Boston’s South End is booming and a large group of comfy shoe clad CRE professionals saw the progress first hand as they trekked the area on the NAIOP walking tour this past Wednesday (July 18th). The tour brought together the top minds who have shaped the South End’s progress and expanded Boston’s center of gravity. Beginning at the brand new, highly stylish, 345 Harrison & wrapping with drinks at the Ink Block pool, our partners at NAIOP have once again provided members with an informative and entertaining program.
Tour Highlights included:
This new 585 mixed-use project spans a 2-acre site across from the Ink Block. Elizabeth Likovich, Director, UDR, explained that 345 Harrison was thoughtfully designed to feature several different facade types so the project would appear to be 5 or 6 different buildings instead of a “superblock”. The development has also embraced the artistic side of the South End with over $1 million of art on display throughout the common areas, most by local artists. 345 Harrison includes a variety of unit types from micro studios (all of which are already leased) to three bedrooms designed for families.
With permits in hand, Todd Fremont-Smith, Senior VP, at Nordblom Company told the crowd they hope to break ground on this project on August 1st. 321 Harrison, to be built on top of the existing garage, will include over 230K of office space. The glass facade, facing downtown Boston, will include the Roman numerals, 3,2,1 a nod to the building's address. Construction is expected to be complete by summer 2020.
The Abbey Group acquired the 5.6-acre parcel, home to the Boston Flower Exchange in September 2016 and has been working with the community and city on planning since. Their vision is to create a new urban campus of 4 new mixed-use buildings of lab, office, and innovation/tech space. Audrey Epstein Reny, Managing Partner of The Abbey Group mentioned that the firm decided to move toward office and lab space to complement the existing housing in the neighborhood and they hope to bring 4,000 to 7,000 jobs to the area. The new Exchange South End will also feature ample green space in the form of a 1-acre park to be called Albany Green.
Construction has begun on this upcoming 600,000 square-foot mixed-use project being developed by Leggat McCall Properties. The underground parking garage, shared between the residential components is being completed first, followed by the first residential tower expected to open in with December 2020. In total Harrison Albany block will add around 600 residences to the area with 8600 square feet of ground-floor retail. Existing buildings at 600 Harrison & 575 Albany will stay in place with improvements to house additional office space along with 50 additional units.
The Ink Block was the first domino to fall in the South End redevelopment boom and there are now 6 buildings complete within this project. The 7th, 7INK by Ollie, was just approved by the city and will be Boston’s first major co-living development. This project will offer 250 units of all-inclusive living with amenities ranging from laundry service to a full calendar of social events. Ted Tye, Partner and Director of Acquisitions at National Development, said he hopes to break ground this spring on the final piece of this game-changing development.
Another major piece of this project has been the clean up of the once neglected area under the highway. This new “Underground” is now home to neighborhood events and has energized this area that connects the South End to South Boston.