Boston Development

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


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


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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    PRICED OUT? Why Living in a Luxury Apartment Building Might be Cheaper Than You Think

    AVA Theater District Downtown Boston Apartments

    Lately, Boston renters have been talking about the massive increase in rents over the past two years, specifically in full-service luxury buildings. This is understandable considering the eye-popping price tags in some of Boston’s newer buildings where 1-bedroom units can fetch upwards of $3,000/month and 2 bedrooms often exceed $4,000/month. If you happen to be one of the few people who wants a 3 bedroom…let’s just say you might have to double down on your student loans to afford it.

    However, like watching coverage of the current presidential election, don’t always believe what you see.  According to The Boston Globe, the vacancy rate in Boston apartment buildings remained above 5% for the fourth straight quarter.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  The first is that more than 3,800 apartments opened in Boston in 2015, which eased the growing tension between the increasing population of renters and decreasing Boston inventory.  The second is that many tenants who once lived in Boston have been priced out of newer buildings and have moved to cheaper rental markets outside of the city.  

    What happens when vacancy rates increase?  Developers are forced to adjust pricing and increase tenant incentives in order to keep occupancy above 95%.  With 5,000 more apartments permitted for construction in 2016, tenant incentives should run rampant through Boston’s new developments.  What does this mean for you? For starters it could mean one or more months in free rent, garage parking included and no broker’s fee.  One example is Fuse Cambridge, which is offering 1.5 months in free rent and paying broker’s fees for tenants. Another is at the brand new Ava Theater District, which is offering two months free rent on 2 bedroom units and up to two months free on studio and 1-bedroom units, as well as paying full fee to brokers.  There are also various buildings in Downtown Boston and the Back Bay that are not new construction but are still offering multiple months in free rent to new tenants.  

    In a nutshell, if a 1-bedroom in a new construction luxury apartment building is $3,000/month and you get two months free, that’s $6,000 off throughout the course of the year or $500/month less than the sticker price of the apartment.  If you factor in not having to pay a broker’s fee, (most buildings pay your broker for you), that is an additional $3,000 off, or $250/month in savings.  When it’s all said and done, you could have that brand new 1-bedroom in a luxury apartment building for $2,250/month! Considering the average rent in Boston is around $2,100 per month, this is a relative steal in the grand scheme of the Boston rental market.  So ignore the hype and rent the apartment of your dreams, it could be more attainable than you think!

    Check out the full list of luxury rentals here and contact Elevated Realty at with questions or to set up showings!         



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      Downtown Crossing's Newest Tower: One Bromfield

      One Bromfield Downtown Boston

      Developer's proposed One Bromfield, a 59-story tower in Boston's Downtown Crossing would exceed the height of Millennium Tower Boston, which set a record in the district. 

      New York-based developer Midwood Investment & Development bought the parcels in the mid-2000s and set about with plans to construct a 28-story building with around 260 apartments and several floors of retail. The project was originially proposed in 2008 but the recession made quick work of the those plans. Midwood held on to the parcels and has resurrected plans for a mixed-use high-rise. It's new proposal calls for a building much greater in scale than original plans with about 30,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, with 300 rental units above and 119 condominium units. Of the 300 rental units, 54 would be designated affordable. The tower is slated to include 235 parking spaces and 420 bike parking spaces.

      If approved, this would make One Bromfield one of the five tallest buildings in Boston. Stay tuned!


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