Eastie's Time Has Come
Portland-Based Gerding Edlen director of East Coast/Midwest acquisitions Matt Edlen hopes the company will soon get a green light from the city to start building a $130M multifamily complex in East Boston, a waterfront neighborhood ready to be rediscovered. (It's like Atlantis, except it's easier to find and you wont get water in your ear.) It has a T-stop, incredible harbor views, and several developers digging or soon to start.
Later this year, Gerding Edlen would like to launch site work at 26 New St for up to 260 apartments. After being an early mover to develop apartments in the downtown Seaport District and in the New York Streets section of the South End, Eastie is the next pioneering project. The plan is to deliver the Class-A housing Eastie has not had historically at prices competitive with comparable urban core properties. With proximity to the city and a vibrant community, Gerding Edlen sees Eastie as a new, emerging market for today’s multifamily tenant.
The New Street plan is to gut an existing nine-story industrial building (above), add seven stories on top, and build a new, adjacent six-story building that will have retail and an amenity deck. Construction on Boston Harbor means working with the city's new resiliency regulations to create a sustainable, long-lasting community. The firm hopes for occupancy during Q2’16 and expects great things from this vibrant, eclectic neighborhood that for generations has welcomed waves of immigrants. Matt says he was “floored” by the community support, an element that’s essential for development success.
When Ed Herrera—a senior designer/manager for ADD Inc—became an Eastuie resident in ’07, it still had less appeal than other Boston neighborhoods. It was hamstrung by the legacy of a fading waterfront and neglected buildings, with properties abandoned by maritime and industrial users. In the '70s and ‘80s, there didn't seem to be a solid transition plan for the waterfront, Ed tells us. But there’s always been a tight-knit community. Recently, an influx of pioneering young professionals and college students have “added to the palette,” he says.
Given its location and mass transit, East Boston was poised for transformation a decade ago. During the recession, several projects, including Portside at Pier One (above) were put on hold. The 566-unit complex on the water at Marginal Street is being developed by Mack-Cali subsidiary NJ-based Roseland in a JV with Prudential Insurance Co. They expect occupancy by year's end. This $67M, 176-unit building with ground-floor retail is the first of seven buildings planned for its Boston Harbor site.
Portside sits next to Piers Park, a 6.5-acre public park, which boasts spectacular water views, a 600-foot pedestrian promenade extending out into the inner harbor, and more than 16 different species of trees, flowering shrubs, and annual and perennial flowers. Built in 1995 by Massport, it’s become a community gathering place and where a lost-looking visitor may be approached by a local asking, “Can I help you?”
It’s been 15 years since Winn Development started working on the 400-unit Clippership Wharf, and finally the market is right, with permitting underway and construction likely to start within a year, senior project director Chris Fleming (above) tells us. Within weeks, arrangements with an equity partner in the $200M project should be finalized; then, it’s all systems go. When the digging starts for the mix of condos and apartments, the neighborhood will be turning a pivotal corner in establishing its new identity. Chris expects plenty of young professionals to put in a stake here since the new Maverick T-stop places the area 1 minute, 45 seconds from the Financial District's 60 State St, he says.
Also in about a year, Neighborhood of Affordable Housing—a non-profit community development corporation—hopes to start site work on the $31M Coppersmith Village at the old Architectural Iron Works site near the water on Border, Decatur, and Liverpool streets, says NOAH project manager Kristin Carlson. It will have 56 rental apartments on Border Street, with 3,000 SF of ground-floor retail planned for an outdoor cafe and restaurant. On Liverpool Street will be 15 for-sale townhouses that'll echo East Boston’s typical triple-decker format. The housing will be a mix of affordable and market rate.