GentriWatch: A Luxury Condo Complex Opens in Allston’s Urban Renewal Battleground

Plus, the required salary for home-ownership in Boston, and a boutique hotel planned for Southie changes hands.

Welcome to GentriWatch, where we look for signs of gentrification happening around the city.


Photo courtesy of Samuels & Associates

Photo courtesy of Samuels & Associates

ALLSTON‘S FIRST AND ONLY full-service, luxury condominium complex opens for occupancy this month. That “Allston” and “full-service, luxury condominium complex” were just shoehorned into the same sentence is plenty indication that times are indeed a-changin’.

Continuum, located at 199 North Harvard Street in Barry’s Corner, the setting for countless struggles in the 60s between the Boston Redevelopment Authority and opponents of reckless urban renewal, will feature a shared living area with a fireplace, second-floor roof deck, game room, fitness center with a private backyard of AstroTurf, and 325 parking spaces for bikes.

“You could put this building downtown and it would compete, but it’s a discount over Boston pricing since it’s slightly outside the city,” Samuels & Associates developer Leslie Cohen told Boston magazine in our December issue. Samuels & Associates are the same folks behind the Pierce tower in the Fenway.

Allston has seen a nearly 32-percent increase in median condo price, jumping from $250,000 in 2004 to $329,500 in 2014. Rental units in the Continuum range from $2,400 for a studio to roughly $5,300 for a three-bedroom unit.

• • •

HOME OWNERSHIP is a cornerstone of the American dream. In Boston, the dream is collapsing.

Mortgage resource site HSH.com calculated the minimum salary needed to afford the loan principal and interest, the taxes, and the insurance payments on a median-priced home in 27 metropolitan areas. To afford a home at the median price of $449,000—up 8.3 percent just from last quarter—you would need to pull down $92,796.90. So good luck meeting any home-owning journos in town.


Of course, that’s if you can afford a 20-percent down payment of roughly $90,000. If you can only afford 10 percent, you’ll need to make $108,366.90. For reference, per capita income in Boston is $34,139, while the median household income is $53,583, according to U.S. Census data.

• • •

Rendering via Boston Redevelopment Authority

Rendering via Boston Redevelopment Authority

THE BOUTIQUE HOTEL approved for construction by the BRA at the corner of Dorchester Avenue and West Broadway in South Boston changed this week, drawing a eye-popping $15 million.

Sun Condos LLC sold the 6 West Broadway site to Six West Broadway LLC, owned by RPS Development of South Boston, according to Bldup. The 14-story, 156-room boutique hotel is located across from the Broadway MBTA station, and next door to RPS Development’s 47-unit residential building currently under-construction at 14 West Broadway, on the former site of the Cornerstone Pub.

• • •

Photo by Kyle Clauss

Photo by Kyle Clauss

SPOTTED ON MASS. AVE. outside Dorothy’s Boutique. Housing costs might be skyrocketing, but at least we haven’t been priced out of our Santa suits.

Notice something changing in your neighborhood? Let me know: [email protected], @KyleClauss.