GentriWatch: Boston’s Sky-High Rents Are Stalling

Plus, Downtown Crossing gets another skyscraper.

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

Photo courtesy Ava

Photo courtesy Ava

Rents have gotten astronomically high in Boston. But on the bright side, if there is one, at least it isn’t getting any worse—for now.

In the first quarter of 2016, Boston rents increased by just .1 percent, according to a newly released report from real estate firm REIS. That would appear to indicate a slowdown, considering REIS has recorded steady growth in the Boston market every year since 2011.

Still, the average Boston apartment rented for $2,017 a month in the first three months of 2016, earning the Hub a spot alongside New York City, San Francisco, and San Jose, the hottest real estate markets in the country.

Meanwhile, vacancy rates stayed above 5 percent, as Boston continues to add to its glut of luxury housing.

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The Millennium Tower is so 2015.

New York-based developer Midwood has filed plans with the Boston Civic Design Commission to build a 683-foot, 59-story tower in Downtown Crossing, good for the second-tallest building in Boston’s rapidly growing skyline.

A companion piece of sorts to the Millennium Tower. It includes a five-story base that would occupy the corner of Washington and Bromfield Streets, as well as below-grade parking for cars and bicycles. Fifty-four of the tower’s 419 units of housing would be made affordable.

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Don’t expect to see Steve Wynn pitching in at your local soup kitchen.

The casino magnate, fresh off winning the right to build a $2 billion casino in Everett, reportedly told a bunch of haves what he really thinks of the have-nots.

“Unlike Chanel and Louis Vuitton, we are able in our business to cater to all of the market by making our standard so high that everybody wants to in the building,” Wynn said. “Or to put it in a more colloquial way, rich people only like being around rich people. Nobody likes being around poor people, especially poor people.”

The median household income in Everett is roughly $51,000, according to 2010 Census data, about $17,000 less than the statewide median household income. Nearly 14 percent of residents live below the poverty line.

Notice something changing in your neighborhood? Let me know:, @KyleClauss.