LuxBeat Local Real Estate Professionals discuss rumors, facts and opinions on Luxury Real Estate in Boston, MA and Providence, RI

August 29, 2007

Major Project Nixed

Filed under: Boston Real Estate,New Construction — Joshua A. Golden @ 2:05 pm

It is rumored that Kensington Tower, which was to be located across the street from Archstone Apartments on Washington St. in Chinatown has been put off until further notice.  My assumption is a lack of financing, and a softening condo market.  From a pure neighborhood position I certainly hope a big developer does something exciting with the land, maybe a luxury hotel, to continue the momentum of gentrification in the area.

Interest Rates Are Dropping

Filed under: Boston Real Estate — Joshua A. Golden @ 1:55 pm

In the last few weeks interest rates on a non-jumbo loans have fallen approximately 25 basis points.  Unfortunately though, luxury condo buyers are getting hurt the most as they are making up the slack for the subprime mess.  A jumbo, 5 year ARM, which are loans over $417k are reaching upwards of 7.5%(6% 3 months ago).  Forget about 100% financing, it does not exist in this environment.  My friend who works at First Horizon mentioned that there was no warning for this.  it happened overnight so professional and novice investors alike could not prepare.


My opinion: Personally I think rates will start to come down more dramatically the Fed lowers rates and people on Wall Street put their money in safer investments like bonds.  As people buy these bonds, the yields will go down and interest rates on home loans will follow.

May 11, 2007


Filed under: Boston Real Estate,New Construction,Rumor Mill — Joshua A. Golden @ 12:49 pm

That is right friends.  The rumor is out and I personally think it is very close to becomming a reality.  The BRA has approved the designs for a new glass tower that will house a W Hotel and luxury Condominiums.  To say this will enhance W Hotel Bostonthe neighborhood is the understatement of the century.  Just a block away from One Charles and the Boston Common, what some might think is a risk for W/Starwood, in my opinion is a HOME RUN. The Midtown/Theater District transformation is coming to fruition much sooner than most people thought. 

May 1, 2007

Midtown Boston Going Ons And Rumors

Filed under: Boston Real Estate,Rumor Mill — Joshua A. Golden @ 11:40 pm
  • Millennium Partners 17 Story building called Hayward Place – Currently open air parking lot across from The Opera House.
  • Vornado Realty Trust out of New York City have plans to build a 50 story tower above the old Macy’s .  It is rumored the building will house retail(Perhaps A Whole Food?), hotel and Luxury condominiums.
  • 10 West Street which was a complete gut rehab of a pre-war building was slated to house luxury loftstyle condos.  Unfortunately sales were not as strong as anticipated and and the developers decided to sell the entire property.  It is rumored to be under agreement with Suffolk University and will be used for dorms(Lucky kids).
  • Down Washington St. across from the new Archstone Apartment complex, Kensington Investments are rumored to be building a 30+ story tower designed to house high end apartments and condos.

Sales Prices in One Charles Boston Continue To Rise

Filed under: Boston Real Estate — Joshua A. Golden @ 11:27 pm

Since the building first opened its doors in late 2004 sales at One Charles in Boston, MA have steadily risen.  Units that were originally selling for $550-$650/foot are now fetching upwards of $800.  Units with commanding views are selling between $1,000/ft and $1,400/ft.  All we hear in the media is how slow the real estate market is, but what they leave out is how hot the condo market is (Upcoming blog).

One Charles Boston

**If you would like to see a recent sales history on the building please visit a popular listing page on and scroll down to the active grid.  This will give you a great idea of what units are selling for in the building.

March 1, 2007

Boston Seaport is HOT!!!!

Filed under: Boston Real Estate — Joshua A. Golden @ 5:02 pm

Fan Pier from

The Boston Seaport is the next great thing to happen to Boston.  Located on the waters edge with skyline and ocean views these parcels of land (Fan Pier shown to the left) will be the home to some of Boston’s most exclusive luxury real estate.  With malls, markets, and restaurants rumored to be taking long term leases in new construction properties around the neighborhood, the excitement is beggining to start up.  What was talked about for two decades is now coming to fruition. 

