Taking a Closer Look at The Biggest Developments in Seaport
What are the largest projects currently under development in the Seaport District? From a giant new hotel to several mixed-use projects spread over multiple acres, Seaport is adding millions of square feet of luxurious, yet innovative, commercial and residential space. Here’s a closer look at the projects that are redefining the once largely industrial Boston neighborhood, and what tenants and visitors can expect from each of them.
Located at 140 Northern Avenue, Pier 4 is surrounded on three sides by water, creating an unusual opportunity for picturesque yet private views of the surrounding harbor and city. This luxury condominium development plans to add 106 new units to Seaport’s housing stock, ranging from one to four bedrooms, with an average square footage range of 410 feet to 1,654 feet (not counting the penthouses). A new two bedroom unit is estimated to cost $2 million dollars. However, Pier 4 distinguishes itself by not only offering upscale living quarters but a 13 story office building, as well as convenient access to the adjacent Institute of Contemporary Art. With 353,000 square feet of office space, and approximately 30,000 square feet dedicated to retail, occupants of Pier 4 will have a wide range of business opportunities and activities literally at their doorstep. Building amenities include a dog spa, fitness center, and concierge service, such as the services of a private chef and personalized botanical care. Two prestigious architecture firms are handling the design of the building, and have subsequently accentuated both the sweeping views of the location as well as more intimate features such as private decks. The $500 million dollar project is expected to be ready for physical occupancy by fall of 2018.
399 Congress Street
Known affectionately as “the sausage parcel” due to its slender, signature shape, 399 Congress Street will soon be the home to a new, 22 story apartment complex. However, the building is pioneering in terms of the types of units it will offer. Although traditional luxury apartments will be available, the building will also have 60 innovation units among the 414 total units, including 63 affordable apartments. Innovation units are defined as living spaces that have a square footage of under 450 square feet, and have become increasingly popular in dense urban centers that attract young professionals. The inclusion of these units is particularly apropos for the Innovation District, and this site in particular: an office at the adjacent 303 Congress Street is now the site of Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Boston Project Center, which is a new initiative that fosters relationships between students and industry professionals. In addition to its residential units, 399 Congress Street will also have 12,000 square feet of retail and lobby space when constructed is completed.
150 Seaport Boulevard
In the last few years, Seaport Boulevard has become a hub for start-ups and established corporations alike, many of whom have either started offices here or are planning to open up new headquarters. Suitably, the new 22 story building at 150 Seaport provides a mixture of both residences and retail space to help expand the number of housing units on this highly desirable street. The plans call for 124 new condominiums, 19 of which will be designated as affordable. There will be 10,700 square feet of retail space on the first two floors, and a Harborwalk extension will encompass the building, providing the opportunity for an easily accessible, beautiful stroll along the waterfront.
Omni Hotel Seaport
Sited at the corner of D and Summer streets, the new Omni Hotel in Seaport is one of the largest new hotels in the greater Boston area, with a 25,000 square foot ballroom. The hotel’s development in Seaport is indicative of the thriving nature of the neighborhood; city officials have stated that they expect the hotel will be able to help accommodate multiple simultaneous large meetings and conferences in the area. Much like a barometer of current and future economic growth, the Omni Hotel is a hearty steel and glass vote of confidence in Seaport’s vitality. The principal design consists of two 21 story towers, with 40,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, and 100,000 square feet of meeting space. The hotel will provide 1,054 rooms, as well as 8,500 square feet dedicated to the spa and fitness center. The first guests should be able to enjoy their stay in 2021.
Marine Wharf Hotel
The $156 million dollar Marine Wharf Hotel is located on a 1.2 acre site at 660 Summer Street, and will create 320,000 square feet of hotel, dining, and retail space when it is completed in 2019. The project will add a total of 411 rooms to Seaport’s hotel stock, which will be operated by two hospitality brands operating under one flagship company in a configuration of 245 rooms and 166 rooms. In addition to a fitness center, an indoor pool, and 3,500 square feet of retail space, the Marine Wharf will also feature a 500 seat restaurant overlooking the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park, as well as a focus on improved pedestrian experience. Because of its location to the Park and the waterfront, a series of curated paths to both water transport and the adjoining city streets will be created during construction, with street trees and a thoughtfully articulated landscape plan. This emphasis will not only encourage hotel guests to explore the city, but will also offer a more attractive destination for the number of visitors to Seaport who regularly take water-based transit. An enclosed 8,000 square foot “Great Room” will adorn the roof, right next to an outdoor space for seasonal events.
Seaport’s legendary Innovation and Design Building will soon be host to Reebok, which is planning to move into a 220,000 square foot, five floor build-out designed by an architecture firm famous for large-scale corporate headquarters design. The development is notable not only for the relocation of the headquarters of a world recognized corporation to Seaport, but for the emphasis on natural light and the increasingly popular “collision” model of contemporary office design, whereby spaces are configured to encourage casual meetings and brainstorming between coworkers in places as innocuous as stairwells, corridors, and furnished nooks.
88 Black Falcon Avenue
Continuing with the trend of retrofitting and building-out pre existing structures on Seaport’s waterfront, the 10.52 acre site at 88 Black Falcon Avenue is receiving a make over to welcome new tenants to the three story 1920s era marine industrial building. Approximately 376,000 square feet of the facility will be upgraded to help welcome a new mix of creative tenants, including architecture firms and tech companies, alongside existing marine and industrial tenants.
121 Seaport Boulevard
Anchored by two major tenants, the over 450,000 square foot, 17 story 121 Seaport Boulevard is one of the largest and most promising projects in the District: developers have stated that 100% of the building’s available square footage is already leased. Intriguingly, 121 Seaport also reflects a trend within the thriving Innovation District toward a holistic, integrated urban context. Large amounts of open space, most of it accessible to the public, are a big part of this project, with an augmented reality “walking museum” located just outside the doors of the building in the form of a pedestrian promenade. Participants of this walking museum can enjoy learning about the marine history of the region. The development is also highly sustainable, with design features that substantially reduce solar glare, resulting in a net 15% energy savings. The architects expect that it will receive a LEED Platinum certification once it opens.
With residential, commercial, and public space, the Echelon Seaport is one of the District’s largest and most innovative developments. The three primary buildings in the development will provide 733 new residential units, along with 125,000 square feet of retail on a 3.5 acre site. The exterior of the $900 million dollar project will incorporate elements that foster a strong connection to the public realm, including an interior piazza that will be host to seasonal events throughout the year. The luxurious new housing units will provide tenants will a roster of amenities, including private terraces and spectacular city and harbor views.