Hub luxo apartment glut: One building resorts to free rent to try to drum up tenants

Two months' free rent AND no application fee in new building in chic Fort Point.

Via Boston Reddit.

Supply and demand works with apartments.



    Free tagging: 


    Oh wow!

    No application fee? No finder fee? No realtor fee? Sign me up!

    Three of the biggest scamming fees ever. Please tell me this place doesn't also have a key fee.

    A rental glut in Boston?

    A rental glut in Boston? Well, they could do something novel and...just drop the rent (I know that two months' rent is something like a 15% drop in price, but I'd rather see a consistent 15% drop, rather than the real rent, with two months free.)

    1 month free

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    At 100 Arlington - saw two rents for $4300 and $5600 - I think both one BRs. So net for a year is about a 10% break.

    Tried to see what was going on at the Exeter and two different links gave me 404 error messages.

    They're probably relying on lease renewals.

    So they'll offer two free months for the first year, then expect the full year's rent the following year, and will also most likely increase rent.

    I myself don't see it as being an attractive option at all. It's just the same as places offering two free months of parking when you buy a condo. Gee thanks. Two whole months of free parking...

    I'm an investor in the

    I'm an investor in the partnership of 315 on A. These are great places, pricey for most indeed but still amazing location and amenities.

    Amazing amenities? I sure hope so

    "Average monthly rent ranges from $2,129 to $5,809 and heat, hot water and air conditioning are included."

    I'm curious: who rents for nearly $6K a month?

    Also, the building's website is incredibly annoying.


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    So that's 12 units. Check 1-12. How many are in the building?

    $6K a month

    It occurs to me as I look around my $1500/mo 1-bed in the North End that I could actually afford some of the lower priced apartments in that complex without too much pain. I would guess that when they design these places, they're hoping that 30-something single people making salaries in my range will be wooed by the "amenities" and such. But while, abstractly, I like stainless steel appliances and it would be cool to have a washer-dryer in my apartment. . .eh. I don't $600/mo extra like it. I can have my laundry done for me across the street for about $50/mo and my fridge is ancient but works just fine.

    Now, give me some storage space, central air and a decent laundry room for another $200, and we might be on to something. But there's a whole market being ignored here - I don't need "luxury" but would like something a little better and more convenient than what I have now.

    Well it is pet friendly.

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    Well it is pet friendly. That is a hard thing to find.

    From their site:

    Building Services
    Pet-friendly apartments
    Indoor dog relief area
    Online concierge
    Bike maintenance
    Green cleaning kit

    Amenity Spaces
    Rooftop deck and lounge
    Fitness with cardio + resistance
    Common room with fireplace
    Live/work conference space
    Bike parking


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    A lot of the rich people I know

    have professional-grade kitchens and do their own shopping to avoid the sub-par produce that often gets stuck in Peapod deliveries. They have the leisure to do gourmet cooking and don't want to dine out in restaurants or eat takeout/delivery every night.

    Or use what works out to be

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    Or use what works out to be one of those start up companies that hire hapless graduates as independent contractors to get paid less than minimum wage to do nonsense tasks for rich people like shop for very specific groceries at one particular Whole Foods or deliver a catered lunch up 30 flights of stairs, like TaskRabbit.

    Roche Bros and Harvest now deliver...

    … but I'm not sure if they go as far as Southie. Maybe Roche will after they open the DTX store.

    Still, $1700 (after discount adjustment) for a studio is a lot, amenities be damned. Not as sucky as $2100, but questionable anyway.

    Where exactly

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    Can you find a full-service studio in downtown Boston for under $1700?

    If you're lucky

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    It's pretty hard to find a well-located, good-sized two bedroom in decent condition for under two grand nowadays - unless you don't mind flying bullets and/or a mile walk to the T, that is. Even better parts of Dot are slowly creeping into two grand territory, let alone ritzier parts of town.

    You can live wherever you want

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    It doesn't change the fact that $1700 for a studio in walking distance to the Financial District isn't unreasonable. Sure, you can rent smaller/crappier/less convenient places for less money, never did I say you couldn't.

    Also missing nearby: a CVS,

    a pet supply store, a dry cleaner, etc., etc. That little Fort Point Market doesn't look too bad for beer and wine, so that's something, I guess. Long way to go before I'd call that a residential neighborhood. Plenty of good restaurants, as long as you don't stray over to Northern Ave / Seaport Boulevard.


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    Yuppies do not support churches or any local institutions. They are just immigrants passing through and have no connections to the community.


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    Maybe they don't support churches because they're smart enough no to think their lives are in the hands of a magic man in the sky?

    or they are jewish or muslim

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    or they are jewish or muslim or hindi or any other religion that doesnt go to church. Anyway, we ALL are forced to support churches since they are tax exempt.

