Boston’s Luxury Condos Raising the Bar on Amenities

A view from the Charles River of Milllennium Tower in Downton Crossing via Boston.com
A view of Millennium Tower in Downton Crossing from the Charles River (via Boston.com)

Until recently, Boston’s real estate market was best characterized by its rows of low-rise Victorian brownstones… and a grand Back Bay townhome was considered the epitome of top-tier real estate. Today, Boston is in the midst of a huge residential building boom that is highlighted by a new generation of high-rise condominiums. These developments are not only big in stature; they are delivering big on a new generation of amenities, too.

Though brownstones are appreciated for their historic architecture and are still coveted real estate in Boston, the recent construction of several luxury developments—along with their respective price points and rapid sales—suggest that buyers here are embracing high-rise condos and the built-in lifestyle they offer. Buyers, ranging from young professionals to Baby Boomers who are leaving their homes in the suburbs for a more vibrant lifestyle, are opting to live in stylish, contemporary new construction complete with a level of amenities previously unknown in Boston. Clients want views, a rooftop pool and terrace (and rooftop yoga, too), the ability to walk to work and play, on-site dining options, and planned social events to mingle with other residents. What’s not to like?

Residents at Millennium Place gathered with their neighbors on their patio for a summer clam bake. Via MillenniumTowerBoston.com
Residents at Millennium Place gathered with their neighbors on their patio for a summer clam bake (via MillenniumTowerBoston.com)

With the bar having been raised, a 24-hour concierge, a clubby residents-only lounge, a fitness center and underground garage parking have become the norm. Here are highlights of the latest services, comforts and conveniences offered by some of the city’s new, luxury developments:

  • Millennium Place and the much-touted, just-opened Millennium Tower, both in Downtown Crossing, provide residents with an urban country club experience capped off by the distinguished “La Vie,” an event-driven program that brings together the building’s residents for exclusive cultural events and social gatherings. Millennium Tower will also be home to award-winning chef Michael Mina’s PABU restaurant when it opens there this fall.
  • In the South End’s hip Ink Block community, residents at the Sepia condos have a private roof deck and those who live at Siena (slated to be completed in early 2018) will get a “skyclub lounge.” Both have access to pet-centric living along with garage parking, bike storage, and retail and dining right in the complex, including Bar Mezzana – one of Zagat’s “Most Anticipated Restaurants of 2016” and a Whole Foods Market featuring an in-house spa. I love the convenience of having Bar Mezzana in my building; fabulous food and a great vibe are just downstairs and add to the value of my place there.
  • Rendering of Pierce Boston sky cabana (via BostonMagazine.com)
    Rendering of Pierce Boston sky cabana (via BostonMagazine.com)

    The 30-story, 109-unit Pierce Boston under construction in Fenway is due to come with more than 20,000 square feet of street-level retail and restaurant space as well as amenities such as a rooftop swimming pool, a fitness center, yoga studio, and a restaurant. Plus buyers can opt for one of 12 sky cabanas— private, open-air entertaining spaces complete with wet bars and expansive city views.

  • One of only a few Four Seasons-managed residential towers in the world, the 61-story One Dalton in Back Bay will be New England’s tallest residential building when it debuts in 2018 and its residents will have access to the finest in five-star amenities including a golf simulation room, private theater, spa, salon, plus a 24-hour valet, laundry services, and housekeeping.
  • Rooftop yoga at InkBlock surround by the pool botanical garden, outdoor patio and city views (viaBostonMagazine.com)
    Rooftop yoga at Ink Block surround by the pool, botanical garden, outdoor patio and city views (viaBostonMagazine.com)

    Fifty Liberty, part of the 21-acres Fan Pier development, joins the long list of Seaport properties to watch. The 14-floor, 120-unit luxury condo building, offers private shuttle service around the city, access to an indoor/outdoor health and fitness center, and Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca, a new restaurant concept from famed chef Mario Batali.

Sure, brownstones have one-of-a-kind charm and intimacy that you’re never going to get in a full-service building. Yet, Boston buyers are showing they are hungry for new construction, the ease of full-service living, and access to a social community that comes with these exciting new developments.