A new bakery will be opening this fall in the South End according to Eater Boston and Tatte which made the announcement last week via their Instagram account (see below).
The new location will be on Harrison Avenue across from the Whole Foods and Ink Block in the new residence building at 345 Harrison Avenue.
I am both happy about this announcement and torn. Sergio and I are in between what I will refer to as the South End’s “Temptation Triangle” situated between the soon to open Tatte Bakery, South End Buttery Cafe and Flour.
Back in 2015 I hosted a blind croissant tasting to see who made the best croissants in the South End. At the time Cafe Madeline was the clear winner. I may need to try another tasting to see if Tatte can take the title away from the French cafe located on Columbus Avenue.
The Steven Cohen Real Estate Team has published their Spring 2019 South End Stakeholder’s report. Their report compiles data pertaining to the real estate market both locally and nationally.
The findings will not be a surprise but does help put the latest real estate boom in perspective. Below are a few of the findings that caught my attention.
- Boston remains one of the most robust and expensive markets in the US. The city of Boston has a median listing price of more than $500,000 and prices are projected to grow by 4.6%.
- Boston is growing faster than city planners expected (population estimate for Boston in 2030 will top 760,000 residents). In response Mayor Walsh wants to build 69,000 more units with more than 20% earmarked as “affordable units” for qualified buyers.
- The South End was second to Southie for number of sales by neighborhood; 632 units were sold in 2018 vs. 598 in 2017.
- The median sale price in the South End is now just under $1,000,000 at $990,000 in 2018 vs. $925,000 in 2017.
The South End continues to increase in cost which is both great news for home owners and disappointing if we want to remain a vibrant community. With prices continuing to rise, it seems less likely that we will meet our own commitment to be a community that welcomes everyone.
The South End’s revival is nothing short of amazing, but I would like to see this neighborhood become a place where more people from different walks of life have an opportunity to be a part of this amazing community and the spiraling cost of housing makes that less likely so the Cohen report is bittersweet to read.
Rendering of renovated Alexandra Hotel
The decrepit Alexander Hotel on the corner of Washington Street and Mass Avenue may finally (after so many false starts) have the backing it needs to be restored to its former glory. Earlier this month the BPDA (Boston Planning and Development Agency) approved developer plans for the redevelopment of the historic Hotel Alexandra.
Above is a photo of what developers are proposing to do, which includes restoring the facade (see photo below for what it originally looked like). The developers will also include more floors so the building will go from five to thirteen stories and have approximately 150 hotel rooms as well as a ground floor restaurant and cafe space and a rooftop level bar / restaurant.
Alexandra Hotel – October 1899 | Source Wikipedia
The Hotel Alexandra was built at the end of the 19th century; first opening their doors to the public in 1875. Despite its beautiful and distinctive look, the hotel began to fail in the first half of the 1900s and has been permanently vacant for more than twenty years.
I first wrote about this project in the fall of 2017 but since then with the exception of a public meeting held last spring, there has been very little news about the proposed mixed use complex that will span nearly 2 acres on the border of the South End and Chinatown. Little news until last week when the developers announced they had received $105 million in construction financing.
For those unfamiliar with this project the Shawmut Avenue/Washington Street Block project will include three new buildings and represents a collaborative effort between the developer and two Chinatown community organizations. All combined the project will include more than 500 residential units, 230 parking spaces as well as space to house two religious sanctuaries with combined seating for 1,130 people, a gymnasium, fitness rooms, offices, classrooms and meeting spaces for religious education, recreational and social services uses. The new buildings will also have new space for retail.
Alexandra Hotel – October 1899 | Source Wikipedia
The Hotel Alexandra was built at the end of the 19th century; first opening their doors to the public in 1875. Despite its beautiful and distinctive look, the hotel began to fail in the first half of the 1900s and has been permanently vacant since the early 1990s. The most recent owner, The Church of Scientology, bought the building in 2008, hoping to convert it into a local headquarters, but the property’s poor condition and lack of funds ultimately led the church to sell.
New owners have proposed bringing the historic building back to life as a boutique hotel. Their plans include making this into a twelve story building, creating space for a ground floor restaurant and café and a rooftop level bar/restaurant. They will also look to restore the hotel’s facade. Want to hear more about the developers’ plans? Attend the Wednesday, January 9th public meeting. You can also submit your comments here.
Alexandra Hotel Public Meeting
Wednesday, January 9th || 6:00 – 7:30PM
Boston Water & Sewer Commission Building
2nd Floor Training Room || 980 Harrison Avenue
For more info email Michael.A.Sinatra@Boston.gov
A 164-room boutique hotel called The Revolution, opened last week, in the former YWCA building at 40 Berkeley Street.
The hotel’s name and decor draws upon Boston’s pioneering past, in particular through artwork and music, which is quite obvious the minute you check out their website (link shared below), follow their Instagram Account, revolution_hotel or Twitter, revolution_bos.
The hotel offers shared rooms for the more budget conscious travelers. Some rooms right now start at just $100 / night, but these “quad rooms” (from the photo I saw here) are more reminiscent of an upscale hostel. More traditional hotel rooms are also available for travelers like the King Room shown below.
The Revolution Hotel
KIng Room at The Revolution Hotel – Boston
Photography by Sarah Storrer
Earlier this week Boston’s newest Tiki Bar and the South End’s latest watering hole / restaurant opened. Shore Leave opened to the public in new space beneath the CVS across from the Ink Block on Monday, November 19th. The entrance to this new restaurant is located down a little side street between Washington and Harrison Avenue at 11 William E. Mullins Way.
11 William E. Mullins Way
Dinner 5PM-11PM / Bar 5PM-1AM
The owners of the delicious Italian restaurant, Bar Mezzana, are the people behind Shore Leave. The subterranean location was originally expected to serve as storage for the CVS but as you can see from the beautiful photo from Eater Boston, the island decor makes you feel like you’re somewhere tropical. The cocktail menu offers drinks for the individual, couples as well as groups. And the food, as you might expect, has a distinct Asian / South Pacific flair, with options like Yellowfin Tuna Poke, Filipino BBQ Ribs and Dan Dan Wontons.
You may check out their menu by visiting their website (shared above) and can read more about the new restaurant in the recent article from Eater Boston.