Real Estate

Top 5 Boston Submarkets for Construction Activity

Boston’s multifamily sector continues to pick up steam, showing signs of recovery. According to Yardi Matrix data, some 4,400 units delivered in the metro between January and October 2021. More than 18,000 units were under construction at the end of October—4,800 of which broke ground this year, further highlighting the sector’s resilience in Boston. Approximately 7,000 units are estimated to be complete by the end of the year.

Developments underway in the five most active submarkets account for 36 percent of Boston’s pipeline. Based on Yardi Matrix data, the table below highlights the metro’s top submarkets for construction activity by number of units under construction.

Rank Submarket Units Underway Projects Underway
1 East Boston–Chelsea 1,734 7
2 Brighton 1,417 7
3 North End–Charlestown 1,403 4
4 Quincy 1,075 2
5 Somerville 904 3

5. Somerville

Somerville’s active pipeline encompassed 904 units across three properties at the end of October. The largest project underway was the 500-unit Miscela at 485 Foley St. Federal Realty Investment Trust started construction of the $165 million property in late 2019, with delivery slated for the end of this year.

The building features floorplans ranging from 434 to 1,664 square feet and includes 26 affordable units as well as 26,500 square feet of restaurant and retail space. The owner selected Cranshaw Construction as general constructor and Stantec as architect. Miscela represents the third phase of the Assembly Row project, which will include the future North American headquarters of Puma.

4. Quincy

The Abby. Rendering courtesy of The Bozzuto Group

Two properties encapsulating 1,075 units were underway in Quincy as of October, both expected to come online in 2023. The largest one—Bozzuto Group and Atlantic Development’s The Abby—includes an affordable housing component. Despite pandemic-induced delays, the property hit a milestone in June 2020, backed by $159.4 million in construction financing provided by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.

Upon completion, scheduled for the first quarter of 2023, the property will include 610 units sized between 500 and 1,416 square feet, 1,500 parking spaces, as well as 45,000 square feet of retail space anchored by a Target store. The transit-oriented development is taking shape at 255 Hancock St., near the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s North Quincy Red Line stop.

3. North End–Charlestown

Charlestown. Image by Qusai Akoud via Unsplash

The North End–Charlestown submarket’s inventory is expected to increase by 1,403 units by the end of 2022, with the bulk—935 units—scheduled for completion by year-end. All four properties underway are partially affordable.

The largest property under construction in the submarket was Alcott, a 470-unit project at 35 Lomasney Way. Equity Residential started construction on the 44-story residential tower in October 2018, with completion anticipated toward the end of 2021. In August, the company entered into a strategic partnership with Toll Brothers to develop $1.9 billion of apartments in key markets including Boston, where it’s currently working on the second phase of the 84-unit Lofts at Kendall Square.

2. Brighton

The Overlook at St. Gabriel’s. Image courtesy of Cabot, Cabot & Forbes

As of October, there were 1,417 units across seven properties under construction in Brighton, with five featuring an affordable housing component. Close to 950 units are expected to come online by the end of 2021.

The largest project underway was the 555-unit Overlook at St. Gabriel’s at 175 Washington St. A partnership between Blue Vista Capital Group, Peak Campus Cos. and Cabot, Cabot & Forbes broke ground on the site in late 2018, with delivery of the five-building property scheduled for the end of 2021. Starwood Capital Group financed construction with a $150.2 million loan.

1. East Boston–Chelsea

Developers kept busy in the submarket, where 1,734 units were under construction at the end of October. More than 400 units delivered during the year through October, and an additional 459 are anticipated to complete by the end of the year, far surpassing last year’s total of 305 units.

The largest property underway was Fairfield Residential’s VERO, a 692-unit project at 255 Vale St. Construction on the two-building asset began in February 2019, with completion expected in the first quarter of 2022.

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