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By Jessica Quirk | Agent in South Boston, Boston,...
  • If Boston Is the Walking City, You’re Going to Need Some Comfortable Shoes

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Boston, Shopping & Local Amenities in Boston, In My Neighborhood in Boston  |  September 2, 2011 5:49 AM  |  2,581 views  |  No comments

    The weather is beautiful and the city of Boston lies before you, ready to be explored. Known affectionately as the Walking City because of the close proximity of its neighborhoods from the North End to the Waterfront to Faneuil Hall and beyond, Boston is best seen by foot. And with the old cobblestones and uneven bricks that make up many of the walkways throughout the city, you are going to need some comfy shoes. Stilletos and this city do not generally mix, unless you are being chauffeured or doing it up valet style.

    And despite GQ’s recent rating of Boston as the #1 Worst-Dressed City (yes, we are still feeling offended, despite the fact that GQ is out of fashion itself) you need to look good while remaining comfy. My suggestion? Go for a home grown favorite that just may surprise you with their super stylish looks for men and women, while providing comfort that just may out-do your expensive workout sneakers.

    FW11_W_K58859_MARYCAPTOEBOOTIE_MAIN

    Rockport was long known as the sensible shoe source in the footwear world. Remarkably comfortable, but perhaps not runway ready. Today, that is clearly not the case. Head into their boutique-like concept store at 215 Newbury Street, and you may find the need to step outside again to make sure you are really in a Rockport shoe store as I did. Alas, indeed it is!

    Generally not a big fan of men’s shoes, I felt myself drawn to them immediately. So many hot styles! From a Londoners buckled work boot look to a slick business casual ready loafer, these are shoes that would make a woman want to date a man.

    But, I clearly could not resist the women’s selection for long. Where to go first with the fall styles ready to be rung up. The stunningly tall Luciana Corset boots to the anklet styles harkening back to the roaring 20’s, and the Janae Pumps, a new take on the classic pump (with heels ample enough to handle Boston’s sometimes rugged terrain). For the first time – I wouldn’t have to decide between stylish and sensible – I could have both. That is truly remarkable in any corner of women’s fashion.

    So where would your Rockports take you? Would you finally walk the red line of the Freedom Trail, go on a culinary tour of the South End or are you more the dancing shoes kind of person?

  • Fenway’s Facelift and New Boylston Street Development Proposed

    The Fenway area of Boston is not only the epicenter of the Red Sox Nation, it’s also a great place to see a concert at the House of Blues , find a bite to eat (think Audubon Circle , Jerry Remy’s , Eastern Standard , Game On! , the Cask ‘n’ Flagon , Boston Beer Works , La Verdad , the Landsdowne Pub , Burton’s , etc.), inject some culture into yourself at the Museum of Fine Arts or the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum , and access to world-renowned hospitals.  Clearly, with all these neighborhood amenities, it should go without saying that it’s not only a great place to invest in property it is also a great place to call home!

    A recent article in the Boston Globe highlighted the interesting dichotomy that the neighborhood is experiencing – Fenway Park is set to turn 100 years old in 2012, and as it becomes a national historic landmark fixed forever in time, the area around it is set to become more and more modern.

    Fenway Park Red Sox Game

    I’ve been blessed to visit Fenway Park hundreds of times over the past few seasons, and the area, though never blighted, does seem to be benefiting from a minor facelift.  Of course, Restaurant Row, burned down and rebuilt on Peterborough Street, was a facelift that would have been entirely unnecessary had it not been for the fire that devastated it. However, improvements like converting the old gas station into the new Tasty Burger and building  a new market which sells fresh, local produce are welcome changes.

    The condominium complex at 1330 Boylston Street, said to be home to notable Red Sox players including Dustin Pedroia, is a prime example of successful mixed-use development, with businesses and restaurants, like Upper Crust, on the first floor and condominiums above.

    A new tiered development condominium project is slated to be constructed right down the street from 1330 Boylston Street, at 1282 Boylston Street.  The President of Abbey Group, the project’s developers and also the developers of the nearby Landmark Center back in the 1990s, has promoted the project as one that “targets a multigenerational group of people”.  Currently just a vacant parking lot where McDonald’s once stood, the site has an anticipated completion date of 2014, and would be comprised of studios and one, two, and three-bedroom luxury units, 20 of which would be designated as affordable housing.

    Similar to the success of 1330 Boylston Street, 1282 Boylston Street hopes to emulate some of the same mixed-use development strategies by assigning the first three floors of the building as office space and the street level as shopping, restaurant space, and community space.  The project is currently awaiting a series of approvals from the Boston Redevelopment Association.

    Though it’s a little early to be able to call 1282 Boylston Street your home, there are plenty of nearby condos available, and, truly, what better way is there to declare your love for the hometown (and soon to be 2011 World Series Champions) the Boston Red Sox?!  To get into the Fenway market today, contact a member of the Condo Domain team to start your search.