    You're right

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    Southie must be loaded with Jews and Muslims.

    Loathe though I am to defend this place...

    … because of local businesses' demands, there really are a ton of delivery options in the area, including, gods help me, grossly overpriced pet supplies (i miss skiptons). No, nothing nearby where you might go interact with the people providing your needs, or randomly meet your neighbors, but if none of that is important to you then I guess this fits whatever your bill is, presumably something hermetically sealed and appropriate for even the most Howard Hughesian.

    I had many friends at this address, when it was still within reach of actual artists. I remember watching the 4th of July fireworks on the roof, and crashing there after Channel shows and events at Mobius. After the Swedish nanny was murdered, much of the neighborhood esprit de corp evaporated.

    There's a couple markets

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    There are a couple markets nearby... one a block or so away..recently opened, Fort Point Market, fresh produce, wine.. then the Bee's Knees a little further on... AND the largest Whole Foods in the USA is opening early next year right across the Fort Point Channel on the old Herald site. Foodies is a few blocks away on W Broadway on C St corner... I notice these things when I cut through to meet son and grandkid at the Children's Museum.


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    Not trolling, honestly looking for where you found the statement that the Ink Block Whole Foods would be

    the largest Whole Foods in the USA

    About the Whole Foods...

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    Last I checked, the Ink Block Whole Foods was slated to be 35,000-40,000 square feet. There is an 80,000-square foot Whole Foods I've shopped at in Boca Raton, FL, which apparently is not even their largest.

    So needless to say that poster didn't know what he/she was talking about.

    You mean

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    Boston isn't the whole of the USA? Sorry, my bad... tired today, not on top of everything... shouldn't post, I apologize.

    Ink Block will have the largest Whole Foods in Greater

    Boston at 50K sq ft, but not the biggest in the country. Pasadena has one with 75K sq ft, for instance.

    Either way, it may be close as the crow flies, but it's still a mile away by car or bike or on foot from 315 A. The C-Mart on Lincoln Street at the edge of Chinatown is closer. Foodies in Southie is 0.8 miles away down a very bleak stretch of road at night.

    I wouldn't call either of the nearby markets you cite a substitute for a proper grocery store. Bee's Knee's has Formaggio-like prices for a very limited selection of gourmet goods that aren't nearly as nice. Fort Point Market has some groceries, but at a bare step up from and at similar prices to a 7-Eleven.

    You could say, "Whole Foods

    You could say, "Whole Foods delivers," but then you've got to pay the delivery charge, and you've also got to manage to shop before their delivery hours end in the evening. Let's also consider the times when you need to run out quickly to get something.

    I don't know, maybe rich people don't have those problems, but I, for one, still like to pick out most of my own groceries myself.

    J Pace and Son

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    J Pace and Son
    1 Park Lane
    South Boston, MA 02110
    It has a hot food section but it also has a grocery section.

    22 Wormwood St, Boston, Ma

    Fort Point Market
    369 Congress St, Boston, MA ‎
    (617) 426-9988

    Stop & Shop delivers and is 1.5 miles away
    713 E Broadway, South Boston, MA ‎
    (617) 269-7989 ‎

    Bees Knees Supply
    12 Farnsworth St Boston, MA 02210

    22 Wormwood St, Boston, Ma

    American Provisions 1.8 miles away
    613 E Broadway, South Boston, MA ‎
    (617) 269-6100

    Whole Foods Market
    181 Cambridge St, Boston, MA ‎ 1.2 mi NW

    Let me guess...

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    ... parking not included??

    Or is that part of the "amazing amenities" ??


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    "Parking" looks to be included. If you want to park your bike.

    Hello developers!

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    Contrary to the bullshit you developers perpetuate, buyers want parking. I'm not going to buy someplace without parking. The smart Realtors in Southie will not list property unless it comes with parking. The social experiment of "let's build housing without parking" has failed miserably. Throw your skateboards away, cars are King!

    Why should it be?

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    I get that the rents are high but not everyone owns a car. At least they might have a choice to skip this line item on the rental bill.

    I think that if someone can

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    I think that if someone can afford to live here and afford to own a car then they can also afford to pay for a parking space in the garage.

    Why are we worrying about providing "parking welfare" for rich people, can someone remind me? Seems like there are much more pressing issues in this city...


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    That would require annual income of $85,160, according to the 40x formula, and we're talking about a small studio that would normally be occupied by a single person in their 20s. One bedroom would require $130K+, which is pretty damn rich if you ask me.

