Blog :: 2019

Back Bay Brownstone Return on Investment: A Case Study

In 1992, Shelagh Brennan of Cabot & Company and Paul Gleason of Fairfield Realty sold 4 unrenovated Back Bay buildings located at 47, 49, 51 & 53 Hereford Street for $1,020,000 (equal to $255,000 per building) to The Glynn Companies. The package included a parking area in the rear of the 4 buildings that accomodated 10 cars. That same year, the developer was granted an easement on the adjacent corner building at 45 Hereford Street to allow access to the parking lot. The developer later purchased the building at 45 Hereford Street in 1999 for $1,100,000 - now owning the entire block.


September 25, 1992 - Globe Staff Photo/Pam Berry
 

The properties were renovated and rented as apartments, and for the last 27 years experienced a robust rental income.


From Boston Globe, September 25, 1992
 

In 2017, The Glynn Companies began the renovation of 53 Hereford Street (building on the corner of Newbury Street) and added the parking area. Noted architect Guy Grassi designed 16,000 square feet of new construction office space. The building is completed and now known as 321 Newbury Street.

 

The present day estimated value of these properties is $37 million. Back Bay has outperformed the majority of neighborhoods in Boston and we do know owners that purchased their buildings in the Back Bay for $100,000-200,000 that are now worth $6-8 million (and more). The long-term return on investment for these buildings is huge, but it is also not uncommon for us to see some of these long-held buildings be under-rented or under-utilized. Depending on owners' goals, there may be opportunities to improve the property to boost returns and/or sell the property and invest the proceeds in properties that would generate higher annual returns, such as through a 1031 deferred tax exchange. This case study is a great example of how landlords can hold choice assets, renovate, develop and generate higher rental income, and hold for generations to come.

 

 

Boston Condo Market Outlook - Fourth Quarter 2019

Boston Home Prices Are Up  •  Number of Sales is Down  •  Inventory is Low

Curbed Boston reported transactions in the downtown Boston luxury condo market during the Summer months saw significant prices jumps and average sales prices were up nearly 23% year over year in the Spring.  Downtown areas include Back Bay, Beacon Hill, South End, South Boston, the Seaport, North End, West End, Midtown, Fenway and Charlestown.  The average sale price was $4,395,698 which represents an increase of 22% annually and 22% quarterly. 

The average price per square foot was $1,965, up 18.3% annually and 22.8% quarterly.
The median sales price jumped to $3,510,3000, up 21% annually and 33.7% quarterly.

Reasons for housing prices and rents rising are “fueled by a growth in jobs downtown, foreign investors looking for a safe place to put their money, and young people pooling their resources and doubling, tripling, or quadrupling up” according to Barry Bluestone, Dean of Northeastern University School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. 

Keep in mind the helpful factor of Interest Rates at a steady low hovering at 3.0% - 4%.

In summary, prices are up, inventory is down and the future looks expensive!

 

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How to COUCH Your Space

Now that you have moved into your new apartment, you might be asking yourself “Where do I buy furniture in Boston”?  Have no fear, you are surrounded by furniture stores! Some even offer free design service with a purchase.

 

Mattresses

Boston Luxury Beds - Luxury Beds in the Heart of Boston
https://www.bostonluxbeds.com

Mattress Firm - Several locations in and around Boston
www.mattressfirm.com

Boston Bed Company – Sleep with the Best
1113 Commonwealth Ave., Boston

 

Furniture Stores

$Boomarangs – Newish stuff for spendthrifts
716 Centre St., Jamaica Plain
www.shopboomarangs.org

$Ikea – Like to assemble your own furniture?
www.ikea.com

$$West Elm – Trendy and chic
160 Brookline Ave., Boston
www.westelm.com

$$Nadeau – Furniture with a soul
750 Memorial Drive, Cambridge
www.furniturewithasoul.com

$$Cort Furniture Outlet – New and previously owned furniture
155 N. Beacon St., Brighton
https://www.cortfurnitureoutlet.com

$$$Room and Board – Five floors of 90% American made furniture
375 Newbury St., Boston
www.roomandboard.com

$$$Circle Furniture – For those who don’t have square taste in furniture
31 St. James Ave., Boston
199 Alewife Brook Pkwy. Cambridge
www.circlefurniture.com

$$$Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams – Masters of modern home furnishings
142 Berkeley St., Boston
www.mgbwhome.com

 

Boston Retail Market Update - Fall 2019

With Labor Day Weekend upon us, retailers are gearing up for the Fall/Holiday season.  It is a good time to take a look at the forecast for the retail market.  The news highlights trade tensions with China, the low interest rate environment and continued speculation that the U.S. economy is "due" for a recession.  But continued job growth is also in the news (and see chart below).

 

As the chart below shows, retail rents are projected to level off and remain steady.  While this is projected for the market as a whole, different areas and sub-markets are likely to experience drastically different market conditions.  For instance, for many "zombie" malls (those with a large number of vacancies, particularly former large anchor tenants), much remains to be seen - how many of these malls will survive, and what will they need to do to make it.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, many new developments include retail components, which offers opportunities for businesses to take prime positions in the heart of our areas' newest communities.

