I’m playing catch-up with stories, today, due to my day in New York (and day of recovery).
Here’s what’s happening out there:
Steve Bailey of the Globe talks about winners and losers in the fight for land around Fenway Park. Bottom line: the Red Sox need to be careful they don’t piss off the wrong people, as they move from baseball team owner to developer.
He also informs us that there’s only one of 50 condos still available in the new Residences at the Mandarin Oriental, even though it won’t be done for another two years (there’s just a big hole in the ground, right now, in fact). The last available home is on the 10th floor, 2,400 square feet, for $3 million plus.
In other words, contact me now.
Jennifer Rosinski describes how some Carlisle homeowners are objecting to a new affordable housing tract in their backyard. The article illustrates how difficult it is to build anything in this state.
The state passed the Chapter 40B affordable housing law, in order to encourage less expensive housing throughout Massachusetts. It allows developers to bypass local zoning boards, for one thing.
However, it raises a huge number of issues for local towns, however, including urban sprawl and increases in infrastructure costs, such as town water & sewer and school sizes. Plus, having a 55 unit development right behind your $750,000 home (25% of which will be sold for as little as $165,000) is bound to affect your home’s value.
Lew Sichelman of the Wall Street Journal discusses the proposed federal tax law changes which may reduce interest deductions on mortgage payments. Again, just about anyone involved in the housing industry is against the proposals. Also in the article, more about a slowing real estate market, and information on how your FICO score is calculated.
Jerry Kronenberg at the Boston Herald reminds us that water in the basement is not usually covered by a homeowners insurance policy.
Scott Van Voorhis of the Herald lets us know about a developer who plans to put 175 condo/lofts into a renovated pickle plant on Mission Hill. The project is called the Terrace Street Lofts, prices in the $250,000 – $450,000 range and construction is planned beginning next year.
Mr Van Voorhis chimes in with a story about a proposal to turn several floors in the old Abercrombie & Fitch store in Faneuil Hall into condos, with price tags of over $1 million. (I’m skeptical of the plans. Very skeptical. For a million dollars, I don’t want to deal with 2 AM drunks every Saturday night.)
Paul Restuccia of the Herald details (I’m running out of words to use) changes going on in Waltham. This old mill town is less than 30 minutes from downtown Boston by car or bus, and conveniently located on Route 128. There are many options for residents – condos, lofts, single family homes, and rental apartments. Unfortunately, there’s no more Jordan’s Furniture, downtown (you can’t go "Main Street to Moody Street", any longer). A companion story depicts (?) the retail and commercial scene.
Finally, Terry Pristin of the New York Times expunges upon developments going up near or over public transit stations. These projects have their own challenges (how many people want to hear the rumble of the subway from 5:45 AM to 12:15 AM, everyday) but are very popular with those who don’t need/want to own a car.