    I think we have different ideas of rich

    When a tech-wiz kid graduates college and pulls $70-80k to start, topping $100k in a few years, I don't call that rich. It's a great salary for a kid out of school, but not rich. Teachers make $85k, are you going to call them rich? That's typical, though - "anybody making more than I make is rich". And no, I'm not saying everybody is making $200k/year, but look at the industry we have in the area. We have tech, bio-tech, financial, lots of startups - there's a lot of people making a very good salary in the area. Who do you think is paying for all that real estate?

    For the more expensive units, you can get two 30-ish guys sharing a $4k/mo apartment for $2k apiece. That seems pretty good for downtown.

    Who said we were worrying?

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    I just don't see these luxury towers filling up with the types of people who appreciate a hike home from Whole Foods with a backpack full of groceries rather than taking the Audi. Just my guess.

    Some back of the envelope calculations

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    I have no idea whether or not the apartments will fill up with Audi owners or not, but they are more than welcome to purchase a garage parking space.

    Personally, I couldn't afford a $2,129/mo apartment. At least, not at this point in my life. And presumably most of the units cost a lot more than that, up to $5,000/mo apparently. But supposing I could stretch that far, and if for some reason I wanted to live there, and I wanted to shop at Whole Foods, then I would probably do the following calculations:

    Weekly shopping at Whole Foods = 52 * $6 ride home = $312 annual cost
    Adding pannier(s) to a bike = probably $30-50 one time cost


    Cost of owning a car = between $6,000 and $10,000 annually.

    That probably figures you do more than drive to the nearby grocery store, but on the other hand, also probably figures you don't live in Fort Point.

    So it would be vastly cheaper (order of magnitude) to just hire a ride-sharing service or a taxi when I wanted to cart heavy groceries from the store. Or I could ride my bike on nice days and put the grocery bags in the pannier, which is what I used to do during a time that I lived further than a mile from the store.

    Unless you're actually using the car every day for other purposes, it's not really worth while to have it around just for grocery shopping. Then again, maybe it's just a status symbol. And again, if you are willing to drop $6,000 to $10,000 on a status symbol annually, I don't really think paying for a garage parking spot is all that big a concern. Especially if you don't want your Audi/BMW/Benz/Tesla/whatever scratched up.

    You're preaching to the choir.

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    I'm just speculating on the types of people who pay $2129 a month to live in an amenity-filled studio (an indoor dog relief area?). I may be wrong but I tend to assume they're not pannier-toting types.

    There is a ZipCar location in

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    There is a ZipCar location in the building.

    If there are no cars available, they can walk to

    Channel Center Garage
    Channelside/A St Lot
    Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

    Thanks for investing

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    Thanks for investing in buildings that are ruining the city and driving out middle class.

    But at least we get a lobby!

    Wait a sec ...

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    I'm as concerned as anybody else about the Manhattanization of Boston, but let's give Seaport developers some credit. Must of the area was just wide swaths of parking lots; it's not like this is some latter-day West End where there were large numbers of poor/middle class people to screw and boot out.

    Exactly, much like the sister

    Exactly, much like the sister building of Factory 63, most of these microapartments are in old factories and warehouses. There was not a lot doing with them before. These are ideal for building a community where one simply did not exist before. With new high tech industry coming to the Fort Point area, these are ideal for high earners who want a short walk or bike ride to work and not be far from the city. They also don't tarnish any existing neighbourhoods. That's what attracted me to become an investor here. These don't hurt any existing communities, unlike what's happening with Southie.

    Factory 63

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    My office was at 63 Melcher, there were plenty of people living there, young families. Developers didn't invent innovation, there were a lot of tech companies already there, hotjobs before it was sold, studentadvantage, buzzagent, macdirectory etc..

    There were low income and middle class people and families living there - we call them artists or architects, young professionals starting out, it was a great and affordable place for them to live.

    Developers kept 63 empty for 5 or 6 years when it could have been home to families. Now there's more noise and traffic nightmares with empty buildings which aren't been rented. If the real estate market collapses we'll have higher crime with drug dealers moving.

    As for 315A, I know two people who are section 8 greedy but not needy people living there. Great idea to kick out people and families who worked to have empty buildings and move in some greedy folks. Development needs careful planning not obsessively putting up thousands of units of luxury housing in a "trendy" area.


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    part of the reason Fort Point became an attractive place to live was due to the artists who moved into some of the older buildings starting in the 70s and 80s, until developers decided they wanted in on the action. Luckily, some artists remain, but many were forced out due to development.


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    I guess I was thinking more of the area by where Anthony's Pier 4 used to be.


