Demolition Begins at Site of New Apartment Development in Revere
More significant changes are underway along the Revere waterfront. Last week, demolition started at the site of an upcoming mixed-use development planned for 22 Whitin Avenue. The developer, Redgate Capital Partners, has already developed several other large residential buildings in Revere Beach, including 500 Ocean and Ryder Revere. Upon completion, the new mixed-use development will include nearly 300 apartments and ground-floor retail space.
Situated in the Revere RiverFront District in the Point of Pines neighborhood, the site stretches along 14 acres and consists of four parcels of land. Located at the confluence of the Pine and Saugus Rivers, the waterfront site will feature a six-story mixed-use building with 340,130 square feet of space, including ground-floor retail and restaurant space. The new building will be adjacent to Gibson Park, just beyond the General Edwards Bridge.
The former site of G & J Towing, the property includes five older buildings totaling around 37,000 square feet, including a garage and a warehouse. These and other structures are now in the process of being torn down, as demolition is now officially underway. The developer has not stated how long the demolition will take or when groundbreaking is expected to begin.
However, plans released by the developer call for significant changes to the Revere waterfront in this part of the city, including significant amounts of public amenity space on the water. A boardwalk with lighting, seating and other touches will be developed along the property. Ultimately, it will be connected to the path leading to Gibson Park, helping to tie together various waterfront locations.
Although concerns were raised about the new development, feedback was considered, and the city ultimately decided to approve the plans. In August 2021, the city voted to approve stormwater plans for the development, which had raised concerns among residents. Many cited the aging pumping station on the Lynnway, which they argued could not handle the additional runoff from the new building.
Redgate Capital Partners is no stranger to the Revere waterfront. The Boston-based developer was among the first to capitalize on the increasing demand for housing in the area. With the massive Suffolk Downs development underway on the East Boston-Revere border, demand for everything from luxury condos to affordable housing has shot up in this part of Greater Boston. Redgate’s foray into Revere’s waterfront district has gone well for the firm, which has already developed several new buildings and is actively planning many more.
One of the developer’s first residential buildings in the area, 500 Ocean, opened in the fall of 2019. The 305-unit building, located adjacent to the MBTA Wonderland Station, was leased to capacity quickly.
Ryder Revere, another Redgate project, opened to residents in the spring of 2021. Located on two parcels, the development consists of a seven-story building with 73 units on Ocean Avenue and a seven-story building with 127 units and ground-floor retail space along Revere Beach Boulevard. Like other Redgate properties, the apartment building features several high-end amenities, including an outdoor sundeck and swimming pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a game room, a communal workspace and a doggy daycare.
In nearby East Boston, Redgate developed Addison East Boston. Located at 144 Addison Street, the unique development includes a maker space for creating, launching and testing various design concepts. The first apartments at the development hit the market at the end of 2021.
Redgate isn’t the only developer capitalizing on the ongoing construction boom along the Blue Line corridor between Boston and Revere. In March, ground broke for Revio Revere Beach, which is being developed by Houston-based Hines and Connecticut-based firms Belfonti Cos. and Bridge Investment Group. Poised for delivery in the second quarter of 2024, Revio will include 209 apartments, ground-floor retail space and 20,000 square feet of amenities.
The surge in new housing construction in Revere and Revere Beach has largely been prompted by the redevelopment of the former Suffolk Downs site. Recently, ground broke for the development of Amaya, a 475-unit apartment building with 34,000 square feet of amenities and 24,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space. Amaya is the first of many residential towers planned for Suffolk Downs and is poised to open to residents in the second quarter of 2024.
All told, Suffolk Downs will include more than 10,000 apartments and condos, 5.2 million square feet of life science and office space, 450,000 square feet of retail and civic space and more than 40 acres of parks and green, open space. The project represents the largest single source of new housing in Boston history. It’s expected to add more than 22,000 new, permanent jobs to the area. Additionally, more than 18,000 construction jobs will be created over the next 20 years as the various phases of the development are completed.
In 2020, more than 2,000 new housing units were built in Revere. Most of them were constructed on the waterfront, allowing them to fetch higher rent prices. Although rent prices in Revere are lower than in Boston, one-bedroom units at waterfront apartment buildings start at around $2,000 per month. Unlike Boston and many other municipalities, Revere does not have laws requiring developers to include a certain percentage of affordable units. To boost its tax base, the city encouraged the development of luxury apartment and condo buildings on the beach. As a result, most apartments in Revere are market-rate units.
Situated just 15 minutes from downtown Boston on the Blue Line – and close to the upcoming Suffolk Downs mixed-used development – the Revere waterfront offers a more affordable alternative for renters and developers alike. The new apartment buildings that have opened in Revere since 2020 have done well, quickly attracting tenants and increasing demand for housing in the area. However, as renters are pushed out of Boston proper due to low vacancy rates and record-high asking rents, the spillover is causing prices to rise and vacancy rates to drop in Revere too.
With 22 Whitin Avenue, Revere will gain 290 new apartments. If this trend continues, thousands of additional units could come to the area in the years to come.