Welcome back to Critical Mass., in which Curbed Boston covers the region’s major development news every week. The novel coronavirus continues to disrupt things, with the week’s biggest stories all tied to the pandemic. These include a continued back-and-forth between public officials and the private sector over construction moratoriums and the permanent closure of a famed Kenmore hotel.
First to that back-and-forth. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh warned developers and contractors against continuing construction projects, citing the city’s moratorium on projects—even those deemed essential under state and federal rubrics. Boston was the first major U.S. city to issue a construction moratorium due to the coronavirus, with nearby cities such as Somerville and Cambridge quickly following.
And, in perhaps the most striking sign of just how much the pandemic has walloped the Boston region’s hospitality market, the Hotel Buckminster at 645 Beacon Street announced it would not reopen after closing due to the pathogen. What will become of the inn’s choice site in a Fenway-Kenmore area rife with development in recent years is unclear.
We end with the uncertainty surrounding the Boston housing market, particularly for homebuyers. Why? Because development has driven so much of that housing market and that homebuying. New projects have transformed neighborhoods and altered daily realities (at least before the pandemic altered everything) such as commutes and shopping. Curbed Boston looked at homebuying amid coronavirus and this is what we found.