Blog :: 03-2016

BRA board approves $259 million in new projects at March meeting

The Boston Redevelopment Authority’s board of directors approved seven new projects at this month's meeting. In total, the projects represent a combined investment of $258.5 million and will generate over 530 construction jobs, yielding 586 new residential units in the city.

Below are summaries of the newly approved projects.

 

Garrison Trotter Phase II

Address: 89 Waumbeck Street
Neighborhood: Roxbury
Land Sq. Feet: 44,000 sq ft
Building Size: 34,000 sq ft
Uses: Residential
Residential Units: 15

The sites will be developed as part of Mayor Walsh’s Neighborhood Homes Initiative (NHI), a product of Housing A Changing City: Boston 2030, the Walsh administration’s comprehensive housing plan. NHI uses City-owned land and funding as a resource to create affordable and mixed-income homeownership opportunities for a range of homebuyers. In turn, this project will feature 18 residential units, 12 of which will be designated as affordable.

Upon completion, the new homes will be priced to attract a mix of moderate, middle and market rate buyers. Prices for the new affordable homes will range from $250,000 - $400,000 and will be affordable to households with a combined income of $60,000 - $100,000. The affordable moderate and middle-income homes will have a 50-year resale restriction to provide affordability for future generations of homebuyers.

 

232 Old Colony Avenue

232-Old-Colony-3-17-16.jpg

Address: 232 Old Colony Avenue
Neighborhood: South Boston
Land Sq. Feet: 9,383 sq ft
Building Size: 37,384 sq ft
Uses: Ownership / Residential / Retail


This project site is located approximately five blocks northeast of Andrew Square, within walking distance of the MBTA Red Line Andrew Station. The developer, 232 Old Colony Avenue LP, has proposed to construct 24 condominium units and 3 on-site affordable units, commercial/retail restaurant space and 29 parking spaces.

The project will include a mix of 16 two-bedroom units and eight one-bedroom units within a 5-story structure. A 2,855 square foot restaurant space will also be included on the ground floor.

 

Goddard House Jamaica Plain

Address: 201 South Huntington Avenue
Neighborhood: Jamaica Plain
Land Sq. Feet: 84,626 sq ft
Building Size: 169,000 sq ft

The BRA Board’s approval will allow the 167-unit project to move forward as planned. Of the 167 residential units, 110 will be located in the renovated Goddard House with 57 units in the new building and 22 of the total units on-site will be designated affordable.

In addition to the renovation of Goddard House and the construction of a new building, this project will include 180 spaces allotted toward indoor and outdoor bicycle parking, a combination of covered and surface vehicle parking to the tune of 83 spaces, and open space improvements that will include a landscape buffer in front of the building with new street trees to improve the pedestrian realm.

 

35 South Huntington Avenue

Neighborhood: Mission Hill
Land Sq. Feet: 12,000 sq ft
Building Size: 45,500 sq ft
Uses: Residential

Walter Huntington, LLC received approval for the development of a new five- and six-story mixed-use building located at 35 South Huntington Avenue. The building will be comprised of 38 residential units with 5 IDP units, 7,080 square feet of ground-floor commercial/ retail restaurant space, and 26 parking spaces located in the building’s underground garage.

 

Guest Street Brighton

125-Guest-3-17-16.jpg

Address: 125 Guest Street
Neighborhood: Brighton
Land Sq. Feet: 81,665 sq ft
Building Size: 311,000 sq ft
Uses: Rental / Residential / Retail

The approval of this primarily residential building will yield the construction of 295 rental units, 38 of which will be on-site IDP units. In order to meet a variety of market demands, 125 Guest Street will feature studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. This phase of the project will also include 155 parking spaces and 300 bicycle spaces dedicated to residents.
The ground-floor of the building will provide 16,000 square feet of retail space, while the remaining area of approximately 39,000 square feet will be residential amenity spaces, such as a building lobby, mail room, fitness room, conference room, loading dock, mechanical, vehicle, and bike parking.
 

