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BOSTON: Seaport Vet Hopes to Lure Young Renters

National Multifamily

Next week, The Drew Co will start leasing apartments at its $120M Waterside Place, CEO John Drew's fifth project in the hot Boston Seaport market. But when he started developing there 30 years ago, he saw promise where others saw only problems. In '84, when John (above with the firm's Rie Sugihara) and Fidelity started to redevelop Commonwealth Pier into the 800k SF World Trade Center, he discovered major selling points for the neighborhood. People are always drawn to the water, he says. (That explains why The Love Boat was on the air for 249 episodes.) John also knew tenants would like the low cost to park in the area's myriad lots, and office rents were much lower than those in the Financial District.


Milestones in reviving the waterfront, John recalls, were the Silver Line rapid transit service build-out and the opening of the South Boston convention center. Now Waterside Place, at 236 apartments, sits next door to a Silver Line T-stop. Occupancy will start in January; a 1,100 SF, two-bedroom apartment will rent for about $4,500. The second phase will have 200 apartments, and some may be micro units; a 590 SF, one-bedroom apartment would go for approximately $2,700/month, we learned. John likes the idea of having a product that will appeal to young people. Their apartment may be small, but Waterside Place will have a large common area where they can socialize, work, and dine.