The city of Boston exemplifies its incredible wealth of diversity within the fabric of its own distinctive neighborhoods. From the sumptuous Italian atmosphere of the North End to the vintage charm of Beacon Hill and the yacht-lined waterfront of the Seaport, Boston’s cultural heterogeneity is its crown jewel.
Yet, how do we define the West End? What are its boundaries, its attractions, its personality? To understand these questions, we first need to look back on the history of the neighborhood. The West End was developed in the late 18th century when Boston’s North End and Waterfront districts were becoming overcrowded. Architect Charles Bulfinch, famous for designing the Massachusetts State House and Faneuil Hall, was responsible for much of the West End’s development, helping it grow into a melting pot for low-income immigrants.
By the 1960s, most West End residences were bulldozed and replaced with residential high rises, displacing thousands of residents who could not afford the new homes. The neighborhood failed to prosper following its period of urban renewal. Once a bustling community, the West End had become secluded and unfamiliar.
However, recent and upcoming developments are looking to give the neighborhood a much-needed facelift. Let’s take a look at the new urban renewal initiative coming to the West End.
At the tip of Rose Kennedy Greenway and historic Bulfinch Triangle, 1 Canal Street offers 310 luxury studio, 1-, 2- and 3 bedroom apartments and penthouses as well as 147 parking spaces and ground-floor retail space. The residences connect the North and West End neighborhoods through its nearby transportation systems – the Central Artery and MBTA Green and Orange lines. Every apartment offers oversized windows with sweeping city views, hardwood flooring and high ceilings. Amenities abound, conveniences include a rooftop social lounge with a heated swimming pool, cabanas, a movie theater, sprawling fitness center and courtyard.
Thoughtfully restored from the original Forecaster Rain Coat factory, Forecaster 121 is a boutique condominium building combining modern finishes and amenities with historic period details. Each of the 80 condominium homes presents intriguing design details including exposed brick walls, Juliette balconies, private terraces, and loft-style elements. These sleek and trendy residences bring about a new flair to West End’s Bulfinch Triangle.
As of late January, ground has been broken for an enormous project along Causeway Street. The massive development, called The Hub on Causeway, will include a residential tower, hotel, Boston’s largest supermarket, movie theater, office space, parking and retail/restaurant space. The complex will also introduce a new entrance into TD Garden, home of the Bruins and Celtics, as well as transit improvements to North Station. Anticipated completion of its first phase is set for late 2018. Phase Two, comprised of a 440-unit, 38-story residential tower, as well as a 10-story hotel with 260 rooms, is likely to be finished the following year.
Equity Residential, a Chicago-based real estate investment trust, have been received approval for its redevelopment of a 650-space four-story parking deck alongside TD Bank. The Garden Garage will be demolished and replaced with a 482-unit, 44-story residential tower, along with an 830-space below-grade parking deck, 18,000 sq. ft. of resident amenities, and more than 2,000 sq. ft. of ground-floor retail space. Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2016, and wrap up mid-2019.
Avalon North Station, the 38-story, 503-unit residential tower construction along Nashua Street, is quickly nearing completion. Upon completion, the luxury high-rise will be one of the tallest buildings in Boston, adjacent to the North Station transportation hub and TD Garden. A pedestrian mall is planned for the buildings based, featuring shops, restaurants and cafes. Avalon North Station will be the ideal residence for those who enjoy the excitement and ambiance of the North End. Completion is slated for June 2016.
All of these residences will bring about a new era of habitability to the West End. Further, there are many plans for office and retail space undergoing approval at the Boston Redevelopment Authority. We are looking forward to the West End returning to its former glory in upcoming years. See below for Bushari’s map of upcoming residences around the West End neighborhood.
Images courtesy of Boston Redevelopment Authority.