Bartlett Place in Dudley Square
Could this be the sign of a new trend in real estate development in Boston?
The Boston Herald is reporting that nearly half (46%) of all new housing that started construction in Boston (January – March) is designated as affordable housing.
According to a housing report released from the city earlier this week these properties are designed for people who make between $50,000 and $95,000; that is an increase of 26% over the same time last year.
That translates into 745 units designated as affordable housing or middle-class housing as compared to 442 high-end or “luxury” units that began during the same time period. An example of the housing under construction is Bartlett Place in Dudley Square which is a mixed use property that will have 32 of the 60 units designated as affordable. For more information about projects like Bartlett Place visit courbanize.com.
I hope that this is a trend that continues to help make Boston a more affordable and diverse city welcome to everyone; teachers, social works, artists, etc… as well as engineers, lawyers and doctors. You can read the full article here.
With the Winter finally over Lawn on D is ramping up for their first event of the spring season later this week on Friday, May 15th.
Lawn on D in Southie
One of its features coming this spring includes a 16,900-square-foot inflatable maze designed by Architects of Air, a British firm. Artistic director Alan Parkinson calls this particular labyrinth Pentalum, which was developed, according to the firm’s website, in 2013 as “a celebration of the beauty of geometry.”
The maze will be open from May 28 to May 31, and will cost $5 to enter.
ArtWeek Boston runs from Friday, May 1 – Sunday, May 10th
Presented by Highland Street Foundation and produced by Citi Performing Arts Center, the 10-day ArtWeek extravaganza that starts next month spotlights programs like pop-up dinner theater and or entertainment, immersive workshops in unusual places, behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, and more. The intention is to highlight bold, creative and unique events that are unexpected.
All the fun will start at the ICA at their ArtWeek Cocktail Kickoff April 30th 5:30 – 7:30 PM. For more information about the week+ of arts programs visit their website at artweekboston.org.
Last Monday The Boston Globe reported that Roche Bros. Supermarkets will open the doors of its new 25,000 square foot flagship grocery store in Downtown Crossing on Wednesday, April 29. I’m just happy to see life coming back to Downtown Crossing and a viable grocery store moving into the Downtown Crossing neighborhood.
The new Roche Bros. will feature grab-and-go items as well as several hot and cold food bars on the ground floor. A lower level, which formerly housed Filene’s Basement, will house a traditional grocery store with a bakery, deli, specialty cheeses, meats and fresh seafood.
Today is Patriot’s Day, a holiday commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, but ever since 1897, Patriot’s Day has also been race day for the Boston Marathon. This year’s marathon marks the 119th anniversary of the Boston Marathon, making it the world’s oldest annual marathon. It is also one of my favorite days to be in Boston. Even though the weather this year is cool and rainy, I’ll be celebrating by watching the Red Sox at Fenway and cheering on the marathon runners as they come into Back Bay.
Check out Boston Magazine’s Boston Marathon Guide
My congratulations to all the runners and sincere thanks to the Boston Athletic Association, city of Boston, the volunteers and first responders who help to make this world class event such a special day to me and everyone else in the city.
Last month one of my readers noted my real estate themed posts only showcase costly new construction like the Ink Block, Four Seasons, etc… and after reflecting upon that constructive criticism, I thought I’d give a shout out to Boston’s affordable home buying program.
Boston has a well deserved reputation for being an expensive city to live, but there are opportunities to purchase and rent more affordable condominiums and apartments if you are persistent and know where to look. One such resource is the BRA Affordable Units website, which lists existing affordable units.
There is more information about Boston’s affordable housing program on the BRA website, bostonredevelopmentauthority.org/housing/overview. While this program can take time and requires a lot of paperwork – it can really pay off. I know this firsthand because back in 2002 / 2003, Sergio and I decided to look into this program. At the time, Sergio was working as a flight attendant and I was working at a health and human services nonprofit; our combined income was barely enough to afford rent but thanks to Sergio’s persistence after a few missed opportunities we were able to purchase a home through Boston’s affordable home buying program at Rollins Square in the South End.
Of course there remains a chronic shortage of affordable housing in Boston and the Mayor and surrounding communities need to do more to help make housing and rentals more affordable but there are properties available (and in some great neighborhoods) if you do your homework. For all you would-be home buyers, I wish you luck in finding the perfect property for you.
Part of the Boston Marathon experience is the build up of excitement, starting the weekend before, as tens of thousands of visitors come to Boston ahead of the race, which takes place this Monday. One of those events that is fun to check out (and free) is the three-day John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo at the Hynes Expo in Back Bay. Last year, more than 100,000 attendees participated.
In addition to possibly meeting some of the world’s top runners and fitness enthusiasts, the Expo also offers an opportunity for bargain shoppers looking for health and fitness related apparel and products.
Where: Hynes Convention Center
900 Boylston Street, Boston
When: Friday, April 17: 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday, April 18 – 19: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM