Here's the latest installment of Bates By the Numbers, a weekly feature by Boston real estate agent David Bates that drills down into the Hub's housing market to uncover those trends you would not otherwise see. Follow him on Twitter and check out his ebook, Context: Nine Key Condo Markets, 2.0.
Recently, I visited some of the city's newer rental buildings. Here's my take.
Avalon Exeter at 77 Exeter Street in Back Bay
187 Units. Studios: $2,800 to $3,800; 1-BR $3,800 to $4,800; 2-BR $5,400 to $14,300; 3-BR $10,100 to $16,000
This building has location, location, location: Exeter Street. Of course, there was a gym and 24-7 common room, but for the most part I thought the décor was a little sparser than some of the other buildings.
Why was that? Because this building has location, location, location. You can go underground to the 24-hour Shaws, which is certainly a great amenity in the winter months. Seventy-seven Exeter is soon to offer valet parking for $370 a month. Apartments above the 15th floor have incredible views. When I visited, the leasing agent, Ryan, told me the 2-BRs were hot sellers, so Avalon was offering specials on the 1-BRs and studios.
315 on A in Fort Point
202 Units. Studios $2,129 to $3,019; 1BR $2,600 to $3,500; 2-BR $3,600 to $5,000 (subject to change without notice)
For me the candy and dog biscuits at the concierge desk set the tone that this place was different. This is a cool building in a cool part of Fort Point with a clear message: It's green. They have a LEED Gold certificate and provide free green cleaning supplies for tenants and a host of other green-themed services. The highlight was the top floor, which has a fitness room, common space and roof deck with infrared grills. The whole top floor has incredible views!
Additionally, the place didn't feel like a Boston apartment building; it felt like its own neighborhood, and property manager Jessica Ryan and the owners seemed to care about the well-being of the tenants as much as extended family. It has all the typical business and function areas as well as what might be the city's most impressive bike room, with a bike repair station and annual bike tune-up visits.
Did I forget to mention the pet relief room is almost done? Their community events have included Yappy hour with a dog trainer; yoga sessions; movie night; and World Cup parties. Studio rentals are so hot here it might be a good deal to rent a 1-BR.
Waterside Place 505 Congress Street in the Seaport District
236 Units. 1-BRs $2,600 to $3,500; 2-BRs $3,600-$5,000; 3-BRs $5,800 (subject to change without notice)
Seaport, baby! Live where you can roll out of bed and take your pick of eating at Del Frisco's, Legal Sea Foods and a host of other dining options. These apartments have great flooring and large bathrooms.
Waterside Place has a business room that comes in handy during a move-in if your cable company hasn't set up services. They also have a quiet room that is a good place to make personal phone calls. The outdoor space has grills, a bocce court, and tenants can rent a personal garden area.
The Seaport may lack a supermarket and pharmacy, but in the summer it might be Boston's most vibrant location. The leasing representative, Amy Keegan, told me that early the 3-BRs were hot and water views are always the preferred direction. Waterside Place doesn't have free-month incentives, but instead offers competitive rents that often factor in such incentives.
The Arlington at 100 Arlington Street in Bay Village/Back Bay
128 Units. 1-BRs $3,800 to $4,000; 2-BRs $6,750 to $8,500; no studios or 3-BRs (subject to change without notice)
Basketball court. 'Nuff said? No? Well, the sport court is only part of an impressive 20,000 square feet of amenity space in the building, which has a variety of amenities, including its own ATM. The condo-quality finishes here are reminiscent of Renovation Hardware. Ellen Kang, the leasing agent, touted the building's services and told me the personal assistant at the Arlington is happy get five mover quotes for your move or prices for five different hotels for your trip.
There's only 10 units on a floor at the Arlington, giving it a cozier feel than the larger buildings. The units have white-washed oak floors, walnut cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and all-marble baths with large subway tile. The building was originally the Boston Consolidated Gas Company and a few of the units have historical restrictions that require tenants to sign documents that they won't change certain things in their apartments.
The Arlington has its own version of the Hubway program and provides bikes for residents. Bay Village is a great location, which makes all the retail and restaurants of both the Back Bay and the South End within walking distance. The Arlington has secured some discount parking options at the nearby Revere Hotel and also parks a few Zipcars on-site.
10 St. George in the South End
1-BRs $3,500 to $3,750; 2-BRs $3,800 to $5,150; 3-BRs $5,400 to $5,600
One of the things I always like about property in the South End is the finishes and these don't disappoint. They were the best I saw. More than half the apartments have two bedrooms. The leasing agent, Declan, told me the large 3-BR, 3-BA penthouse with floor-to-ceiling windows and private deck with incredible views doesn't have a price yet. It's an awesome apartment so it won't be cheap.
My suggestion is to hurry up over to St. George while they are offering one month of free rent on a lot of the apartments.
· Our Bates By the Numbers archive [Curbed Boston]
[All photos by David Bates except 10 St. George]