  • The New and Improved South Boston

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in South Boston, Market Conditions in South Boston, Home Buying in South Boston  |  August 31, 2011 7:36 AM  |  3,580 views  |  1 comment

    Drive through South Boston, or “Southie”, and you’ll quickly realize that you’re witnessing a whole new Southie on the rise—if you somehow haven’t yet heard, the infamous Whitey Bulger’s in prison and the vacant lots and dilapidated buildings of yesteryear are long gone. Departed, if you will; replaced by sparkling condos and even an artisanal cheese shop (see American Provisions). And yet, the charm of Southie, the neighborhood feel, the Irish pride, the strong sense of community, appears to remain intact.

    A friend recently told me that current South Boston real estate prices have increased 9% over last year’s prices, and he fully expects South Boston to become the next South End within the next ten years. Sure, he’s partially invested in South Boston’s future because he owns property there, but is he overconfident in assessing South Boston’s future?  Probably not.

    South Boston has a lot to offer: the waterfront, the beaches, Castle Island, all a stone’s throw away from downtown and an easy commute. There are a multitude of eateries available, ranging from Local 149 (the former Farragut House location) to Amrheins.

    Condo developments appear to dominate in South Boston, many of which have available units. Take, for example, the Trolley House condos, located at 335 West 2nd Street. Developed in 2005, these condos border the Seaport District, and include luxury amenities such as granite countertops, hardwood floors, Jacuzzi tubs, and, perhaps the most luxurious of amenities in Southie: heated garage parking. Low condo fees of approximately $300 a month cover building security and access to a common courtyard.

    Or check out the Old Harbor Street condos, located at 51 Old Harbor Street right next to the park. Unit 2 is a two bedroom, two bath currently on the market with gleaming hardwood floors and extra low condo fees of $160/month.

    Condos seem to dominate the market in Southie, and there are plenty of them currently available for you to peruse and potentially buy! Contact a member of Condo Domain to get started today!

  • The Capital Grille Moves to a Bigger Location at the Hynes

    Posted Under: Entertainment & Nightlife in Boston, Shopping & Local Amenities in Boston, In My Neighborhood in Boston  |  August 28, 2011 11:32 AM  |  2,545 views  |  No comments

    The Capital Grille, long known as the city centerpiece for power lunches with fine cuts of meat, elegant romantic interludes and long wonderful nights at the bar sipping on Stoli Dolis, is leaving its 359 Newbury Street digs for a new home a block away at the Hynes Convention Center. Taking over the corner of the Hynes at Boylston and Dalton Streets – the opposite end from Towne Stove and Spirits – the new space has allowed the Capital Grille to double in size to a now impressive 10,000 square feet. Officially opening on Wednesday, August 24, highlights to the space include five private dining areas for meetings and events, outdoor patio dining, a larger lounge and bar area and seating for 315 people.

    The new ample spacing promises to come without sacrificing the intimate, personalized service The Capital Grille has been known for. Lunch is also now on the menu at The Capital Grille for the first time, open from 11:30AM to 3PM weekdays. For those on the clock, the promise of an in and out lunch experience of 45 minutes or less comes with every lunch.

    This latest addition to the Mass. Ave. end of the Back Bay’s Boylston Street is continuing the upscale dining options along the more traditionally casual dining row of Boylston including mainstays The Pour House andWhiskey’s. Perhaps this is the Back Bay’s way of combating the newness of the Seaport District and the allure Boston Convention Center to keep locals and out of towners in the district long know for shopping and dining.

    So what do you expect from the new Capital Grille? Will leaving its intimate Newbury hideaway take away the Armani wearing patrons and leave it with the standard fare convention attendees? Or, will the ample space open up opportunities for bigger and bolder parties from the real Boston powerhouse players?

  • Home for Little Wanderers Puts Longwood Medical Area Building Up For Sale

    Posted Under: General Area in Jamaica Plain, Home Selling in Jamaica Plain, In My Neighborhood in Jamaica Plain  |  August 28, 2011 9:08 AM  |  3,181 views  |  No comments

    The orphanage in Jamaica Plain well known as The Home for Little Wanderers has put its Knights Children’s Center, an aging 97 year old brick building, up for sale. The building currently house boys and girls 5 – 13 years old with a wide range of needs.

    Located along the Jamaicaway close to the Longwood Medical area the building would be well suited to a developer looking to bring more residential living to the area. At 220,000 square feet of space there is ample room to serve an underserved area with a place to live, important for many of the physicians, healthcare works and scientist who work in the congested Longwood Medical Area and often need to remain close to their work.