Douglass Park South End

Address: 150 Camden St
Neighborhood: Roxbury
Land Sq. Feet: 15,500 sq ft
Building Size: 49,305 sq ft
Uses: Rental / Residential

The Board’s approval of the Amended and Restated Development Plan for the Douglass Park expansion project will result in 44 multifamily residential rental units with 8 IDP units. The project site, located at 150 Camden Street in the South End, is on a portion of Parcel 16.

During the public testimony portion of the hearing, one community-member noted that in its earliest stages, the project was met with skepticism, but as it has moved forward, residents and stakeholders have come to embrace the opportunities that this development will bring to their neighborhood.

 

Harvard University Life Lab- Second Ammendment

Neighborhood: Allston
Land Sq. Feet: 93,794 sq ft
Building Size: 14,750 sq ft
Uses: Education / OtherResearch


The Board’s approval of the Second Amendment to the IMP for Harvard University’s Allston campus, includes the construction of this Harvard Life Lab. The Life Lab represents a new, but temporary two-story building that will provide both wet lab and co-working space for small Harvard-related scientific start-ups. In addition, the Life Lab will include general and dedicated lab spaces for up to 50 individuals, including a faculty member-in-residence, conference and support spaces to promote wet lab community connections. This project, which is considered a pilot by the university, aims to build on the success of the adjacent Harvard Innovation Lab.

 

 

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    FREE energy, save money, live cheaper!

    Free energy save money live cheaper

     

    Free Energy Audit

    Hiring an auditor to do a simple checkup of your home helps determine where you might be losing energy -- and money -- and how to correct it. Many utility companies offer this service for free

    Ceilings Fans

    Ceiling fans are a low-energy way to keep air moving in your home. Because of the air circulation effect, you can get away with keeping your thermostat a degree or two higher in summer and a degree or two lower in winter, netting a rather large savings.  The most important thing to know is that the air directly below the fan should be blowing down on you in the summer and should be pulled upwards away from you in the winter. 

    Energy Efficient Appliances

    Choose these even if you have to pay more up front.
    Unless you were lucky enough to buy a fully-furnished home, you'll likely have to do some appliance shopping.  Focus on reliability and energy efficiency above all, even if that seriously increases the cost you have to pay up front. A refrigerator that uses little energy and lasts 20 years is far, far cheaper over the long run than a fridge that runs for seven years and guzzles electricity.

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      A New Age for an Old Town

      a new age for an old town

      Big Changes Coming to Boston's Skyline

      There are currently about 70 projects under construction throughout the city, according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority. About 68% of those projects are residential. As BRA Director Brian Golden said: “We’re going through what is arguably the biggest building boom in the history of the city of Boston.”

      Amongst this boom, we are seeing the number of high rise towers increase. They’ll be rising downtown, on the waterfront and at the edge of the Back Bay. Several could rival the height of the John Hancock or Prudential building. They’ll contain plenty of office space, but also residences, hotels, retail shops, and research labs. This once quaint little city is starting to catch up to the big boys.

      If you are looking to buy a luxury condo in Boston, now is the time. Three years ago, the Millennium Place development was considered a litmus test for luxury condo construction. Would buyer's actually pay upwards of $1,500 per square foot to live downtown? Well the answer is, yes. Millennium Place sold out last March and their newest development, Millennium Tower,  arguably the most anticipated project in Boston, is already 80% sold, with a year to go before it's official opening.

      This trend has no signs of stopping as international money continues to flood Boston. Total foreign investment in Boston’s commercial properties more than doubled to $10.4 billion through last September, up from $4.7 billion during the same period in 2013. The surge put Boston sixth in the world in the amount of money it attracted from foreign sources, behind only London, New York, Tokyo, Paris, and Los Angeles, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., a real estate services firm. 

      The Boston skyline as we know it, will continue to be redefined as these projects, and new ones, break ground.


      Take a peek at some of the newest projects in the works:

      Millennium Tower
      Downtown

      Millennium Tower Boston, at 685 feet, is the tallest residential building in downtown Boston. A shimmering glass sculpture in the sky, it boasts unrivaled views never before seen from a private residence. It is the most anticipated residential project in modern Boston history. The city’s first "neighborhood in the clouds."

