Work Expected to Begin on Long-Stalled East Boston Residential Project

A new multifamily project is ready to break ground in East Boston, one of the most promising but underdeveloped areas in the city’s Innovation District. More than ten years after designing the first sketches and several failed development attempts, New Jersey-based developer Roseland Property Co. is finally moving on with Phase I of Portside at East Pier, a long-stalled project at Marginal and Lewis Streets on the East Boston waterfront.

A new multifamily project is ready to break ground in East Boston, one of the most promising but underdeveloped areas in the city’s Innovation District. More than ten years after designing the first sketches and several failed development attempts, New Jersey-based developer Roseland Property Co. is finally moving on with Phase I of Portside at East Pier, a long-stalled project at Marginal and Lewis Streets on the East Boston waterfront.

In 2000 Roseland Property had revealed plans for a mixed-use development with 500 residential units, retail and entertainment space; five years later, the developer won approval and kicked off construction in a joint venture with luxury builder Lenar only to cease all operations in 2007 when the real estate industry was seriously shaken by the economic downturn. According to Roseland Property’s website, the 13-acre Portside at East Pier master plan calls for 400 condominium and 176 multifamily units and nearly 70,000 square feet of retail and commercial space.

As reported by the Boston Herald, work on the project Phase I—which focuses on building 176 apartment units—is imminent as the developer found a new contractor (Cranshaw Construction, a division of National Development based in Newton), adjusted the project specs to the existing economic environment and is now seeking to get approval for the building permit. This time Roseland Property teamed up with Prudential Real Estate Investors to secure the $275 million development, reveals the news source.

The project has high chances of getting the building permit. Since the second quarter of 2011 the reduced amount of available housing units has prompted developers to revive a great deal of construction projects that were stalled because of the recession, according to a Boston-area market report from Marcus & Millichap. It is estimated that in 2012 construction output will reach the highest level in three years.

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Rendering of Portside at East Pier credits to Roseland Property Co.
Chart courtesy of Marcus & Millichap