Good post by Scott at Boston.com. Check out the gorgeous renderings.
Take that, rising rents. More than 800 new apartments are poised to take shape near Boston’s waterfront in a massive project so large it might just help rein in the Hub’s runaway rents.
Developers of the $600 million One Seaport Square broke ground Friday on the 1.5-million-square-foot project, just across the street from Fan Pier and the new ICA in Boston’s Seaport/Innovation District.
A centerpiece of the new development will be a pair of new towers, 20 and 22 stories tall, that will be packed with 832 apartments ranging from tiny “innovation units” to spacious luxury digs.
Slated to open in 2017, the new development will put more new apartments on the market in Boston than any single project in decades.
The two towers, named VIA and The Benjamin, will come with an array of shared spaces, including gardens, places to grill, lounges, and a heated outdoor pool overlooking the skyline.
“When you bring so many new apartments, the market will adjust,” predicts Vivien Li, executive director of the Boston Harbor Association and a long-time observer of development along the city’s waterfront. “What we may find is that rents may start to level out.”
The new development will also feature oodles of new places to eat and shop, with 250,000 square feet of retail space planned for the largest shopping and dining venue yet in the Seaport. Coming attractions include the upscale ShowPlace ICON Theater, a Kings Bowl, and an Equinox fitness center.
The project is the work of a trio of high-powered developers. Veteran tower builder John Hynes, son of legendary newscaster Jack Hynes and grandson of one of Boston’s influential mayors of the last century, snapped up the sprawling collection of parking lots nearly a decade ago.
He later teamed up with the Berkshire Group and WS Development, which has rolled out a number of suburban life-style centers, including The Street in Newton and Legacy Place in Dedham.
“One Seaport Square will be our largest project in Boston,” Hynes said in a statement. “It will set the tone for just how dynamic this new neighborhood will be in all categories: commercial, residential, shopping, dining and entertainment. We cannot wait to bring it to life.”
While Hynes and his partners are mum on what rents will be for the new apartments, the developers say they aren’t looking to do just another luxury rental high-rise, but are aiming to have a wider range of apartments.
The innovation units in particular, will be aimed at young professionals, with relatively tiny apartments featuring just a few hundred square feet of space aimed at offering a more reasonable rent. But the luxury apartments are likely to draw a wide range of prospective tenants, including wealthy empty nesters attracted to the cachet of Boston’s vibrant and growing waterfront, Li said.
The apartments will join a neighborhood that’s seeing billions in new construction take shape, from office and hotel towers, to luxury condos and a $1 billion expansion of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
Just across the street at Fan Pier, waterfront developer Joe Fallon has been selling dozens of multimillion-dollar condos.
“The market has really made this area hot,” Li said.