      Millennium Tower will consist of 450 luxury residences, ranging from 1 to 4-bedroom, and 95,000 square feet of additional retail space on its lower floors. The 56-story glass tower will also include an underground parking garage. Millennium Tower has already sold 80% so now is the time to buy!


      Tallest residential building in Boston, the Millennium Tower


      Pier 4 Residences
      Seaport

      Surrounded by water on three sides, the collection of boutique residences at PIER 4 will have lush public spaces, convenient retails and dining options, luxury amenities and sustainably designed living spaces. Find your perfect retreat in Boston Harbor’s most aspirational new community. The building will be nine stories and 118 feet high; there will be 16,800 square feet of ground-floor retail and a two-level underground parking garage.

      Pier 4 Condos located in Boston's Seaport


      The Lucas
      South End

      The Lucas at 136 Shawmut Ave, is an exciting, new construction condo building in Boston's South End. The project will transform the former 1874 German Trinity Catholic Church into a boutique, eight story condo building with 33 luxury residences and 30 parking spaces. Condos will feature contemporary, modern, luxury custom kitchens, high-end finishes, gas fireplaces, and high-tech smart home systems. Building amenities include a concierge, gym, lounge, garage parking and common courtyard.

      South End Condo Development 136 Shawmut Ave


      Forecaster 121

      Faneuil Hall

      Forecaster 121 is a boutique style condominium building combining modern finishes and amenities with the historic architecture of the original Forecaster Raincoat of Boston warehouse. Each of the 80 distinct condos will delight you with their understated elegance, high-style finishes, and unique character details.  Intriguing design features such as exposed brick walls, tall ceilings, Juliette balconies, private terraces, sun atria, and loft-style elements will satisfy your desire to live in a home that’s truly unique. These new residences feature 24-hour concierge and 24-hour valet services, a fitness room, a meeting room, and best of all; a location at the intersection of everything.

      Forecaster 121 Condos in Boston's Faneuil Hall

      Are you looking to buy? Create an account today to get access to thousands of listings!

      View All of Boston's Newest Developments

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        Sellers Beware!

        Sellers Beware

        Yes, we are brokers. So, why are we warning you against us, you ask? Well, the real estate industry can get a bad rap, so we're here to protect it, and you.

        Over-Promising and Under-Delivering
        The advertising industry is flooded with ways to trick consumers into buying products or services. Real Estate is no stranger to this concept. There is no end to the claims that realtors make to prospective clients to win their business.

        The most common lie is p
        romising to sell your home for a higher price than it's worth. As brokers, we understand this is a double edged sword. If the agent's numbers are too low, they have no chance of being hired, but agents tend to get carried away with trying to please these prospective clients. Over-listing your property from the get-go can do some serious damage, and all of a sudden your property has been sitting on the market for 100 days with no real interest. Inevitably, you will make price-drops and anyone interested will most likely come in with an even lower offer. 

        If the agent disagrees with your price, they should let you know (politely of course) and with some real knowledge as to why. This way, you have realistic expectations going into it.

        Agent's should be confident in their strategy to sell your house. S
        tatistics actually show that listing a property below value actually creates a positive impact on the sales price! The best broker you can get, is one that under-promises and over-delivers.

        Beware of What You Sign
        Many sellers get roped into signing an ERS (Exclusive Right to Sell) before providing support for the services they are offering. If the agent or broker is not performing to your standards, it is very difficult to get out of an ERS, once signed.

        In most cases, our brokerage waits to have clients sign an ERS until we have shown our dedication, by providing strong marketing, quality leads and showings. Once we feel our clients our confident in our ability to sell their property, we then look to get an ERS signed.

        Always thoroughly read through the entire contract, they can sometimes be too broad in scope. Make sure the contract includes the commission, duration, duties and a dispute resolution.

        Overall, make sure the agent you hire is one that you can trust and have confidence in. We are here to help you, not hurt you.

         

        Are you looking to sell? Contact Us today!

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          Get The Facts. Things you should know when renting

          Are you among the thousands of renters in the Greater Boston area? Lucky for you, Massachusetts has some of the most tenant-friendly laws around. Landlords can't leave problems unsolved, barge in without an appointment, or keep your security deposit for no good reason. 

