In the competitive high-end downtown Boston condominium market, the gold standard for amenities can be summed up in two simple words: room service. By pairing luxury hotels with condominiums, pioneering projects such as the Residences at Ritz Carlton and the Four Seasons Hotel have been able to offer both striking appointments and to-die-for views along with 24-hour concierges and room service from on-site five-star restaurants.
As the market has recently softened, however, most observers expected developers to become less ambitious, trimming an amenity here and there, or downsizing floor plans. Instead, a host of high-profile developments like the Boston W Hotel and Condos, currently under construction in the Theater District, will continue to feature the potent hotel-condo mix, but with their own brand of elaborate amenities and services.
Included in this mix are developments that are asking, and in most cases getting, extremely high pre-occupancy prices—$1,600 per square foot at the Mandarin Oriental in Back Bay, $1,250at Battery Wharf in the North End, $975 at the Residences in the Inter-continental on the new Greenway.
By plowing ahead with high-priced projects, developers are targeting those who haven’t been affected by sagging markets, along with an influx of overseas investors eager to cash in their fast-rising Euros.
In addition to the condo-hotel pairings, a number of new developments, like the Clarendon in Back Bay, are trying to position themselves by providing hotel-quality services without the attached hotel.