 

Note that these charts and statistics were compiled with data from CoStar.  If you have questions about the Boston retail market, need help finding tenants for your property or are a business in need of finding a new retail space for your business, don't hesitate to contact us.

 

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Important Utilites Contact Information for Move Ins

When moving into your new home you need to establish service with the following Utility companies:

Boston Utilities

National Grid
Gas (800) 732-3400

Eversource
Electricity (800) 592-2000

Verizon
Phone (800) 870-9999

Comcast
Phone, Cable, Internet
(617) 279-1958

 

 

Helpful Boston Numbers

 

Boston City Hall
(617) 635-4000

Boston Police Department
Non Emergency
(617) 343-4200

Boston Fire Department
Non Emergency
(617) 343-3550

Emergency Storm Center
(617) 635-3050

Poison Control and Prevention
(800) 222-1222

Animal Control (Dog Licenses)
(617) 635-5348

 

We recommend you reserve a parking spot for your moving truck by going to City of Boston Website

If you live in Boston and your car is registered in Massachusetts you can get a resident permit parking sticker to park on the street.

 

For more information please contact Cabot & Company at (617) 262-6200

 

How Much are Rents for Retail Space in Boston? (Summer 2019)

Rents for retail space in Boston have generally been increasing over the past 10 years, and the amount of vacant space has decreased.  However, over the past few months, we have started to see a slight pull-back in retail rents.  This has been more evident in some areas than others.  The chart below shows the 10 year trends for the Boston market area as a whole, which stretches well beyond the City.
 


The table below highlights the current market conditions in a few areas in and around the City of Boston.  The average asking rent across these areas is $49.47 per square foot (per year).  While the table presents area averages, it is important to note that there are sections within each of these areas that command higher rents.  For example, asking retail rents on Newbury Street can approach (and exceed) $200 per square foot in some cases; though there are certainly spaces available well below that level.  The reported vacancy rates throughout most of the City remains low - trending below the vacancy rate for the Boston market area as a whole.
 

Note that these charts and statistics were compiled with data from CoStar.  If you have questions about the Boston retail market, need help finding tenants for your property or are a business in need of finding a new retail space for your business, please contact Eric Shabshelowitz.


 

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Memorial Day Real Estate Trivia

General & President “Ike” Eisenhower Slept Here

It was September 21, 1953, seven weeks after an armistice ended the Korean War. Operation Moolah was in effect. Operation Moolah was a United States Air Force (USAF) effort during the Korean War to obtain (through defection from any Russian, Chinese or North Korean pilot) a fully capable Soviet MiG-15 jet fighter to deliver to America. The US had attempted to obtain a MiG for years because it was considered to be the best fighter aircraft of the 1950’s and Korean War. The performance of the MiG-15 outclassed and amazed its’ Western opponents.

That morning, North Korean fighter pilot No Kum Sok seized his opportunity to escape a dead end future in North Korea and find asylum in America. He climbed into the cockpit of a MiG-15 and flew it to Kimpo, an American air base near Seoul in South Korea.That same morning president Eisenhower flew out of Washington, D.C. to Boston before the reports about the MiG and the North Korean defector reached the White House.

Eisenhower stayed at the Annex to the Algonquin Club at 223 Commonwealth Avenue, Back Bay, Boston and was called by the White House that day and given the news “We got the MiG.” Eisenhower dictated in a personal and confidential letter to his longtime advisor and confidante, Walter Bedell Smith, Undersecretary of State “I am sorry I was not in Washington today to discuss the MiG incident with the entire staff.” He was not sorry, however, that he was staying on America’s grandest avenue at 223 Commonwealth Avenue, Back Bay, Boston.

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Boston Apartments that Take Pets... And You Can Come Too!

It’s that time of year again searching for a rental in Boston, however this year with your new addition of a puppy you are finding it more challenging to rent.  Don’t despair! There are plenty of pet friendly buildings with all the amenities your precious pet would need.  The plethora of luxury buildings that have sprouted up in the past few years welcome wet noses. 

Does your French Bull dog need to shed a few pounds or your new puppy has endless energy?  The Waterside in the Seaport offers an outdoor dog run. How do you keep up with your Yorkshire Terrier’s haircuts? No need to leave your building while residing at One Canal in the North End that offers a pet spa and dog park.  Wondering where your overly friendly Golden Retriever can make fast friends, no problem at 345 Harrison in the South End, they have a Paws Pet Park where your playful pup can find fast playmates.  Want to live downtown close to work and come home to check on your pets at lunch? The Kensington conveniently located on Washington Street offers a Pet Spa and lots of other amenities. 

Many of these buildings pay the broker fee so you can work with your favorite broker to help you navigate the rental process, but you don’t have to pay the broker fee. Win win situation. Call Cabot & Company and one of our rental experts can set up showings and provide information on Boston apartments at one of the many pet friendly apartments. 

