Many people associate the South End with its beautiful brownstone buildings and picturesque streets. In fact, you could even say that the district is one of the most lively neighborhoods in America. To add a little mix to this distinction, upscale property developer Normandy Partners is teaming up with Gerding Edlen to jointly develop 275 Albany Street into a busting intersection, hosting a high-rise condo complex and a boutique hotel that will go along with it.
Located on a 1.3 acre site in the former parking lot next to the old Boston Herald headquarters and adjacent to the Southeast Expressway, the $165 million development will give rise to a 220-apartment building and a 325-room boutique hotel. The plan was approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority last September, and groundbreaking is set for early next year. Once built, the condo and hotel combination will serve as a break from the traditional low- to mid-rise developments in the area, yet preserve the look of essential brownstone-lined streets of the South End untouched. The original plan for the site included two side-by-side hotels but that went up in the air last year, as the developers saw potential to offer residential apartments in an otherwise congested part of the city.
The area that the buildings will occupy will be near the edge of the district, where industrial warehouses and offices once sat. At least four major properties are in different stages of redevelopment in this gritty area between Chinatown and South End proper. The most significant is the former Herald block between Harrison and Albany. National Development has announced it will demolish the old two-story newspaper facility and replace it with four new buildings containing 475 apartments and 85,000 square feet of retail space.
The gentrification of the South End has long been ongoing since the 1990's and this development is sure to set another mark in the neighborhood's quest to turn it into the city's most prominent living quarters, positioning it to join the ranks of Back Bay and the Beacon Hill.