Trying to gauge the region’s built future? Follow enclaves such as Allston, Eastie, and the South End
Here comes fall and with it quite a bit of continuing change in the Boston region. Here are the seven neighborhoods changing more than most.
Harvard is in the process of building out the 36 acres it owns in Boston’s Allston, including at least four new buildings along Western Avenue (which in turn include a hotel, an apartment building, and two office hubs).
But the enclave is seeing other new development as well, though not on such a mini-neighborhood-in-the-making scale.
There is a plan for a six-building project with 334 apartments and condos at Harvard Avenue and Cambridge Street, for instance. And the 117-room, decidedly bright boutique hotel Studio Allston at 1234 Soldiers Field Road began welcoming guests this summer.
The South End
Numerous new developments are changing or have changed large swathes of the South End recently (which was doing pretty darn well before the construction, but hey).
Just this past August, the Boston Planning & Development Agency signed off on plans to redevelop the former site of the Boston Flower Exchange into a 1.6 million-square-foot, four-building technology and life sciences hub called Exchange South End (it’s rendered above).
Abbey Group, the developer, hopes to start construction on the $1 billion complex’s first phase in the spring of 2019.
Few neighborhoods in the entire region are seeing—or have seen recently—more construction and planned development than East Boston.
Projects big and small—including the 478-unit Clippership Wharf at 65 Lewis Street and the 119-unit conversion of the old Hodge Boiler Works at 99 Summer Street—are adding thousands of apartments and condos to the area.
There is also the specter of the redevelopment of the shuttered 161-acre Suffolk Downs racetrack on the Eastie-Revere line (and the possibility that Amazon might plant its second headquarters there).
Such development and the prospect of more has some residents calling for a moratorium on new construction. Definitely a neighborhood to watch.
Southie is always changing. But newer projects such as the five-acre Washington Village, with its 656 condos and apartments, is accelerating that change.
Meanwhile, even the scaled-back plans for the redevelopment of the approximately 15.2-acre L Street Power Station site at 776 Summer Street are ginormous. The project is currently due to include 1,344 housing units, 344 hotel rooms, and 368,070 square feet of office space.
And! News dropped in August that Boston plans to sell an 18-acre tow lot and municipal storage site in the Dorchester-Southie borderlands once deemed key to the region’s failed 2024 Summer Olympics bid.
What’s going to go there is anyone’s guess. But it’ll likely be big.
The Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences One Dalton Street—a.k.a. One Dalton—topped off in early August, and the opening of the region’s tallest new building since 200 Clarendon in 1976 is imminent.
Back Bay is also due to host a veritable forest of new towers around Back Bay Station.
That project, which includes a redevelopment of the Clarendon Garage, is expected to total 1.26 million square feet of housing, offices, and retail, with at least one tower stretching toward 400 feet.
Developer Related Beal’s plans for nine buildings in Kenmore dominate the changes that are afoot in the neighborhood.
The plans are still up in the air, but tentatively involve constructing two new buildings and revamping others, including 660 Beacon Street, which has propped up the famed Citgo sign for decades. The sign is expected to remain as part of any new development.
Two new hotels are also set to add nearly 700 rooms to Kenmore.
Apologies for the real estate cliche, but Kendall Square is hot.
A single acre in the Cambridge neighborhood sold in August for $50.5 million. It’s unclear what might go up at 585 Third Avenue, but it’s expected to be something major.
That development would join such projects as the 22-story, 280-unit apartment building at 88 Ames Street, the tallest new building in Cambridge since the completion of nearby 75 Ames Street in 2014. It is opening any day now.
Then there is everything that dominant resident M.I.T. has planned for the neighborhood, including the redevelopment of the 14-acre Volpe transportation center site, which could end up hosting the tallest building in Cambridge. Stay tuned.