City Hall and Surrounding Land For Sale;-) Good For ALL!!

Filed under: Boston Real Estate — Joshua A. Golden @ 4:24 pm
In a speech this morning, Mayor Menino annouced his plans to again try to sell City Hall and City Hall Plaza to private developers.  The sale of this under-developed land would provide more than enough proceeds to fund the development of a iconic new City Hall on Drydock Four in the new and up-and-coming “Seaport District”.

Josh’s Thoughts:

This is fantastic for the city and future luxury condo buyers.  Any high rise built on this land will boast stunning Ocean, Beacon Hill, Back Bay and park views.  Being on the edge of Beacon Hill, historic North End and located in the middle of “It All” this parcel of land will fetch a premium.  It will also be fantastic for the up and coming Seaport District where Mortons and Legal Test Kitchen have take up positions in anticipetion of enourmous future development.

Nicks’s Thoughts: 

My Thoughts:  I am almost always a fan of redeveloping under-developed land and completely support this proposal.  What are the drawbacks?  None that I can see.  Developers get a blank canvas to add to Boston’s skyline with more residential and mixed-use properties and the city get’s rid of one of the ugliest buildings ever constructed.  This also should bring some attention to the newly developed “Seaport District” and most likely bring in better public transportation as well.

November 11, 2006

Boom, Bust, or Coming Back?

Filed under: Boston Real Estate — Josh @ 11:32 am
Housing slump got you down?  If over a century of history is any indicator, and you have the time to wait it out, real estate, in some of the big metro areas have bounced back and then some.  Here is a quick look at what happened in a few of those cities after the last housing bust:         

New York: 

Last Downturn: 1992-1995

Pre downturn Peak: 1988

10 Years Later: In 1998  prices were down 28%.

5 Years Later: In 2003 prices were up just 10% from the 1988 peak.

Opinion: Modest Comeback – From 2003 through 2005 prices increased further but in 2006 we had already started to see the next downturn.  The modest 10% inflation adjusted gain is certainly not a BOOM, and unless you sold between 03′ and 05′ you are looking at a bust compared to some of Americas other cities.

Los Angeles:

Pre downturn Peak: 1989

Last Bust: 1994-1997

10 Years Later: In 1999  prices were down 26%.

5 Years Later: In 2004 prices were up a whopping 36% from the pre-bust peak.

Opinion: Boom – LA prices have skyrocketed and in the past 5 years and have only come down modestly, if at all.  If there was a housing boom out there, Los Angeles is one of them.

San Francisco:

Pre downturn Peak: 1989

Last Bust: 1994-1995

10 Years Later: In 1999  prices were up 1%.

5 Years Later: In 2004 prices were up ready for this, 54% from last market peak.

Opinion: Super Boom – Although prices never dropped during the downturn, an increase of 54% from the last peak is amazing.  What is more amazing is that prices went up even further the following 2 years and have been somewhat immune to the recent downturn.


There is no historical data to prove whether Miami is in a boom or a bust but let me give you my 2 cents.  Over the past 5 years Miami, and Florida for that matter, have gone through one of the fastest expansions the US has ever seen.  A quick look at the landscape will tell you that the population has exploded along with developments and new skyscrapers.  Unfortunately, Miami in particular has been developed too quickly.  The population cannot keep up and many overseas buyers bought on speculation.  Over the last year and a half prices have dropped dramatically and developers have started to abandon projects.  Those who bought condos thinking they would get a quick double are lucky to get their money back.  Some are selling at a loss when faced with paying brokerage commissions and closing costs.  In the coming year, if you have cash on the side, you might want to think about scooping up some condos at forclosure sales.

