Long, informative article in the New York Times today about the Leather District and downtown area.

(D)owntown buildings will soon overlook the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a 30-acre park that follows the same route used by Interstate 93 before it was relocated underground as part of the much-publicized Big Dig project.

With the new park as a potential selling point, developers are building luxury condos where they once thought office space would be a more likely use.

Much of the new construction is concentrated in the Leather District, the rectangular nine-block neighborhood between Chinatown and South Station, where low-slung Romanesque Revival buildings were once the workshops of men who nailed shoes together. Already, the population there has tripled in the last decade …

However, I have to take issue with this:

“The Greenway is enormously important,” said Robert Weintraub, a broker for Boston Realty Works, who has sold homes throughout the city for 25 years.

“Properties will easily double or triple in value once the project is complete,” he said, sometime next year.

In 2005, homes in the Leather District sold for an average of $618,947, or $475 a square foot, according to Mr. Weintraub …

That’s just not realistic.

There is very little existing residential space in that area (in fact, LINK lists only 8 addresses among the 43 sales, last year), so there may be more upwards pressure on existing condo sales prices, but certainly not of the level he is suggesting.

Perhaps he is just speaking of new construction – several new developments are being built, and those have a higher price per square foot (the InterContinental is about $900 per square foot). However, just about any new construction in the city, regardless of location, is being built at luxury level prices.

Complete article: Suddenly, Living in Downtown Boston is More Appealing – by CJ Hughes, The New York Times

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Updated: January 2018

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