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Waterfront Project Sales Prove Red Hot Condo Market in Boston

A rendering of the Clippership Wharf project in East Boston. A rendering of the Clippership Wharf project in East Boston.

BOSTON—If there were any doubt that buyer demand for condominiums in Boston is perhaps setting new standards, a glimpse at the short-lived sales campaign at Lendlease’s Slip65 luxury waterfront project here could prove a convincer.

New York City-based Lendlease’s first project in the City of Boston—Slip 65—sold all 80 of its luxury condo units in just 50 days and more than a year from their delivery.

“Selling out pre-construction, in just eight weeks, affirms our faith in this neighborhood, and reflects our commitment to creating a unique lifestyle,” said Nick Iselin, general manager for development of Lendlease in Boston. “We have leveraged an incredible location and complemented the East Boston community with a sustainable design, waterfront access, and community engagement. That approach resonated with buyers. They felt at home at Slip65, and we can’t wait to welcome them to Clippership Wharf next year.”

“The extraordinary sales pace at Slip65 firmly establishes East Boston as one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods and highlights the continued strong demand for waterfront lifestyles,” adds Sue Hawkes, managing director of The Collaborative Companies, Slip65’s sales agent. “The views, amenities, convenience and price have impressed everyone who walked through the sales center.”

Slip65 is part of the first phase of development of Lendlease’s $250-million Clippership Wharf mixed-use development on the East Boston waterfront. The project is being delivered in two phases and will be comprised of four buildings, including condominiums and rental apartments, retail spaces, and high-quality amenities.

The sold condominium units were one-bedroom, one-bedroom with den and two-bedroom residences and were traded at a range of $700-a-square-foot to $1,200-a-square-foot. He adds the sale prices “comfortably exceeded” Lendlease’s expectations.

While still considered luxury, Iselin says Lendlease allowed the market to dictate the pricing. He adds that while still considered luxury, the condominiums were priced for people that wanted to live in East Boston and not for the all-cash buyer or those seeking their second or third home that have been willing to shell out well in excess of $1,000-a-square-foot for a luxury condo in Boston.

“We thought that with the product we were delivering and the price point, we would really be tapping into something the market needed, and we were right,” Iselin says.

Lendlease broke ground on the project in August of 2016 and hopes to begin delivering units at the project in the late fall of 2018, Iselin tells Globest.com. The first phase includes the six-story 80-unit condominium building, which is now sold, as well as two six-story rental apartment buildings that will contain 284 units. The second phase of the project will involve the construction of the fourth building on the site that will feature 114 units.

Iselin says that at present the building in the second phase is planned as a multifamily property, “but our recent success selling condominiums is making us look at that again.”

Lendlease is also looking for further development opportunities in Boston, as well. “We are looking at a broad range of projects that are in the underwriting stages, but we haven’t secured our next deal so this is the first one and we are actually looking for others,” he notes.

Lendlease acquired the property in 2015 from Winn Residential and Related Companies, however, Lendlease significantly changed the previously permitted plans and secured approvals for the Clippership Wharf development that will also feature retail space.

As part of the Clippership Wharf project to satisfy the city’s affordable housing requirements, Lendlease struck a deal with the Boston Housing Authority to replace 20 existing housing units with 52 affordable units at 125 Sumner St. That $30-million project is in the permitting process at the moment.

Iselin calls the partnership with the Boston Housing Authority on the affordable housing project “a triple bank shot” that will introduce new urban planning benefits to the East Boston neighborhood and more than double the affordable units that are located adjacent to the Clippership Wharf development. “It was a great win for our project and for the city,” he says.


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