You wouldn’t know it with one nor’easter after another, but spring has technically arrived in Boston.
Here are the trends to watch—and the milestones to watch for—during the next few months.
The city is this close to implementing its first major regulations of short-term rentals done through room-sharing sites such as Airbnb.
The regulations are expected to include restrictions on how long homeowners can rent out entire condos, apartments, and houses; and a requirement that short-term landlords register their short-term rentals with the city.
The state could also require registration—and could start taxing such rentals.
Votes on the changes are expected this spring, but any implementation would probably come later.
This is the gazillion-dollar question hanging over not only Boston and the Boston region, but pretty much nearly every other major metro area in the U.S. now.
The e-retail behemoth picked 20 finalists in January to host its second headquarters—a sprawling affair meant to run to 8 million square feet and host 50,000 employees—and is expected to pick a winner before the end of 2018.
If Boston does land the HQ, it would likely go on the site of the now-shuttered Suffolk Downs racetrack.
Will Amazon announce the winner this spring? Stay tuned. Everyone else is.
Housing market cooldown
The recent federal tax code overhaul could translate into fewer homebuyers in Boston, one of the most expensive cities in the nation for purchasing a home.
The CliffsNotes reason: Caps and threshold changes on certain deductions might dissuade people from buying real estate in the interest of saving shallower pots of after-tax income.
Rental market warmup
Those same folks who avoid the Boston sales market might instead opt for the city’s notoriously tight and expensive rental market.
The addition of more prospective tenants could make that market all the more tighter and expensive this spring—great news for landlords, of course, but not so much everyone else.
Yes, newer developments such as Pierce Boston in Fenway and One Dalton in Back Bay are sure to record some notably titanic closings, but “major sales” in this sense involves development sites.
In particular, the 20-acre site of the old Bayside Expo Center in Dorchester is expected to fetch in the nine figures; and to become, in turn, the site of one of the bigger new developments in a Boston full of bigger new developments.
Speaking of bigger new developments, keep your eyes peeled for progress on several this spring, including the conversions of various garages (Dock Square, Winthrop Square, Boston Harbor, Clarendon, Government Center, on and on) and the continued unfolding of Seaport Square.
Silver Line extension
Let’s end with some unmitigated good news for Boston and its surrounding region: The Silver Line is expected this April to start rolling back and forth from downtown Chelsea via South Station and Eastie. Bravo.
- On second thought, Boston says once urgently needed action on short-term rentals can wait [Curbed Boston]
- Amazon picks the Boston area as one of 20 finalists to host second headquarters [Curbed Boston]
- Suffolk Downs redevelopment moving forward, possibly toward Amazon [Curbed Boston]
- Federal tax overhaul could rattle Boston, Cambridge housing markets in particular [Curbed Boston]
- Apartment landlords in Boston area could be big winners under federal tax changes [Curbed Boston]
- Boston’s tallest building west of downtown now open [Curbed Boston]
- Is One Dalton the last 700-foot tower in Boston for a generation? [Curbed Boston]
- UMass’ Bayside Expo Center in Dorchester could fetch $200M [Curbed Boston]
- Dock Square Garage redevelopment would include glass facade, stairs-like roof [Curbed Boston]
- Winthrop Square tower renderings show a still-sizable spire, whatever the shrinkage [Curbed Boston]
- Boston Harbor Garage redevelopment back on—sort of [Curbed Boston]
- Back Bay Station towers developer to pay $6 million to mitigate shadow concerns [Curbed Boston]
- Bulfinch Crossing construction timelapse: Away goes part of Government Center Garage [Curbed Boston]
- Boston garage conversions: 6 major ones proposed or underway [Curbed Boston]
- Seaport District open space a major focus of Seaport Square development [Curbed Boston]
- Silver Line rolling into Chelsea in April as planned [Curbed Boston]
- Boston’s South Station: The ultimate guide [Curbed Boston]