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    I guess I'm for new luxury development rather than existing neighborhoods being relentlessly upscaled or bulldozed but make no mistake--the Fort Point arts community was extraordinary and what exists today is a mere shadow. I probably went to the Open Studios every year for twenty years running and it was amazing--the art being produced, the creative use of old industrial and office space. I still go occasionally but it's nothing like it was and I miss it dearly.

    Fort Point Artists Community

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    Actually my wife is a member of the Fort Point Artists Community (FPAC) and I can assure you that the group is alive and well. FPAC and the artists are adapting with the dramatic changes in our neighborhood, even if FPAC is not as big as in the past. Take a look at how the artists at Midway Studios raised $30M to buy their building at 15 Channel Center Street. Also, FPAC's store, full of locally made art, is now open again, being hosted by 315 on A on the ground floor facing West Service Road. Finally, FPAC's 35th Open Studios will happen October 17 to 19 with 150 artists opening up. Please come show your support of this important group who continue to be a big part of the soul our Fort Point neighborhood.

    glad to hear that

    I'm glad FPAC is still around, and I don't blame FPAC for the dissolution of so many Fort Point studios. However, FPAC was once rife with infighting and didn't do much-- or anything, as I recall, but I could be wrong-- to stop escalating key fees when that started becoming prohibitive for young artists.

    However, to their credit, a few years ago. they were offering classes to BPS students, maybe through AFH? Is that still going on?

    hear, hear, Sally

    Granted, by the late 80's, a lot of FPAC folks were getting priced out, so this has been a long time coming. But it is sad that Boston doesn't really have an artist-majority neighborhood anymore.

    Don't know if you ever read David Byrne's

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    excellent rant about NYC's decline as a creative hub but I think there's a lot of truth to it. And I'm not sure in this age of virtual everything and the takeover of cities by 1%-ers how artists do find or create those kinds of stimulating communities. I'm not sure that Hudson is the answer--maybe smaller, more recently neglected post-industrial cities, or places like Detroit where the economy is still limited.

    Thank you-- that essay puts

    Thank you-- that essay puts into words my concerns, which I have vented about perhaps too much on UHub, that Boston is at risk of becoming a quaint theme park for the rich. While I agree with Byrne that poverty, danger, and crime are not necessary for art, they are the trinity that created affordable space, not just for artists, but for bootstraps businesses and for working class families. It is a sick and sad joke that the people who overcame the poverty, banded together to end the danger, fought and survived the crime, made cities as livable as they now are in 2014, are no longer welcome in them.

    Adding insult to this injury, since we're a few generations into the mallification of American culture, a large number of people want every house or apartment to be as predictable as a hotel room. The city neighborhood is no longer a neighborhood, but a "water/city view" and a collection of interchangeable restaurants.

    We no longer even remember that people wanted to have warehouse space in order to have the room and light to create something; lofts are now built from the ground up. They don't understand that if you price out most of the Italian or Korean families, it's no longer "Little Italy" or "Koreatown." If the wharf is too expensive for a fishing fleet to use it, you can't call it "Fisherman's Wharf." And if a neighborhood prices out its artists and does little to attract them, then don't say your neighborhood is "bohemian." or heaven help me, "artsy."

    It doesn't mean it's no longer a city; it means that the city has lost the diversity that made it interesting and lively.

    Welcome to Tulsa-Sur-La-Mer!

    I will take your word for that

    Last time I was there was in the 90s. Maybe it was the overpowering presence of Oral Roberts University, but I felt like I was caught in that scene from A Wrinkle In Time, with all the identical White Moms calling the identical White Kids back in to their identical White Ranch Houses.

    Of course, the book Tulsa wasn't all sunbeams and moonlight. My friend who first dragged me there knew one of the subjects, but when I asked him where she was, he said she died shortly after the book came out, and all of her associates in the book were dead or in prison. So the seedy underbelly, at least a good chunk of it, self-destructed.

    It is cyclical.

    Flight to the burbs made that cheapness happen until flight from the burbs began anew.

    Status seeking needs a roost, so you just look for places with no status. Lynn seems to be the nearest candidate for the conditions that made Fort Point a thing of legend. During my last trip I could see the transformation attempt and noticed that the Devil Music Ensemble ended up there.

    Rich assholes are like an invasive species but the status appellation only works for places that had a residue of it in the first place.

    Fort Point Channel confers bragging rights that may not be transferable to, say, Brockton or Fitchburg.

    Pittsfield went along with the "attract artists and prosperity will follow". myth, but doesn't have a lot to show for it. North Adams is particularly ridiculous and I'm a kind of arts advocated and did hope it would be true.

    At the end of the day it takes a certain nimbleness to keep ahead of an affluence avalanche along with ruthlessness to discard places that affluence destroys as if it were ebola.