    The building is nestled in between Mount Pleasant Home, an affordable elderly housing facility, and Goddard House, a nursing home and rehabilitation center. Due to this proximity, a public service house or institution similar to these may also be well placed in the neighborhood.

    The property located at 161 South Huntington Ave. is said to be worth an approximate $8 million and bids are currently being accepted by Collier Meredith & Grew.

    The Home itself will be moving to a new facility still to be built on its Walpole campus at Longview Farm at a cost of $23 million, less than half of its estimated cost for rehabbing the existing building, which will include both a school and residences. The current headquarters for the Home are located along Huntington Ave in leased space near Symphony Hall.

    The Home for Little Wanderers is an over 200 year old private, non-profit agency dedicated to child and family services. They are currently looking to raise funds towards their mission as well as to build the new facility.

    How do you think the space along the beautiful Jamaicaway should best be put to use? Is residential the only feasibly financial viable way to go based on the estimated cost of rehabbing the space or could another non-profit get the 1914 building up to pique performance in order to pursue their mission?

  • Christian Science Plaza Given Green Light for Tower Development from the Boston Redevelopment Authority

    Posted Under: General Area in Boston, Shopping & Local Amenities in Boston, In My Neighborhood in Boston  |  August 28, 2011 9:04 AM  |  2,605 views  |  No comments

    The 14.5 acre Christian Science Plaza, world headquarters for the The First Church of Christ, Scientist, known for its stunning “Mother Church,” pedestrian walk and its stunning centerpiece reflecting pool, was given the okay by the Boston Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday, August 16 to construct two new towers on their property.

    One tower will reside near the corner of Dalton and Belvedere Street near the Sheraton Boston and Hilton Hotel, while the other will flank Huntington Ave on the opposite side of the plaza. The towers are scheduled to host retail space at street level and incorporate residential living.

    The church is a non-profit organization looking to offset their real estate costs with real estate income so more of their donations can be dedicated to the mission of their organization. The plaza is located at the juncture of Back Bay, the South End and Fenway as well as steps away from Symphony Hall on one end and the Prudential Center on the other.

    Thankfully, the plaza pedestrian walkway and greenspace will remain intact and will even be enhanced by more greenery.  The reflecting pool will also be refurbished.  There have been many patches made over the years due to leaks into the garage space below the plaza. The new construction will feature a more shallow depth to the reflecting pool, resulting in a savings of two million gallons of water a year.

    The children’s fountain will remain an important outdoor fixture on the plaza, while transforming into a skating rink for the winter months is currently being considered.

    The plaza is certainly one of the more unusual but particularly beautiful places in Boston. It is refreshing to see enhancements in the cityscape that do not take away from the outdoor beauty that everyone is welcome to partake in.

    Our question is, with residential properties going in at the Christian Science Center within the next few years, do you think we can get some of their more famous devotees to leave Hollywood for Boston? Who would you like to see call Boston home more – Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer or John Travolta?

  • Celtics Coach Doc Rivers Gives up Temporary Residence at the Mandarin Oriental for a Purchased Penthouse atop the Four Seasons

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston, Celebrity Homes in Boston  |  August 25, 2011 9:39 AM  |  2,519 views  |  1 comment

    While the NBA lockout continues and the Celtics season could be at jeopardy (nah – we don’t think they’ll take it that far either), Celtics Coach Doc Rivers, with a 5 year $35 million contract in hand, is anything but locked out of his new Four Seasons Penthouse which he recently secured for $2.2 million dollars. The 16th floor 2 bed, 2.5 bath beauty boasts views of the Public Gardens and Beacon Hill and has 1,801 square feet of living space, according to the Boston Globe.

    Prior to this, Rivers had been renting at the Mandarin Oriental just up Boylston Street. With the security of his contract keeping him in Boston it appears a more permanent residence with all the amenities and security a Championship winning coach deserves was in order.

    If you’re looking to call Doc Rivers your neighbor, there is another unit up for grabs within the Four Seasons just a little bigger than Doc’s. The 3 bedroom, 3 bath offers an owner’s unit as well as a rental unit for a total of 2718 square feet of living space. With a price tag of $3.15 million dollars, this is a rare find as it is one of only a few of the largest units available within the Four Seasons.

    Recent renovations in the common room make it social engagement ready, while bedrooms are blank slates ready for your personal touches.

    Plus, as a resident of the Four Seasons, you would get all the Five Star Four Seasons Hotel luxury amenities including use of the fitness center, sauna/steam, lap pool, room service dining and self-park or valet park options.

    So while we don’t want you harassing your new neighbor when he is prepping for a game, please be cordial enough to let him borrow a cup of sugar if he should happen to stop by for some (though we think room service may be able to handle that one too).

    If you could pick a local celebrity as your neighbor, who would you want to wave hi to as you head to your car in the morning?

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