Interviewing the Mayor of Boston

posted in: Boston | 0

marty walshI picked up the phone last Friday and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was on the other end. The mayor was engaging and happy to answer any question I had. We talked about his goal of building 53,000 housing units in Boston by 2030. We also discussed a few other topics important to the city. I was a little nervous about my last question though. It called for the head of perhaps a key member in his administration, someone I thought to be extremely negligent and incompetent. But the mayor took the question in stride. We even laughed about it afterward. Want to know more about our conversation? Check out my featured column in Curbed and find out!

Batch Yard Amenities Are As Sweet As Candy

 

BeFunky_Batch Yard Common Room.jpgRecently, I visited The Batch Yard, the new Everett apartments on the site of the former Charleston Chew factory.

From my office in Back Bay, it’s about six miles and I got there in about 16 minutes. Yet, Batch Yard really feels like only a hop, skip and a jump to Boston. For instance, as soon as I passed the Science Museum, I felt like I was halfway. And a moment later, when I took a left after Bunker Hill Community College on to Route 99, I felt like I was heading down a final straightaway to Batch Yard.

The industrial neighborhood Batch Yard is located in is probably unfamiliar to most, but it’s real close to that lone wind mill often viewed from route 93.

My favorite things about Batch Yard were… Continued

Some Hub Buyers Undeterred By Relentless Winter

In most overask situations, it's all a bout the Benjamins.
In most overask situations, it’s all a bout the Benjamins.

Record snow, parking bans, limited T access and government shutdowns, did’t stop them. In the first two  and a half months of the year, fewer, but shall we say more motivated condo buyers found their dream homes and put them under agreement. In fact, in some Hub markets the amount of of under agreements actually outnumbered  the amount of new listings. Check out my featured column in Curbed and find out more. 

How Some Property Managers Stayed One Step Ahead Of Record Snow

One Federal was spotless while a street in nearby Beacon Hill showed the impact of Snowmageddon 2015.
One Federal was spotless while a street in nearby Beacon Hill showed the impact of Snowmageddon 2015.

(This originally appeared as my March column for Banker and Tradesman)

When I passed 53 State St., its sidewalk was pristine. It didn’t look as if record snow had fallen over the past 30 days. And there wasn’t a head-high barricade of the white stuff separating the street from the sidewalk. Instead, the pavement next to the downtown high rise looked like my house after the cleaners had come: a happy place to be.

Ditto, One Federal Street. Ditto the concourses of a few other buildings I saw in the Financial District. Here I was, in the heart of Boston, in the midst of snowmageddon 2015, and totally amazed that a number of outdoor spaces were pitching no-hitters against the relentless snowfall. How could it be? Continued

Dennis Lehane on Dorchester, Bostonians and the Boston Voice

I transcribed a few parts of an interesting YouTube video in which Boston’s most popular writer, Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River and Shutter Island among other books, shared some insights about Boston, Bostonians and the Boston voice.  

Lehane CollageBasically, they all settled in this one area of the city called Dorchester and they lived, invariably, within a mile of each other. You couldn’t swing a cat without coming across one of my relatives in my neighborhood. What they all would do was visiting and trading houses on weekends. They were never associated with anybody else. It was just like growing up in the Mafia. They would go over to each other’s houses and the houses rotated every weekend, because there were a lot of them. Every Friday and Saturday that’s what they did. They got together every weekend, sat in the kitchen or the living room, drank highballs and Schlitz, smoked Lucky Strikes and told some stories. And you knew they were drunk when they started singing Danny Boy. That’s all they did!

My old man on Saturdays would take me to the farmer’s market, located in the Fields Corner area of Dorchester. This is where we grew up. …Then we’d drive back up to Dot Ave and we’d hit a bar. I was about nine, maybe ten. He’d take me into the Continued

Boston Condo Market Looks Like A Million Bucks!

midtown pie
Midtown was just one of the markets I saw where nearly every condo for sale was over $1 million.

I looked at several Hub condo markets and all I saw for sale were million dollar condos. Which markets? Check out my featured column in Curbed and find out!

The spread of Boston’s super-high priced For Sale condo inventory reminds me of an old and somewhat inappropriate joke. Click the “Continue Reading” link if you want to hear it.

Continued

Millennium Tower Now 70% SOLD

BOSTON (March 11, 2015) – Millennium Partners, developer of the award-winning Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Towers, Millennium Place and other acclaimed projects in Boston and across the country, is pleased to announce that its most recent project, Millennium Tower Boston, is 70 percent sold, achieving $650 million in sales in only four months.  This milestone represents the sale of homes across all categories.  Approximately 75 percent of sales have been to local buyers. 

Millennium Tower 2

Equally noteworthy, counting sales at Millennium Place and Millennium Tower Boston, Millennium Partners has dominated the market with nearly $1 billion in sales Downtown over 18 months, accounting for more than 20 percent of the gross dollar value for sold or under-agreement condominiums in Boston since fall of 2013.

Continued

Three Incredible Hub Supermarkets

posted in: Boston, South End | 0
Whole Foods at the Ink Block makes you want to say  "Cheese."
Whole Foods at the Ink Block makes you want to say “Cheese.”

A little while back, I didn’t think any supermarket could top the new Market Basket in Chelsea. Sure, it was cheap, real cheap, so cheap that they had to put in 34 check out lanes to have any chance of getting a capacity crowd and their over filled carriages to their parking spaces. Seriously, people load up on so much stuff here, they are so afraid of leaving any good deal behind, that it might be a good idea for the market to purchase some double-carts. By shopping at MB Chelsea, I probably saved enough to put one of my kids through college.

Then, Wegmans opened in Chestnut Hill. It’s prepared foods section was so good that within a week it became my favorite Continued

Three Hub Markets Defy Harsh Winter, Increase Pending Sales

February Pendings CorrectStates of emergency, limited T access, parking bans, and more than 100 inches of snow didn’t stop three Hub condominium markets from putting more under agreement in February 2015 than they did in February a year earlier.

Weather cooled pending sales in the rest of the markets surveyed, where on average of markets lost 28% of pendings compared to a year ago, and Brighton real estate was the coldest market of all.

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