    I know!

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    I've heard the South End was so much better in the 70s and 80s before it was ruined by affluence.

    Our Lady

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    Is only moving, not leaving. The build sat adjacent to an extremely valuable parcel, so the (the city and the developers) have agreed to relocate it to where I believe the parking for Thompson Reuters is now, or adjacent to that.

    That said, it is sad to lose such a nice little church.

    I know they are only

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    I know they are only relocating, but the new building won't have the same charm.

    Application Fee?

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    I thought application fees for rentals was illegal in Massachusetts? My previous apt complex recently had to settle for charging one, was nice to get a check back

    Same here

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    My previous apartment complex (Jefferson at Dedham Station) lost a class action related to their fees and we got a check in the mail a few months ago.

    They seem pretty hard up for

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    They seem pretty hard up for tenants. Just last night @BostonTweet was sending out picture of the "amazing view" from one of the upper floors of the place.

    Does that pool table come included in the rent?


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    If you would stop commenting and get back to work maybe you could affford one of the $5k apartments.

    Funny, some of us can both earn

    enough to afford those apartments and drop the occasional comment on Uhub at the same time. A few of us can walk and chew gum simultaneously, too. Welcome to the 21st century.

    On a different level

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    I can't imagine paying 5K to rent an apartment let alone a mortgage.
    I'll leave these expenditures for you and your "friends", which I'm sure are many.

    Buying is a hassle, if you

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    Buying is a hassle, if you recently moved here for a (well paying) job going through the process of getting a loan and bidding on houses might not be a priority. Also, unless you are staying at least 5 years you will probably lose money. People who make a lot of money don't want to waste it buying a place if they may move to a different city in a few years for a different job, move to a bigger place when they have kids, or just move because they will be making more. There are a ton of reasons people at all levels rent vs buy, its not just because some can't afford to buy.


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    Do you think it's cheaper to buy a luxury 2 bedroom penthouse within a 5 minute walk of downtown? What would it cost to buy a place at say the Intercontinental? What would the monthly mortgage/condo fee be? I'm guessing more than 5k a month.

    I'm seeing Ft. Point condos of similar size and amenities

    to 315 A's $5.5K/month rentals going for around $1M. Even with steep HOA fees, you're still coming out way ahead by buying vs. renting, even if the property value stays flat. Unless you're having difficulty swinging the down payment or don't have the credit standing to get the mortgage, it strikes me as silly for a well-paid young professional to rent at that level.

    I'm a well-paid young

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    I'm a well-paid young professional who finds it silly to live the hell out in the sticks of Malden or Dedham or whatever is south of Savin Hill and either drive to work, ride a bike (ugh), or take the T (double ugh). I like having most everything I need—including my office—within a 10—15 minute walk, thanks. So maybe I can't afford to buy a place, so what? My quality of life is much improved by zero commute. And what am I going to do with the equity I theoretically build by owning? I'll be dead, and you can't take it with you.

    The problem

    Or so they tell me, is the period between the time you are a well-paid professional and the time you're dead.
    Some people manage to spend quite some time in that condition. Some of them find not having to pay rent helpful.

    Things to do with equity before you die:

    Buy a vacation home, fund a kid's education, buy a boat, travel lavishly, donate to charity, save a boatload on your taxes.

    Or flush money away on rent, fattening some other guy's retirement account. Your call.

    Not that simple

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    You put 10% or 20% down on a $1M condo, that's a lot of money that you can't use for something else.

    You could probably get an 8% return on it just by sticking it in a mutual fund. By putting it down, you're passing that up.

    That's not to say that buying isn't the right decision. It really depends on the specifics, though. Does the gain in equity long term and the mortgage interest tax deduction outweigh the other uses for that money? What's the price-to-rent ratio? If it's $1M vs $5,000 a month (x12), that's 16:1, which slightly favors renting according to some rules of thumb (if you believe them).

    I think that in this case it comes down to a bunch of factors that you can't generalize about, details about the specific building, location, and preferences of the person buying/renting.

    Way ahead?

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    25 channel ctr #1105. 1400 sq ft 2br. slightly larger than the 2br at 315, but not by much. It's listed for $1.150 million. That's a $4,500/mo mortgage w/20% down. Add on over $900/month in condo fees, $850/month in taxes, and who knows what in insurance. That's around $6,500/month, a little less than 20% higher than 315 on A, and it requires you coming up with $230k as a down payment.

    Hundreds of thousands of

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    Hundreds of thousands of people commute to downtown daily, is it really that baffling as to why some of them might want to live within 5 mins of where they work? All of us make trade-offs.