The Very Wealthy Are About to Invade Boston

With two new mega-luxury developments on tap, the city is about to change.

There are currently two developments on tap in Boston will make the question ‘Would you spend a million dollars for a one-bedroom condo?’ more than just a hypothetical one: the Chiofaro tower, where the New England Aquarium garage stands now, and a new condo and hotel building in Back Bay on the Christian Science Center Plaza. Condos in each are expected to have prices starting at $2,000 per square foot.

Boston is not London. It’s not Hong Kong. And, it’s definitely not New York City. However, it’s a popular place to live and, at least for the past two decades, it’s a city where real estate prices have increased just about every year. We are reaching the tipping point where we will join these other “world-class cities” in being immune to economic crises and one of the few places where real estate is considered a guaranteed way to earn equity and make money. And that’s why prices are about to reach the new normal.

In other global cities, it’s not unusual to see properties such as these open every year, if not every month. For example, The New York Times publishes an announcement of “Big Ticket-Sale of the Week” profiling the most expensive property that sold during the previous seven days, and it always has a price tag of $10-million+. Needless to say, right now, a column like that wouldn’t last more than a few weeks in Boston, though that’s about to change.

A new 60-story residential tower has been approved to go up on the Christian Science Center Plaza. The developer has not released pricing, but based on public comments, the 180 new condos will be priced at around $2,000+ per square foot. Over on the Waterfront, Don Chiofaro is rapidly moving forward with his plans for a 600-foot tower with 120 condominiums as well as office space, retail, and public amenities including a farmer’s market and ice-skating rink, and it’s expected that pricing will reach levels never before seen in this city.

What’s amazing is that the new Millennium Tower on the site of Filene’s will be completed sometime next year but will be yesterday’s news within a couple years—and those condos will sell for $1,500 per square foot.

Boston isn’t used to this kind of thing. Old-school, Puritan Boston would not allow you to be so gauche as to own a home in a building that showed off your wealth so transparently. What’s odd is that the negative reaction to the rise of Boston’s upper-upper class has been somewhat muted, maybe because the visual proof of it remains to be seen.

With all the talk these days about income inequality, there is a lot of negativity related to rich people buying expensive properties. But, at a million dollars a pop, each condo sold means another $13,000 a year in revenue for the City of Boston. And no one can rightfully complain about that.

Here are the three properties for sale in Boston right now for more than $2,000 per square foot:

60 Chestnut Street, Beacon Hill

60 Chestnut Street, Beacon Hill

330 Beacon Street, Back Bay

330 Beacon Street, Back Bay

300 Boylston Street, Back Bay

300 Boylston Street, Back Bay

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