I’ve been working on a project – well for work. Each year we embark on an exhaustive adventure, the purpose of which is to conceive of the most wonderful holiday gifts our clients and partners have ever received. They have to be magical…no pressure. We often use a single word to drive the process. This year the word is “cozy”. Try putting that in a box and shipping it UPS. Not your problem. I’ll figure it out, and when I do, it will evoke feelings of home, and family, serenity and celebration, security and childlike wonder – cozy.
That’s what I like about Brownstones. They are cozy. They are old, sometimes their four stories tilt a little with age, but they stand proud. There is community within, but not so large a community that one can get lost in the crowd. That can be hard for some city dwellers – they want the anonymity. As a single gal, I like knowing that I am sandwiched between neighbors that I can rely on for help, and that offer a level of comfort in my solo existence. These Brownstones don’t exist in every city, or even every neighborhood in my city, which makes them pretty special.
Boston has a huge housing shortage problem. The reasons for which are vast – college town with students from all over the world coming and buying up properties, or renting at exorbitant sums of money, our strong economy with varied market sectors – Life Sciences, Academia, Finance, and TAMI. That stands for Technology, Advertising, Marketing and Innovation – it’s a thing. At any rate the Mayor said he was going to solve the problem and developers have shown up left, right and center with their bids for property, and their pleas for zoning lenience – it’s hard to make a buck on these buildings without turning them into luxury condos, or rental properties. Not exactly what the average joe had in mind when the Mayor said he was going to solve the housing shortage issue.
Any hoo, as a lover of design, and a gal on a mission, I decided it was time to get to visiting some of these places. A few readers might remember that between my last home and where I am living now, I rested my head at the Ink Block. I’ll probably be struck down for this, but of all the places I have thrown down a doormat, the Ink Block is the only one I miss regularly, and pine for like a teenage girl after an unrequited crush – how embarrassing. It was just so darn easy to live there, and I’m not exactly accustomed to easy, and I am certainly not accustomed to having help, and while I didn’t want to get used to accepting it, I didn’t want to offend either, and there you have it…they got me and before I knew it….I had fallen in love.
Two new buildings have popped up in the last 22 months. These are big buildings too, so those of you not so familiar with construction should know – that’s a fast track schedule. I visited a third that had just opened around the time I went into the Ink, but that couldn’t accommodate my short term rental needs so I never visited. The Troy is the oldest of these buildings (just sold to Related Beal), The Girard, and 345 Harrison Avenue. I’d feel sorry for 345 Harrison, not having a name and all, and for the fact that they have the dumbest tagline: Designed for Living…I shudder to think how much they spent on that, but the fact of the matter is, the CBT designed building is spectacular. You heard me say it, it’s awesome, and set back from the highway, it’s a bit quieter.
Stats, facts, photos, and feelings will be shared on the properties in my next post.