Opinion: Upcoming BUST

Beloved Boston:

Pre downturn Peak: 1987

Last Bust: 1992-1995

10 Years Later: In 1996  prices were down 24%.

5 Years Later: In 2001 prices were up 25% from last peak and the following 4 years prices increased even more dramatically.


Opinion: Boom – The Boston housing market went through one of the most dramatic booms in the country which is why every national news station points to Boston as a real estate bubble.  Prices have certainly stabilized over the past year, and in the suburbs have come down dramatically as average days on market have gone up.  Boston proper though, in luxury high rise condo buildings, prices have stayed the same and in the most desirable buildings(One Charles, Ritz-Carlton Residences, Residences At The Intercontinental, Atelier 505) prices have increased substantially as demand for in town homes have gone up.

November 1, 2006

Exciting New Restaurants Rumored To Be Moving Into Midtown

Filed under: Boston Real Estate,Rumor Mill — Joshua A. Golden @ 12:00 am


<----Hint, Hint Rumors have been floating around that some of the premier retail spaces in the midtown area of Boston located near the theaters and Ritz-Carlton have been absorbed by some exciting new restaurants:

  • On Avery Street, in the retirement homes first floor retail space, a premier sushi/Japanese restaurant has leased 15,000 square feet.  This will be a very exciting addition to the quickly changing Midtown neighborhood.  Buildout and approvals have been slow but the owners are experienced operators so our staff is confident that construction will commence soon and the restaurant will open in 2007.
  • In the retail Space at the base of The Ritz-Carlton(Corner of Avery and Washington St.) it has been rumored that a european style deli/restaurant has leased 8,000+ square feet and will be opening in 2007.

I can say, based on my resources, I am 95% certain that these will come to fruition and help the ongoing gentrification of the Midtown area.

October 26, 2006

The Opening Of Perfection: The Residences At The Intercontinental

Filed under: Boston Real Estate — Joshua A. Golden @ 9:55 pm

Residences-Intercontinental BostonToday I had the privilege to walk through one of the most exciting new developments to come to Boston in 6 years (Completion of The Ritz-Carlton Residences), The Residences At The Intercontinental.Initially when walking through the private resident entrance, I thought to myself, this is pretty nice but not what I expected. As I came to the concierge desk and looked down the hall to the elevators I realized, ok, this is not nice, it is spectacular. The masterfully planned decor made me feel like I was in a W Hotel in New York City. It almost made me forget I was in good ole conservative Boston, MA. The porcelain looking woven floors flowed into the elevators that whisked us to the luxury condo units on the top 7 floors of the building(21 total with the first 12 floors being hotel). The units were spectacular and sat unobstructed looking over the city on one side and the harbor on the other.

The wonderful sales woman then took us down to see the Intercontinental Hotel lobby and facilities. There is a champagne bar and the cities first 24/7 bistro that will serve the residence’s. For all those sushi lovers there will be a restaurant serving you all of your favorite sushi and sashimi dishes. Oh, it gets better! We went up to the exclusive 5 star spa/gym/infinity pool. State of the art equipment surrounds the 10,000 square foot plus facility. While sweating away those unwanted pounds you will feel at ease while looking over the Rose Kennedy Greenway through twenty foot floor to ceiling windows. Care for a massage? The spa offers everything from mud baths, to stone massages in one of their 8 luxury treatment rooms.

It was a real treat previewing The Residences At The Intercontinental and I highly recommend taking look if you are considering renting or purchasing a luxury unit in the city of Boston. If you are indeed thinking about purchasing, prices range from $725,000 for a one bedroom(Sample Floorplan) up to over $5,000,000 for penthouse 4 bedrooms with private roof gardens. If renting is your preference, be prepared to spend upwards $3,500+ for a one bedroom, $5,500+ for a two bedroom and up to $12,000+ for a three bedroom per month. All units will include valet garage parking spaces.

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