For amenity lists, pet friendly apartments and location ideas contact Cabot & Company at (617) 262-6200 or visit our website cabotandcompany.com.

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Great windows in your new home?

Renters:
When renting a condo you may expect to have some kind of window treatments. Most landlords put the basic blinds or roller shades which might not be attractive enough for you. You can customize your apartment by adding color with curtains. Simple, inexpensive and easy to install curtains can be found at many different stores like Bed Bath and Beyond, Pottery Barn, West Elm or even on Amazon.

Buyers:
Choosing the right window treatments for your newly purchased condo can be overwhelming.  First, make sure to check with the condo association’s rules to know what are the dos and don’ts. Many managed buildings have scheduled window cleanings during the year. If you are interested in getting as much light as possible, select a window shade that allows light to come through. Being on a lower floor you might want to consider having a top down bottom up shade, so you can cover the bottom of the window for privacy yet allowing light into your place by having the top portion of the window completely open. There are many options, therefore you may want to have a window expert come and explain all the different possibilities; many of them offer a complementary consultation for new home buyers.

Shopping for a new home? Check out all our listings, the spring market is going strong and many new listings are added every week.

 

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Beat The Rush!

Looking for an apartment in Boston for your new job?  Or looking to relocate to a new place?  Thinking of moving when your lease is up?  If you have said yes to any of these questions, we are here to help!  If you have rented before in Boston you know that the market is extremely competitive, especially if your looking for rentals beginning in June or September.  You might find the perfect rental early in the game that checks all of the boxes, ultimately beating the rush, the competition and for you to stop worrying about the stress that goes into apartment searching.  Check out a few of our rentals below.
 

Back Bay | 86 Saint Botolph St. #13 | 1 BR 1 BA | $2,100


Top floor, one bedroom apartment that gets an abundance of natural sunlight and views. Located on Saint Botolph St. in the Back Bay, bordering the South End. Close to transportation, restaurants, shops and the grocery store; close to everything! Open kitchen with gas stove-top, and all utilities included in the rent. Very convenient location!

Please contact Andrew Bemben with any inquiries or to set up a showing this weekend!

 

Back Bay | 11 Marlborough St. #42 | 1 BR-Alcove 1BA | $2,395


Junior one bedroom on the 1st block of Marlborough St. No better location to live in the City than this block! Spacious studio / one bedroom with updated kitchen and bathroom, hardwood floors. Heat and hot water are included in the rent. Close to Green Line, Red Line, Newbury shops, Back Bay restaurants and the Boston Common and Public Gardens!

Please contact Andrew Bemben with any inquiries or to set up a showing this weekend!
 

Back Bay | 141 Beacon St. #5 | Studio 1 BA | $2,195


Spacious studio located off Berkeley and Beacon St. features hardwood floors throughout, classic Back Bay detail, high ceilings, kitchen w/ dishwasher/disposal. Plus, heat, hot water, AND electricity included!!

Please contact Andrew Bemben with any inquiries or to set up a showing this weekend!
 

Watertown | 31 Irma Ave. #3 | 2 BR 1 B | $2,175


Huge, sunny and spacious 2 bedroom with hardwood floors throughout. Renovated kitchen, private deck, central air, and laundry in building. One parking spot included in the rent. Ideal location with easy access to public transportation, restaurants, coffee shops, yoga studios and much more. Must See!

Please contact Andrew Bemben with any inquiries or to set up a showing this weekend!
 

South End | 220 West Springfield St. #1 | 1 BR 1 BA | $3,000


Parlor level, one bedroom with renovated open kitchen, Bosch and Fridgidaire stainless steel appliances and granite breakfast bar, high ceilings with lots of detail, in unit washer and dryer, and split-system wall AC. Heat and hot water included. Close to public transportation and the South End's famous restaurant scene.

Please contact Andrew Bemben with any inquiries or to set up a showing this weekend!

 

Back Bay | 271 Dartmouth St. #4M | 1 BR 1 BA *Furnished* | $2,700


Furnished one bed in Prime Back Bay location between Boylston and Newbury on Dartmouth St., steps to Copley Plaza. Elevator building with laundry on every floor and common roof deck. The unit boasts hardwood floors, dishwasher, and high ceilings. Heat, hot water, and WiFi/basic cable included in the rent. $50 per month towards electricity.

Please contact Andrew Bemben with any inquiries or to set up a showing this weekend!

 

Back Bay | 209 Newbury St. #2R | Studio 1BA | $3,150


NEW on Newbury Street!  Just renovated studio with enormous private deck between Exeter and Fairfield Street.  This apartment has all the bells and whistles; satin-finish white oak floors, central AC/hydro air, washer/dryer in unit, walk-in closet, video/voice intercom, and recessed LED lighting.  Brand new kitchen with stainless steel appliances and gas cooking.  Modern bathroom with tub.  Be the first to live in this gem!

Please contact Andrew Bemben with any inquiries or to set up a showing this weekend!

 

 

 

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