One Dalton Developer Richard Friedman Changing the Skyline
Carpenter & Co CEO Richard Friedman is developing the 61-story, $800M One Dalton mixed-use project under construction in Back Bay. The ultra-luxury condos (priced $3M to $40M) and five star Four Seasons hotel reflect Boston's new stature as a world-class city, says Richard. Come hear his insights at Bisnow’s Boston 2016 Forecast: A View From the Top, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 7:30am, Boston Harbor Hotel.
Carpenter & Co has developments around the world, including a $350M Four Seasons hotel/condo underway in New Orleans (where Carpenter also will redevelop the World Trade Center). In Iceland, it’s building a 250-key Edison Hotel with Ian Schraeger on the harbor of Reykjavik. At home in Cambridge, Carpenter is completing a 100k SF office building in Harvard Square that’s entirely pre-leased by Harvard. It’s doing the historic renovation of the nearby Conductor’s Building and a $12M renovation of the rooms in its Charles Hotel.
At One Dalton, the quality of the structure and extensive services provided will rival—or exceed—the best buildings in London or New York, Richard says. He says the Boston market for upscale condos is vibrant enough to drive “great” sales of One Dalton’s 180 condominiums. The collaborating architects are Henry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed and Gary Johnson of Cambridge Seven. The designer for the residences is Thierry Despont, who also did the Ritz in Paris, The Carlyle in New York and Claridge's in London.
The Four Seasons will manage the hotel and residences. The homes start on the 26th floor, meaning unobstructed views. Inside they’ll feature 11-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, fireplaces, hardwood floors, and Siematic kitchens. Devoid of long corridors, the elevators will open directly into many units. For residents, the high-end services include dog grooming and 2am martinis at your door. (There's nothing more embarrassing than an unkempt dog greeting your martini deliveryman.) Look for an elaborate fitness center and an owner’s-only restaurant club on the 50th floor. One Dalton is walking distance to Symphony Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Prudential Center and the offices and shopping in Back Bay.
With a record 18 million SF under construction, the Boston property market has the attention of global investors. A year ago, Citibank raised $200M of equity from high-net-worth individuals (80% of them in 39 foreign countries) for One Dalton in 24 hours. Compared to past strong cycles, financing is more restrained, although getting a little unbridled in some cases, Richard says. Looking ahead, interest rates should rise, making some projects more difficult to finance. Construction will slow down, Richard adds, because Boston doesn’t need much more new development, the construction labor supply is short, land is expensive, and the cost to build continues to escalate.
At One Dalton, work is underway on the building foundations, tricky because it’s a relatively small site for a tower, says project manager Joe Norris. The concrete structure should be coming out of the ground in Q2 2016 and then construction will “fly” Richard tells us. Meanwhile, in coming weeks, Carpenter & Co will open a presentation gallery for One Dalton in the existing Four Seasons hotel on Boylston Street across from the Public Garden.
How the cycle plays out will depend in some measure on the 2016 elections. Boston has done well under Democratic administrations, says Richard, whose office is lined with personal photos of the Kennedys, Clintons and Obamas. A lifelong Democrat, he thinks that Republican control of the three branches of the federal government could disrupt the flow of research funding into the region’s defense, technology and healthcare industries, and limit resources devoted to solving the big national issues of income inequality, the scarcity of mid-market housing and modernization of mass transit. For more, please join us at Bisnow’s Boston 2016 Forecast: A View From the Top, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 7:30am, Boston Harbor Hotel. Register here.