          You can protect yourself as long as you pay attention and know your rights before, during, and, especially, after you sign a lease.

          PRIOR TO SIGNING THE LEASE:

          1. Always rent through an agent
          Some try to skip the agent and ultimately skip the broker fee. In most cases, you end up paying a fee anyway and without an agent by your side you are doing yourself  a disservice. The listing agent's job is to protect the owner of the property, so who's protecting you? Find an agent you like and stick with them through the entire rental process. Things will go much smoother.

          2. View the unit
          Make sure you see the actual unit - not just one in the same building. 

          3. Read through the lease
          Although it's tedious, make sure you read through all the details of the lease especially in regards to sub-leasing policies, pet policies and what utilities are included.

          4. Be wary of "fees"
          Pay attention to different fees such as a "holding fees," to take a property off the market. If something falls through, then you may have a hard time getting that money back. Always get something in writing stating whether or not your deposits are refundable.

          5. Get renters insurance
          Always get renters insurance to protect your assets. It's not very expensive and will be well-worth it in the end.

          6. Security deposit
          Most landlords require a security deposit, (equal to one month's rent). The landlord is required to place the security deposit into an escrow account, and send the tenants the account information within 30 days. Make a copy for you and your roommates and store it with your lease. When you move out, your landlord is required to return your security deposit (as long as there are no damages) along with the interest earned throughout your lease.


          DURING YOUR LEASE

          1. Condition statement
          Make note of the condition of the apartment. 
          The first day you move-in you will receive a "statement of condition." Go through the apartment and make note of any damages that are not already listed. Make sure you do a thorough job, otherwise you may be held liable at the end of your lease and could lose part or all of your security deposit.

          2. Never pay rent in cash
          Always send rent via bank transfer or check. This way, there will always be a record of it.

          3. Habitable living environment
          Boston law requires the building to have a functional heating system, hot and cold water, a proper kitchen and free from rodents, cockroaches, and insect infestation. Both Boston and Cambridge have inspectional services departments to call, and Boston also operates a "no heat" hotline. No-heat complaints are responded to very quickly in heating season. 

          4. Late rent
          Your landlord cannot evict you or charge you a late fee if you are a few days late in rent (unless your lease specifically states otherwise). They can take action after 30 days.

          5. Entry of premises
          The landlord is not allowed to enter your unit without your permission, unless there is an emergency. If they do, you can charge them with trespassing.


          ONCE YOUR LEASE HAS ENDED

          1. Take note of condition before leaving
          Take note of the condition once more prior to leaving. Hold up that days newspaper to prove the date the pictures were taken.

          2. Document your security deposit
          The landlord has 30 days to either send you the full security deposit with interest or explain why not. If they are making a deduction for any damages, they need to send an itemized list stating the nature of the repair, and it must be signed under penalty of perjury above the landlord's signature. If the landlord fails to follow the security deposit law, they might be doing you a big favor -- it allows you to take them to court and collect three times the security deposit. 


          Are you looking to rent? Create an account today to get access to thousands of listings!

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            Behold Buyers! There's a light at the end of the tunnel.

            things are looking up for first time homebuyers

            It's been a seller's market for over a year now. While great for homeowners and the US economy, one must ask; what about the first-time home buyers?

            Well, it definitely has not been an easy year for them. With more home buyers and a limited inventory, we have seen bidding wars and ultimately, higher prices. Americans owning homes has fallen this year to 63.8%, the lowest level since 1989.

            Oddly enough, higher prices might actually be the answer to our problems. Higher prices encourage more owners to put their homes up for sale, shifting the market to a more balanced state. This, combined with lower mortgage rates and easier access to credit, buyers should feel some relief in the months to come. 

            Don't get too excited, demand is still high and supply is still tight, but at least we are moving in the right direction! 

            Are you looking to buy? Create an account today to get access to thousands of listings!

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              Welcome to our new blog!

              We look forward to making this the best resource for information about real estate in Boston, our local area, and current topics that impact you. Please feel free to comment on our posts if you have questions or reactions to share. If there is anything you'd like to see us write about, we'd love to hear your ideas.

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