GentriWatch: Welcome to the Age of the ‘Sky Cabana’

Plus, how would you like to live on top of the Mass. Pike?

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


sky cabana pierce boston

Photo courtesy of Samuels & Associates

Nothing says this city has its housing crisis under control like a $350,000, 16-by-16-foot “sky cabana” in the Fenway.

Pierce Boston, the luxury apartment complex opening in 2018, is offering 150- to 250-square foot cubes atop the 30-story tower, offering breathtaking views of the city. Four have already been purchased, the Globe reports.

“I love the historic aspect of Boston, but the old brownstones are not for me,” Wayne Adams, a 31-year-old software developer from Michigan, told the Wall Street Journal in a story this week about Boston’s luxury building boom. He paid $1.13 million for a 24th-floor one-bedroom pad at Pierce after taking a computer-simulated tour.

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And speaking of the Fenway, the Portland, Oregon-based development team behind Fenway Center, the five-building, nearly $600 million complex straddling the Mass. Pike near Beacon Street, has the financing it needs to begin construction on its first 313 residential units by the end of 2016.

The first of Fenway Center’s two proposed phases, expected to take two years to complete, would include two apartment buildings on the existing parking lots at Beacon Street and Maitland Street, while the second phase would add three more buildings on a new decking across the Mass. Pike. Once construction of the first phase is complete, the development team hopes to start work on the decking.

Developers’ initial agreement with MassDOT called for the first phase to be built over the turnpike, but the Globe reports that state officials have been receptive to idea of breaking it out into two phases.

You can check out the insane renderings at BLDUP.

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The city’s Boston Home Center received a $158,475 state grant aimed at keeping people in their homes down here on the ground, nearly invisible from the sky cabanas.

The center, which operates under the Department of Neighborhood Development, will use the money to fund the expansion of its foreclosure prevention and intervention work, as well as the creation of new programs for “linguistic minority groups” across Boston’s neighborhoods.

“This grant supports Boston’s mission to provide foreclosure prevention and housing stability for families in all of our neighborhoods, and I thank the Commonwealth for their partnership in achieving these goals,” Mayor Marty Walsh said in a release Wednesday.

The BHC helped prevent 51 foreclosures in the first quarter of 2016, the Mayor’s Office says, and 21 of these potential foreclosures were in the petition stage—the last before disclosure.

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