Boston’s South End Surge

By Liz Berthelette

This morning NAIOP Massachusetts hosted a panel with representatives from National Development, UDR, Nordblom Company and Leggat McCall Properties presented to a packed-room of real estate professionals on the topic of the South End’s recent transformation from an industrial outpost to a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood.

The South End, sandwiched between the Back Bay and South Boston and book-ended by Tufts Medical and Boston Medical Center, is experiencing an unprecedented commercial construction boom. Comprising four distinct planning areas, New York Streets, SOWA, Back Streets and the Medical Area, much of this new development has been focused along Harrison Avenue and Albany streets. Below are four projects highlighted during the presentation:

  1. Ink Block

    Ink Block

    Ink Block: National Development is moving forward with a second condo building, AC Hotel and a 7-acre park at its 7-building project that includes the former headquarters of the Boston Herald. These additions will join already completed residential and retail, which is anchored by the ever-popular Whole Foods.

  2. Harrison Albany Block: Leggat McCall Properties is also redeveloping a full-city block near Boston Medical Center. The project will include a medical office, two

    Harrison Albany Block

    residential towers with 300 units each, and another smaller residential building at 575 Albany Street. The developer is also planning to increase public open space and pedestrian-friendly elements.

  3. 345 Harrison

    345 Harrison

    345 Harrison: Across from Ink Block, UDR is underway on a mixed-use development at the former Graybar Electric site, which is slated to open in early 2018. The project consists of two buildings with hundreds of residential units, up to 40,000 square feet of street-level retail and underground parking.

  4. 321 Harrison: One of the newer projects to receive approval from the BPDA is Nordblom’s 230,000-square-foot office building at 321 Harrison Avenue. The site
    321 Harrison

    321 Harrison

    includes the former Teradyne world headquarters and the adjacent parking garage. The site, which is less than a 10-minute walk to both the Orange and Red lines, will also offer private shuttle service to South Station.

The South End’s central location, with proximity to Downtown, the Seaport and Back Bay as well as access to several major employment drivers were the some of the key reasons why developers have been flocking to this area. There is some concern of over building on the residential side, especially given recent softening in Boston’s apartment market. However, all of the panelists remained bullish on the South End.

Liz Berthelette is NAI Hunneman’s Director of Research. For more information on NAI Hunneman’s research capabilities & products please contact Liz at and follow her on Twitter @liz_berthelette .

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