Connoisseur: February 2010: Real Estate: Battle of the Condo Buildings

How three of the city's swankiest properties stack up.

By Rachel Levitt | Boston Magazine |

In this recession-strained housing market, condo developers know they need more than the usual extras (Sub-Zero fridges, valet parking, deferential staff) to edge out the competition. Three new projects have added a whopping 371 luxury units—with an average two-bedroom price tag of $1.2 million—to the city’s housing stock. How they compare:

 

W RESIDENCES
Recent Sale: 857-square-foot one-bedroom sold for $710,000 on 12/19
The Premises
Twenty-eight stories bordering Chinatown, hoping to attract other chic businesses; from 427-square-foot studios to a $4 million three-bedroom penthouse
The Fixings: Sub-Zero appliances, granite countertops, Kohler and Grohe bathroom fixtures (already begging for an upgrade), mix of wall-to-wall carpet and bamboo floors
The Shared Spaces
The Lobby Bar: urbane decor, along with a crowd of suburbanites and clubbers
The Perks
In-house gym (shared with itinerant hotel guests); 10 percent discount on all services at Bliss, opening this spring
The Meal Ticket
Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s sleek Market
The Renters
None per se, but every night the 235-room hotel hosts a new crop of temporary "neighbors."
The Verdict
The much-hyped W doesn’t feel fresh or authentically glam. Its international brand, however, will keep sales steady even if locals don’t bite. 100 Stuart St., Boston, 617-267-2228, 100stuartstreet.com.

45 PROVINCE
Recent Sale
994-square-foot one-bedroom sold for $1 million on 5/27
The Premises
Glass-and-terra-cotta 32-story tower in Downtown Crossing; from 800-square-foot one-beds to 2,600-square-foot three-beds
The Fixings
Bosch and Miele appliances, composite countertops, Waterworks bathroom fixtures, bamboo floors
The Shared Spaces
A fireplace-adorned library (with actual books!); comfy screening room; entertainment space with catering kitchen
The Perks
Residents-only Exhale mini spa; decent in-house gym, supplemented by membership to Exhale’s nearby 13,000-square-foot flagship
The Meal Ticket
Restaurant space remains vacant. (No offers up to the Abbey Group’s exacting standards, perhaps?)
The Renters
Only a few (and shhh!). A 14th-floor, 1,117-square-foot two-bedroom commands $4,200 per month.
The Verdict
Compensating for its less-than-perfect locale, 45 Province offers an impressive menu of amenities. But competing with the Clarendon’s opening may force prices down. 45 Province St., Boston, 617-933-8018, 45province.com.

THE CLARENDON
Recent Sale
765-square-foot one-bedroom sold for $721,000 on 12/17
The Premises
Thirty-three stories in the Back Bay; from 589-square-foot studios to a 3,545-square-foot three-bedroom penthouse
The Fixings
Walnut cabinets, stone countertops, Miele and Sub-Zero appliances, Calcutta gold marble bathrooms, white oak floors
The Shared Spaces
Classy Assouline-branded lounge; hearth-equipped den. Bonus: a playroom for the grandkids!
The Perks
Roomy, up-to-date fitness room; membership to neighboring Equinox gym comes with purchase
The Meal Ticket
Post 390, a two-story urban tavern
The Renters
Rentals up to the 14th floor (two-beds start at $5,500). Renters and owners use separate entrances and elevators.
The Verdict
Winner! The Clarendon was built for the luxury market, and luxurious it is. 400 Stuart St., Boston, 617-267-4001, theclarendonbackbay.com.

Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2010/01/connoisseur-february-2010-real-estate-battle-of-the-condo-buildings/