Ground Breaks on Highly Anticipated Shawmut Avenue Condo Development
Posted By: Boston City Properties
Boston continues to be a hotbed of construction activity. As always, Boston City Properties is here to bring you the latest. If you follow developments in new construction around the city—especially in the South End—you probably already know about the excitement that’s underfoot over at Shawmut Avenue and Herald Street. On June 3, 2019, ground was officially broken on a highly anticipated new luxury condo development that is sure to change the face of the neighborhood. New units will become available in Fall 2020, but it’s never too early to start planning.
Before delving into more details regarding the new luxury condo development in Boston’s storied South End, it helps to know where to turn for up-to-the-minute information about these and other projects. With our headquarters in Back Bay, Boston City Properties is uniquely positioned to keep you in the loop regarding important residential and commercial real estate developments across the city. More importantly, we offer a wide array of assistance and services to buyers and investors who are interested in buying or leasing Boston property. This includes our vast, constantly updated online database of searchable MA real estate listings, which you can sign up to use right away for free.
About 100 Shawmut
With work finally underway on 100 Shawmut Avenue in the South End, locals and others throughout the city are eagerly awaiting the finished product. The building will ultimately house 138 luxury condo units, and the undertaking is expected to cost upwards of $170 million. The existing building at the site, an historic brick warehouse, will not be razed. Rather, it will be cleverly incorporated into the overall design of the development. All told, the building will boast 232,000 square feet of luxury condo space, and it will rise 13 stories above Shawmut Avenue.
The First Hurdle: Approval By the BPDA
The wheels started turning for this project a long time ago. To put this somewhat into perspective, the Boston Planning and Development Agency, or BPDA, gave its official approval for an overarching, three-building development at the site on July 12, 2018. Nearly a year later, work has started on just the first of the three planned buildings, so it is going to be a while before the entire thing is complete. The whole development came about through a collaboration between the private developer, The Davis Companies, and two Chinatown-based community organizations.
Approval for the new Planned Development Area, or PDA, opened the doors for the work that is currently underway. The collaboration between The Davis Companies; the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New England, or CCBA; and the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church, or BCEC; has been described in news releases as “unprecedented.” There are many remarkable things about the collaboration. Most importantly, it allows for existing buildings to continue to be landmarks in the neighborhood while improving upon and modernizing them. The PDA includes extensive plans for outdoor spaces and for pedestrian pathways, so the area will be easier to navigate upon completion.
As a direct result of the planned development, including the three buildings that will ultimately make up the PDA, up to 534 new rental and homeownership units will come onto the market. Due to agreements between the developer and community organizations, at least 26 percent of the units within the three buildings will be earmarked for affordable housing. The development will also offer ground-floor retail, including a ground-level café or restaurant, along with community spaces and cultural spaces. The Washington and Shawmut corridors are expected to be reawakened by the development, which is good news for people who want local property levels to keep rising.
Considering the extent of the plans that are in store for this part of the South End, it should come as no surprise that many entities have been and continue to be involved in the new development. Financing for the work that is being completed at 100 Shawmut was accomplished through a $165-million loan that was primarily provided by M & T Bank. Several other lenders also participated, so it is safe to say that many people in the city and region are hoping for great success and profitability.
The Davis Companies, the primary player in the development that’s occurring over at Shawmut Avenue and Herald Street, has an illustrious background that makes it perfect for this project. An integrated real estate investment, management and development firm based in Boston, Davis has invested upwards of $6.2 billion in gross asset value through real estate equity and debt and fixed-income securities. Directly and with a series of partners, Davis owns a real estate portfolio that currently boasts 10.2 million square feet of office, light industrial, retail, hospitality, healthcare and life science properties. Across the eastern U.S., The Davis Companies owns approximately 5,000 residential units, and this project will add considerably to that total.
