Three luxury residential buildings with timesaving amenities open in Boston’s burgeoning neighborhoods.
Eleven West weaves seamlessly into its transit-oriented, mixed use neighborhood.
Luxury apartment buildings with amenities that you would normally have to leave the property to enjoy are on the rise in Boston, as overscheduled city dwellers seek ways to streamline their days and free up more personal time. Real estate broker and advisor Maggie Gold Seelig, who works exclusively with luxury buyers, reports that many of her clients looking to move from the suburbs into the city want the amenities that full-service buildings offer. “Today’s high-end downtown buyer is generally looking for the ease that comes with downtown living,” says Seelig. “They don’t want to be lugging out their trash to the back alley twice a week and shoveling out their car from its parking spot. They want the convenience of having amenities at their doorstep.”
The solarium at The Kensington allows residents to stay on the premises while enjoying recreation activities.
For residents at The Kensington (665 Washington St., 617-574-8733), a new 27-floor, 381-unit luxury building, that means a location just steps away from public transportation, a short-term rental car facility on the premises, and bike storage—all perfect for residents who don’t want the hassle (or carbon footprint) of owning a car. “Our renters are environmentally conscious and appreciate the greenness of the building,” says Charlotte Lewis, vice president of marketing for the Kensington Investment Company, owner of t he LEED gold-certified building. A concierge staff helps with life’s little details, and residents who want recreation don’t have to leave the property, which features an outdoor pool and deck (a rarity in Boston’s historic neighborhoods), a billiards room, a 3,600-square-foot gym, and Club Kensington, a lounge where residents can read and relax. “We are committed to offering a community feeling and the amenities of a five-star hotel in the heart of the city,” says Lewis. Seelig observes that many of The Kensington’s amenities are “appealing to a younger clientele. They will attract residents who are busy in other areas of life and want their building to be an extension of their apartment.”
The swimming pool at The Kensington.
Nearby, the first residential building in the burgeoning Fort Point neighborhood, 315 on A (315 A St., 855-284-7758), also takes a forward-looking approach to saving time and resources. “315 on A is proof that ‘20-minute living’—having a place where you can meet all of your daily needs within 20 minutes—will change your quality of life,” says Kelly Saito, president of Gerding Edlen, the 202-unit building’s developer. “It offers you the opportunity to live in a sustainable apartment and lower your carbon footprint without sacrificing cutting-edge amenities.” These include green cleaning supplies for residents at no cost and 61 bicycle parking spots. The $100 million project features other environmentally friendly measures, such as intuitive Nest thermostats, which get to know a resident’s schedule and can be accessed remotely through a smartphone. As the building works toward LEED gold certification, its efforts will save enough energy each year to power 126 homes, take 38 cars off the road, and conserve approximately 3.8 million gallons of water. “We are seeing an increase in new green developments offering residents numerous amenities under the same roof,” says Gail Lockberg, owner-broker of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Town and Country Real Estate. “What differentiates these spaces is the way that developers are paying attention to the needs of their clients to help them get the most out of where they live.” The buzz surrounding 315 on A and its efficient lifestyle has propelled Gerding Edlen and Normandy Real Estate Partners to announce the development of Troy Boston, a similar building in the South End where residents will have access to an on-site yoga studio, a dog run with grooming facilities, and a pool deck with cabanas.
In neighboring South Boston, the new residential building Eleven West (11 West Broadway, 617-482-9200) allows young professionals to rent in an amenity focused building in a revitalized area of the city. “We designed Eleven West to fit perfectly into this mixed-use, transit-oriented area,” says Ron Simons, owner of Bodwell Pines Corporation and developer of Eleven West. The building, which has 50 one-and two-bedroom units, features the same amenities that far larger residential buildings have, allowing each resident more opportunity to use the fitness room, roof terrace, and on-site Zipcars. Situated near the Broadway T Station, Eleven West has 8,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor, which also houses the new Stephi’s in Southie and the first Starbucks in South Boston. For the building’s busy residents, the transit-friendly, mixed-use space allows them to move quickly from home to work, while fitting in a few errands on the way. Simons’s approach with Eleven West is similar to what The Kensington and 315 on A are trying to achieve by seamlessly weaving the building’s culture into the neighborhood. “With these buildings your apartment is now just a piece of what you really own,” says Seelig. “The experience of living in a building like these is much broader than the footprint of your apartment.”
photography by randy gross/elevin studios; gustav hoiland (pool); courtesy of vanderwarker archive (solar lounge)
December 3, 2018