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Eastie Expansion: Residential Developments Set to Revolutionize East Boston

Eastie

East Boston has long been seen as a predominantly working-class neighborhood with relatively few structural intrusions save for the existing Logan Airport, various waterfront triple-deckers and boat hubs. However, we’re seeing a gradual change in the area as an increasing number of developments and condo buyers assemble in the promising neighborhood.

In her 2015 book, Legendary Locals of East Boston, fourth-generation East Bostonian and professor of journalism and media studies at Rutgers University, Dr. Regina Marchi, details the extensive history of this often overlooked gem. “In 1987, the first rounds of condominiums were being developed, but few people were actually living in them”, Marchi explains. Long-time East Boston broker, Anthony Giacalone Jr. offers a comparison to the neighborhood’s current market: “I think you will see appreciation, but you need more product. There’s no shortage of people who want to live in a funky neighborhood near downtown Boston… but there’s definitely a shortage of supply”.

As we analyze and compare East Boston market prices, we can certainly see its potential in becoming Boston’s newest “It” neighborhood. There are currently 25 East Boston residential projects in the planning, approval, construction, or recently completed phases on the Boston Redevelopment Authority website; the most it has seen in quite some time. Below are a few residential developments that are posed to transform East Boston. (Images courtesy of Boston Redevelopment Authority.)

135 Bremen Street

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Project Status: Board Approved

The Boston Redevelopment Authority has approved construction of a five-story, 94-unit residential complex with 7,790 square feet of commercial space and 126 parking spaces. The site was used as a trucking terminal in the past, with two billboards on the corner of Bremen and Porter streets. This development will be conveniently situated for commuters, within close proximity to Airport and Maverick Square MBTA stations, as well as East Boston Greenway connector and Bremen Street Park. This project is set to revitalize this section of Bremen and Porter, and will bring convenient and necessary residential housing to this underutilized corridor.

Ten New

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Project Status: Under Construction

The proposed project on 6-26 New Street calls for a 16-story residential tower with 259 residential units and 155 parking spaces. The project broke ground in December, 2014 and is now entering the final stages of facade and interior construction work. Located on Boston Harbor, Ten New will offer residents East Boston’s premier variant of the downtown Boston skyline. The building’s ground floor is anticipated to house a waterfront restaurant.

151 Liverpool Street

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Project Status: Under Review

A six-story residential building with 36 condominium units (including 5 affordable units) is currently under review at Boston Redevelopment Authority. While the original plan was to rehabilitate the current building at 151 Liverpool, structural and financial concerns have shown that it would not be commercially reasonable to construct a multi-story addition on top of the existing building. A new developer, City Point Development of Newton, has proposed demolishing the existing building and constructing a new six-story residential building with underground parking.

Hodge Boiler Works

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Project Status: Board Approved

The Hodge Boiler Works project, located at 101 Sumner Street, includes one main residential building and two outbuildings. The main building will be five stories with 95 residential units, roof top pavilions, a six unit bed and breakfast unit and below grade parking for 52 vehicles. The outbuildings will include a 740 square foot marina and 740 square foot café. This project will provide housing opportunities for the growing neighborhood and provisions for affordable housing units in accordance with the Mayor’s Executive Order on Inclusionary Zoning. This long-time inaccessible portion of the waterfront will at last be made open to the public and connect it to LoPresti Park and the expanding East Boston Harborwalk. Construction period will be approximately 24 months following the BRA’s final approval.

Clippership Wharf

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Project Status: Under Construction

As of April 2016, construction has begun on a mixed-use waterfront development that consists of 492 residential units ranging from studio to one-bedroom layouts. The project will transform an underutilized section of the East Boston Waterfront into an active, publicly accessible extension of Maverick Square. The 12 acre site is currently an impediment to the access, views and enjoyment of the waterfront. The mix of condominiums and apartments will be complimented by a mix of restaurant and recreational space on the ground floor. Further, it will allow for seamless vehicular access from neighborhood roadways and will create a network of pedestrian and bicycle pathways along the East Boston shoreline. The site will feature facilities of public accommodation including a public social and fitness club, a destination restaurant, a commuter café, public parking, secure bicycle storage, and a boating marina.

1181 Bennington Street

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Project Status: Board Approved

Situated on approximately 18,000 square feet of land, the project at 1181 Bennington Street calls for demolition of an existing auto repair shop and multi-family dwelling in order to develop a four-story, 44 unit (7 of which will be affordable) residential structure with underground parking. The building will be an important project for the Orient Heights neighborhood and continue to build upon the city’s longstanding goals of creating additional affordable housing in a growing neighborhood.

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