the 25 units at The Modern, a condo development at 255 Northampton Street, in Boston’s South End, were sold before the developer chose to go the auction route. The date was set, tours were completed, bids were prepared, then the auction was canceled, due to lack of interest or “heated response”, depending on whom you ask.

Several of the remaining units were listed in MLSPIN, this morning. Meaning, they are back for sale.

I haven’t compared old prices to new, but I assume there has been at least some modification.

These are good homes for the first-time homebuyer. Even better, if you are an investor. I feel there is value in buying one and renting it out, if the math works for you.

On Lexington Green: condos for sale

New 30-unit condo development has broken ground in Lexington. (They have condos in Lexington, you ask? They do, now!)

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Prices run from the high-$700’s to around $1.3 million.

Lexington Place at the Center is the new face of Green in Massachusetts

When folks talk about Lexington Green these days, they are not referring to the 1775 Battle at Lexington Green, but rather the new face of green in town – Lexington Place at the Center. These groundbreaking condominiums have generated an eco-friendly buzz, not only for their goal of Silver LEED certification, but in their contemporary view of smart growth within a historically traditional New England town.

Located at 50 Waltham Street in Lexington, Lexington Place at the Center is a 30 condominium community offering the latest in eco friendly technologies, crafted with energy efficient design and materials – all the while creating central downtown living with convenient access to all town features by foot or bike. In addition, amenities such as virtual concierge, fitness facility, living/club room and much more will be offered for those with not only ecocentric but distinctive tastes. With over a third of the residences sold, and completion set for May 2009, it’s obvious that this type of forward thinking mission is a high priority for many condominium buyers in Lexington and beyond.

Lexington Place at the Center (livelexplace.com) offers buyers the opportunity to become a pioneer in green living, with the environment at the forefront and the human community at its core.

To learn more about Lexington Place at the Center and this environmentally friendly project in the heart of historic downtown Lexington, please contact:

Lexington Place at the Center Sales Office
Phyllis Reservitz, 781-402-1725
25 Waltham Street, Lexington, MA 02451

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