The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New England, which is more commonly known as CCBA, is a Chinatown institution that has existed for nearly a century. The organization has a track record for owning affordable housing projects in the South End and Chinatown areas. Some current examples of the housing projects that the CCBA owns include Waterford Place and Tai Tung Village. Although working collaboratively with the others on the project as a whole, the CCBA is primarily interested in the development of 50 Herald Street. Davis Companies will contribute $15 million to a city-managed escrow for the development of affordable housing at the site, which is currently owned by CCBA. Upon completion, 50 Herald Street will boast 313 apartments, and 26 percent of these are earmarked for affordable housing.
Another player in the project, the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church, or BCEC, also has personal aims in taking part. The church currently owns the building that is located at 120 Shawmut. The project makes possible the expansion of the building there, which allows for more ecclesiastical space for worship and other activities. It also creates space for the addition of 84 housing units. Although no specific information has been provided yet, it is assumed that a percentage of these units will be earmarked for affordable housing too.
Several other companies are on board with various aspects of the Shawmut Avenue project. EMBARC Studio, based in Boston, will be handling the interiors of 100 Shawmut. Copley Wolff, also based locally, will be taking care of the landscape architecture. The overall architecture of the building is being completed by The Architectural Team, which is based in Chelsea. Finally, Suffolk Construction will serve as the general contractor along with several engineering firms, including Howard Stein Hudson Association, WSP and McNamara Salvia.
Rumors about an upcoming new development at the site of Shawmut Avenue and Herald Street have been rampant for some time. Before word was officially released regarding the collaborative project that is currently in the works, many wondered how that corner of the South End would be transformed. Although it was widely agreed that the space would be most appropriate for housing—which the city continues to be in dire need of—some believed that it could have been turned into office space or perhaps into a mixed-use development of some kind.
About 100 Shawmut
Although ground has officially broken on 100 Shawmut, the luxury condo building won’t be open for business until Fall 2020. Boston City Properties cannot help you to secure one of its expected 138 units just yet, but we will be ready to go as soon as they become available. In the meantime, it pays to learn as much as you can about the upcoming building. What will it have to offer? What will the surrounding areas be like? How will the units themselves be? Below, you’ll find answers to those questions and more:
- Luxury condo units – Thus far, very little is known about the luxury condo units that are expected to be the primary focus of 100 Shawmut Avenue. Like most new, modern housing units in this part of the city, however, they will most likely include open floor plans and lots of huge windows. Given that they are being billed as luxury condos already, these units are sure to include premium touches, including hardwood floors; stainless steel kitchen appliances; first-rate fixtures; and much more. It has already been confirmed that many of these units will include private balconies, and you will be able to take your pick from studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom and four-bedroom options. A few penthouses should also be available.
- Outdoor areas – Although the development will boast all of the market’s most in-demand amenities, its outdoor amenities are particularly interesting. Plans call for a ground-floor café or restaurant. Since the older, six-story warehouse will be integrated with a 13-story glass addition, a ninth-floor terrace is included in the plans. Thus far, Boston City Properties has not learned what the specific theme or nature of the terrace will be, but it will most likely be used as a common outdoor area where people can enjoy views of the city.
- Exteriors – Exteriors and the overall design of the new building are being handled by The Architectural Team, which is also known as TAT. The firm has already released plans for the planned building, which will incorporate the existing historic warehouse that will sit closer to the street. Taking inspiration from the South End’s industrial past, the firm opted to maintain the style of the streetscape and of the original building. The new L-shaped glass building will be set back from the renovated warehouse, which will boast an updated façade with an angular style and a gridded pattern. This will offer an eye-catching juxtaposition between the past and present while creating visual interest and popular terrace space.
- Interiors – As noted previously, interiors for the project are being handled by EMBARC Studio of Boston. Common areas are expected to feature a contrasting combination of elements. These include white-oak wood details; a warm, neutral color palette; and textured stone touches. In this way, the firm hopes to not only intrigue the eye through clean, subdued colors but through features that play on the other senses. The end result should be very modern, warm and inviting.
