When I think about the most remarkable residential real estate stories in Boston during 2015, the word “soaring” comes to mind. Mega-tall luxury condominium buildings, ultra high-end building amenities, and sky-high prices. As we head into 2016, the bar is set literally at uber heights for emerging new luxury condo residences in the city.
1. Millennium Tower’s Soaring Heights
From what was once an unsightly crater in the center of Downtown Crossing, there has emerged a crown jewel, Millennium Tower. The building was nearly completely sold as of the end of 2015. Final completion is scheduled for Q3 2016, yielding a building approaching 60 stories that combines nearly 450 residential condominiums, office space and retail areas. The top 5 floors enjoy commanding views from the highest residential points in Boston. The Grand Penthouse is a palatial 12,000+ square foot residence with a 2,000 square foot terrace that occupies the entire top floor. Its sale will surely be a record-buster on all measures for condo sales in the city — price, square footage, and price per square foot.
2. Buzz about One Dalton Street
News about a development near the Christian Science Plaza in Back Bay added to the stir about large scale residential buildings in 2015. One Dalton Street will slightly edge out Millennium Tower as the tallest residential building in the city. At 61 stories, the building will house luxury residential condominiums and a new Four Seasons hotel. Boston will join the ranks of other global cities, including London, Shanghai, and Singapore, in having 2 Four Seasons Hotels. Each residence will have a fireplace and those on the top few floors will have balconies. There’s a resident-only restaurant lounge on the 50th floor as well. When completed in 2017, the building will be the third tallest in the city.
3. Amenities Galore
Luxury buildings in Boston are vying for the best amenities to offer their discerning residents. These days, it’s baseline to have a fitness center, a movie screening room, and conference space. The newer amenities include perks specifically customized to the needs and interests of residents. Millennium Place and Towers both offer a “lifestyle” program featuring a calendar of educational, cultural and social events, such as Fireside Chats with a guest speaker, Casino Night, Boston Harbor outings, and more. In other luxury buildings around the city, you’ll find an in-house stylist and tailor, a rooftop fire pit, an outdoor dog run and washing station, and electric car charging stations.
4. Spotlight on Liberty Wharf
The Seaport is teeming with growth, as companies have located their businesses there and employees have followed. This accounts for some of the whopping price appreciation during 2015, as reported by LINK. The average selling price in 2014 at the Seaport was $855,000. In 2015 that rose to $2,425,000. Investors account for a good portion of this boom. Three condos at 22 Liberty Wharf are already listed for re-sale in January 2016. Most residences closed in late November and December 2015. Two of the residences at the high end are listed for 40% more than they were purchased for, and in one case, closed only ten days previously. These resale prices are commanding around $2,500 per square foot. Of course, that’s still below the city’s record-breaking sale of 2015, at Heritage on the Garden, where a 5,100 square foot expansive residence, created from two combined units, sold for $15.4 MM, or $3,029 per square foot. These soaring city prices will certainly be a trend to watch closely in the year ahead.