'Tis the onset of autumn, a time when the yellows and whites of summer yield to browns and oranges, when the weather turns nippy, and the Patriots' drug dealers work overtime (what, you think it's one bad apple?). It should also be an eventful season for the region's real estate, from tower groundbreakings to big votes to grand openings. Shall we?
The mother of all recent Boston towers will have its official groundbreaking on Sept. 17, with the 56-story commercial and residential spire filling a gaping physical as well as psychological hole. As developer Millennium Partners put it in its groundbreaking invite, "Please be there as we build a new history for Downtown Crossing." Indeed.
Speaking of Millennium! One of the most buzzed-about new condo buildings in ages will open this fall. Sales have been especially brisk, with Millennium Place selling as many condos by itself in the spring as entire neighborhoods. The building also represents a continued residential shift for downtown Boston, as more buyers pony up for exclusive luxury. The Combat Zone? What was that?
Boston's New Mayor
Hizzoner, Tom Menino, king of Boston, duke of Hyde Park and comte du Quartier de l'Innovation, is stepping down after five terms and voters will pick his successor in early November. Menino has been credited with redeveloping huge swathes of his city and for also creating a climate, for better or worse, that's favorable to such redevelopment. Will the new mayor carry on Menino's pro-development policies? Will the Boston Redevelopment Authority continue as before? Will bikes be held sacrosanct and cars not as much? Will Don Chiofaro ever get to build big and tall again on the waterfront? And what about Eastie? Stay tuned.
A Casino-Resort Vote
Everett and Boston have emerged as the likeliest locations for eastern Mass.' casino-resort (sorry, Milford). Everett has been famously wooed by Vegas mogul Steve Wynn, much to the chagrin of Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who wants Caesars to build a casino-resort at Suffolk Downs in Eastie. Both municipalities have concluded host-community agreements with their respective developers (and Revere's all-in, too, on Suffolk Downs). Everett voters have already O.K.'d the city's agreement with Wynn. A similar referendum in Eastie is expected this fall. Cue fireworks.
The Condo Market Cools
It has to. The Greater Boston condo market, particularly in downtown Boston, has been going at a frenetic pace for months sales- and price-wise. Over-asks are not uncommon and times on the market can now often be measured in days. But rising mortgage rates as well as waning inventory mean that sales, at least, are likely to ebb this fall. Prices, who the hell knows? Presumably, the market would need a lot more inventory before prices come down significantly, and such inventory is just not there—almost all of the ballyhooed residential development around the region is rental.
Hundreds of new apartments are expected to start leasing or to officially open to tenants this fall. They run the geographic gamut from the 227-unit Residences at Alewife (rendered) in North Cambridge to the 236-unit Waterside Place in the Seaport to the 50-unit 11 West Broadway in Southie. Hundreds—thousands—more units are planned or under way, of course. Whether any of this brings down rents in the fall is anyone's guess (and we're guessing no).
The People's Republic could this fall become the biggest city in the U.S. to require large-scale development to use only renewable energy sources (making the developments so-called net-zero energy consumers). The push for net-zero has, of course, generated (get it?) push-back, with some wondering aloud if such a renewable-energy requirement would turn developers off from a Cambridge in desperate need of new housing.
Copley Place Tower
The Boston Redevelopment Authority is expected this fall to approve the new design of what should be Boston's tallest majority-residential tower: the 625-foot addition to Copley Place. It's now supposed to have 433 apartments and 109 condos as well as a formidable retail base (rendered above). It's been a circuitous route for the tower, which was originally O.K.'d back in the fall of 2011, over vociferous local opposition. Developer Simon Property suspended plans for the tower shortly thereafter, returning with the expanded edition in late June. Bring it.
· Millennium Tower Sets a Date for Groundbreaking [Curbed Boston]
· For Filene's Site Builder, Game-Changing Mojo from NYC to JP [Curbed Boston]
· Millennium Pace: Downtown Boston's Hottest-Selling Condo [Curbed Boston]
· Millennium Place and the Rise of Gated Communities Downtown [Curbed Boston]
· 6 Things You Should Realize About the Innovation District [Curbed Boston]
· Mayor Menino's Greatest Real Estate Hits [Curbed Boston]
· Bloodless Coup in Boston! Car Overthrown as City's King! [Curbed Boston]
· Mega-Waterfront Development Aquarium Place Surfaces [Curbed Boston]
· Is East Boston the New Innovation District? [Curbed Boston]
· 5 Things We Now Know About Steve Wynn's Everett Casino [Curbed Boston]
· Eastie Casino to Be One-Sixth Size of the Pru, Other Fun Facts [Curbed Boston]
· Over the Top! Offers Above Asking Abound in the Hub [Curbed Boston]
· Signs of Low Inventory and the Mother of All Over-Asks [Curbed Boston]
· How to Speed Up in the Hub's Low-Inventory Market [Curbed Boston]
· Our Updated Residential Heatmap: 66 Projects and Counting [Curbed Boston]
· Boston's 5,000 New Apartments Won't Mean Lower Rents [Curbed Boston]
· What We Don't Talk About Re: Cambridge Development [Curbed Boston]
· The Mystery of Copley Place: Developer Halts Major Tower [Curbed Boston]
· The Magic of the Copley Place Tower: More Units, Same Height [Curbed Boston]