- Amenities – Whenever a new residential building is in the works in Boston, apartment- and condo-hunters are always eager to find out the types of amenities that will be offered. To keep up with other luxury buildings in not just the South End but throughout the city, the development will need to offer a lot—and it looks like that is the case already. The building is expected to have 112 private parking spaces for residents; a billiards area; a 24-hour concierge; a fitness center; a children’s playroom; and a dog washing area.
- The Penthouse – The residential condo building at 100 Shawmut will likely include at least one or two penthouse units. It is also slated to boast what is being called The Penthouse, a common area for residents that will be perched at the top floor of the development. This rooftop area will include an indoor/outdoor restaurant, so residents can enjoy beautiful views during nice weather and sumptuous indoor surroundings in not-so-nice weather. In addition to that, The Penthouse will include a rooftop sky lounge that will be fitted out with gas grills and firepits. Given the prime location of the property, The Penthouse is sure to be one of its most popular features.
- Parking – Plans for 100 Shawmut Avenue also include three levels of enclosed, private parking. The three-level parking garage will include 112 spaces that will be reserved for residents only. There will not be any guest or visitor parking, so those who want to check out the property will have to park elsewhere. For those who enjoy exploring and getting around the city on two wheels, the garage will also include a dedicated bike parking and storage area. Although not yet confirmed, it is likely that this area will also have a repair station so residents can repair their rides on site.
About 120 Shawmut
As mentioned previously, the new development will ultimately consist of three buildings. The second, 120 Shawmut, currently houses the building for the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church. The Davis Companies has pledged $200,000 to be used for community programs at the church that will benefit residents of the South End. The building will also be expanded considerably, so there will be additional space for worship services. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this building is that it will be expanded to include 84 housing units. At least some of these are likely to be earmarked for affordable housing.
About 50 Herald Street
Located right next door to 100 Shawmut Avenue, which is situated at the corner of Shawmut and Herald, 50 Herald Street is currently owned by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, or CCBA. As part of the deal to have the project greenlighted by the BPDA, The Davis Companies will contribute $15 million into a city-controlled escrow account that will be earmarked for the development of affordable housing. Plans show that 26 percent of the 313 planned apartments at the building will be designated as affordable housing, so there will be plenty of options for everyone.
When work on all three buildings is complete, this corner of the South End will look a lot different. Eventually, the site will be home to a three-building development that is made up of 100 Shawmut Avenue, 120 Shawmut Avenue and 50 Herald Street. The design for the integrated, three-building development includes a large, publicly accessible internal courtyard that will include outdoor amenity space. There will also be new north-to-south and east-to-west public pedestrian pathways leading out into the greater neighborhood, which will make navigating around this part of the South End much easier.
About the South End
If you already live in the South End, you know what to expect. For those who haven’t considered the South End, the new development at 100 Shawmut is sure to pique their interest. Like many parts of the city, the neighborhood was built upon a filled-in tidal marsh. Development of the neighborhood first began around 1850, and the character of the South End changed a lot through the years. Early on in its history, it was known for its luxury rowhouses. Later, tenements and flophouses dominated the neighborhood. More recently, the neighborhood has yet again become known as a place for housing for the well-to-do.
After enjoying a relatively stable time since its inception, the South End experienced a lot of turmoil during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. During those decades, a poorly executed urban renewal program transformed the neighborhood in many not-so-great ways. Once the dust settled from all of that, the South End became something of an enclave for the gay community, and it also became home to a thriving community of artists. These changes prompted new types of people to visit and opt to live in the South End, paving the way for the neighborhood’s current diversity of both population and architectural styles.
For a while after that, the South End remained a fairly affordable and run-of-the-mill neighborhood where people could easily find cheap places to live. However, gentrification has started changing that over the last few decades. Home to the Boston Medical Center and many other important landmarks, the South End is now known for its upscale housing and excellent walkability. Dotted with playgrounds and parks, it offers plenty of green spaces and is quite popular with growing families. Thanks to its proximity to Back Bay and Chinatown, the South End continues to offer a convenient location, and the community there is very close-knit and watches out for one another.
