Everyone knows by now that East Boston is the city's It neighborhood, singled out by Mayor Menino for major development on the scope and ambition that is now transforming Southie forever. But some of that development is being reined in a bit—though rents will not be. The developer of the old Hodge Boiler Works on Sumner Street, Phillip DeNormandie, has agreed to scale back the project. Per Jeremy C. Fox at Boston.com:
The new plan would trim the large building planned for the site from eight floors to five and from 119 residential units to 95, a reduction of more than 80,000 square feet. The design would make the building closer in scale to the adjacent six-story Carlton Wharf building. Between the two buildings would be a small parking lot of approximately 23 spaces, shielded partially from view by a line of trees. There would also be an underground garage of 52 spaces and Zipcar plans to set up shop nearby. Well and good.
When asked about rents by an Eastie local at a hearing this week, the head of urban planning concern Fort Point Associates was perfectly frank: Yes, East Boston's rents have been traditionally lower than much of the rest of the city; however, it costs just as much to build in the neighborhood as, say, South Boston, so the rents would be comparable to other waterfront developments (e.g., high). Indeed, the city's apartment-building boom seems to hold out little hope for prospective tenants.
As for who the new building will be targeted toward, that, too, bears a striking resemblance to neighboring neighborhoods, like the Seaport District: young professionals, including the techies. Micro-apartments can't be too far behind now. Though everyone seems to be banking a lot on steady growth in the tech sector.
· Developer Offers Scaled-Down Plan for East Boston Waterfront Project [Boston.com]
· East Boston Housing: the 'It' Neighborhood by the Numbers [Curbed Boston]
· The Departed: South Boston to Change Forever This Year [Curbed Boston]
· Boston's 5,000 New Apartments Won't Mean Lower Rents [Curbed Boston]
· South Boston to Get Hundreds of Manhattan Apartments [Curbed Boston]
· Boston's Tech Sector and Real Estate: What If? [Curbed Boston]