The Current Housing Market in Boston’s South End
If you’re thinking about snagging a luxury condo at 100 Shawmut upon its completion in Fall 2020, you should educate yourself about the current state of the neighborhood’s real estate market. Although it will continue to evolve and change until that time, you can glean some important information by considering how the market has been faring lately. Although bidding wars were par for the course for quite some time, things seem to be calming down of late.
The most recent available information shows that the median price for a single-family home in the South End is around $1.83 million. The median price for a condo in this neighborhood currently hovers around $859,000, but that doesn’t mean that units in the new building at 100 Shawmut Avenue will be in that price range. It is also important to note that a decent percentage of the units in this development will be reserved for affordable housing. With rents in this neighborhood averaging around $3,250 currently, this is one of the least affordable areas to rent a place. Whether that will continue to hold true until the development opens, however, remains to be seen.
Tips for Finding Real Estate in the South End
As one of the most coveted neighborhoods in the city of Boston, the South End presents challenges to those who seek real estate within its borders. The information on this page goes a long way toward bringing you up to speed about what to expect regarding the building, but what is the best way to actually secure a luxury condo there? Knowing the market helps, and Boston City Properties can connect you with real estate agents who know the area and the market like the back of their hand.
Although the fierce bidding wars of late seem to be simmering down, the real estate market in the South End continues to be very competitive. Demand for new housing continues, so it’s a positive thing that the development at Shawmut and Herald is in the works. Properties in this neighborhood that offer prime amenities, an excellent location and a competitive price continue to see very high demand, and you can expect that when the leasing and selling of units at 100 Shawmut Avenue begins.
With that in mind, it is crucial to act quickly and decisively when shopping real estate in the South End. That’s especially true regarding new, in-demand developments like the one that will open at 100 Shawmut Avenue in Fall 2020. While home values continue to be steep, some homes are priced speculatively—especially as the market softens. This means that you need to bring excellent negotiation skills to the table. Boston City Properties can connect you with a skilled South End real estate agent who can assist you through negotiations, inspections, closing and much more.
Want in at 100 Shawmut Avenue in the South End?
Now that you know the basics about the construction that’s happening over at Shawmut Avenue and Herald Street in the South End, you may be eager to secure a place in the new development as quickly as possible. With a slated opening date sometime in Fall 2020, however, you still have quite a bit of time to figure things out. This neighborhood has long been popular with residents from all walks of life, and its local amenities show that. Within its borders, you’ll find everything from a huge Whole Foods to a high concentration of truly fantastic restaurants like Toro, B&G Oysters and Coppa.
Given how popular this part of the city is, it is natural to assume that units at 100 Shawmut Avenue will sell out and be leased out quickly. As always, Boston City Properties is watching the situation closely, and we receive information about new developments thanks to our insider sources. Therefore, to continue keeping track of what’s happening at 100 Shawmut in anticipation of renting or buying a place there, stay in touch with Boston City Properties. When the time comes, we have the resources that you need to successfully secure the luxury condo of your dreams in this alluring development.
Let Boston City Properties Help You Rent or Buy at 100 Shawmut Avenue
Although it seems far away right now, units at 100 Shawmut Avenue will become available for lease or sale before you know it. Usually, these large developments start showing, leasing and selling units before their official opening date. Right now, all that we know is that the building will open in Fall 2020. Based on this, odds are that units will become available for sale or lease sometime in the late spring or summer of that year.
When the time comes, Boston City Properties is here to assist you in securing the perfect luxury condo at 100 Shawmut Avenue. You can use our free, easy-to-use online database of searchable MA real estate listings to quickly check up-to-the-second availability for condos and apartments for sale and for lease across the South End and all other Boston neighborhoods. We have skilled real estate experts in the South End who are closely monitoring the situation at 100 Shawmut, and we can connect you with one whenever you’re ready to proceed. In no time, you’ll have secured a great place and will be ready to start enjoying everything that the South End has to offer. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Boston City Properties.