I’ve been representing the Warren Street Assemblage which is a relatively large aggregation of vacant lots located along Warren Street in Dorchester’s Grove Hall neighborhood for quite some time now. I’ve admittedly been having difficulty in adequately demonstrating the potential of the land to real estate developers. The 1,000 character limit that Pinergy allows in its “Remarks” is not enough to adequately describe the Warren Street Assemblage and the market conditions in Dorchester’s Grove Hall neighborhood. I’ll try here.
The Warren Street Assemblage consists of four separate lots that combine for a total of 40,338 square feet or 0.93 acre. All four lots are located in the City of Boston’s Roxbury Neighborhood District. Two lots are located on the odd-numbered side of Warren Street; the lots are known as 639-643 Warren Street, it encompasses 8,557 square feet, and 0 Crawford Street, it encompasses 24,145 square feet. The lots on the odd-numbered side of Warren Street combine for a total of 32,702 square feet or 0.75 acre. Two lots are located on the even-numbered side of Warren Street; the lots are known as 630 Warren Street, it encompasses 4,389 square feet, and 1 Sunderland Street, it encompasses 3,247 square feet. The lots on the even-numbered side of Warren Street combine for a total of 7,636 square feet or 0.18 acre. I’ll treat the lots on each side of Warren Street separately since, although the lots are offered as a package, each side of Warren Street is geographically separated and the they’re also offered in separate packages. Here’s the link to Map 6B/6C, provided by the Boston Redevelopment Authority which will show the four lots within the Roxbury Neighborhood District.
The lots on the odd-numbered side of Warren Street, in my opinion, offer tremendous potential for almost immediate development. The 639-643 Warren Street and the 0 Crawford Street lots are located in the Grove Hall Neighborhood Shopping Subdistrict (NS) and Table D will help you to better understand the tremendous potential for the development of the lots. TheBoulevard Planning District is also an overlay district that applies to the lots. It may be worth mentioning that Freedom House owns two currently unused lots totaling 23,413 square feet or 0.54 acre in the 3F-6,000 Subdistrict of the Roxbury Neighborhood Subdistrict on Crawford Street that abuts the Warren Street Assemblage along the western edge and the United States Post Office owns a lot that abuts the Warren Street Assemblage along the southern edge.
The lots on the even-numbered side of Warren Street offer tremendous potential for future development. The 630 Warren Street and 1 Sunderland Street lots are located in the Multi-Family Residential (MFR) Subdistrict and Table F will help you to better understand the tremendous potential for development of the lots. The Boulevard Planning District is also an overlay district that applies to the lots. The lots on the even-numbered side of Warren Street may be a bit trickier to develop immediately because the acquisition of the 5,013 square foot lot located on the corner of Warren Street and Sunderland Street, known as 0 Warren Street, may be required before full potential can be realized.
Think of the three lots on the even-numbered side of Warren Street as a triangle. The owner of the two base sides of the triangle are owned by the owner that I’m representing. The owner of the top side of the triangle is owned by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) so negotiation with and acquisition of the lot known as 0 Warren Street may be required in order for the assemblage on the even-numbered side of Warren Street in order for that assemblage to reach its full development potential.
Grove Hall, in my opinion, is in the beginning stages of a rebirth and it only takes a drive through the neighboring neighborhoods of Dudley Square, Egleston Square and Upham’s Corner to realize that those neighborhoods have already begun their transformations and that Grove Hall, logically, is the next neighborhood that will begin its transformation. The new construction along Blue Hill Avenue and Quincy Street is further proof that the revitalization of Grove Hall is imminent. It’s time that the Warren Street Assemblage is taken seriously as the next major development within Dorchester and Roxbury.
There have been some major recent sales close to the Grove Hall neighborhood that bolster my argument.
- 116 Holmstead Street, Dorchester sold for $2,100,000; a thirteen unit residential building
- 16 Charlotte Street, Dorchester sold for $1,250,000; a six unit residential building
- 317 Blue Hill Avenue, Dorchester sold for $995,000; an eight unit mixed use building
Those three sales are all excellent examples and indicators of Grove Hall’s burgeoning future.
Furthermore, an assemblage of commercial buildings at 567-575 Warren Street, the buildings were in need of either completion or rehabilitation at the time of its sale, recently sold for $2,100,000.
The newly constructed buildings that will be built on the Warren Street Assemblage by the selected developer would be much more desirable than any of the aforementioned properties simply because the Warren Street Assemblage would be new construction; and it would demand much higher commercial and residential rents than any of the buildings that I’ve mentioned here. Maybe new construction would even warrant the development of condominiums, now or in the future, which is something that Grove Hall hasn’t seen since the most recent real estate crash. It remains to be seen but the condominium market in the neighboring neighborhood of Fort Hill is flourishing. In fact, the recent sale of a 17,300 square foot piece or 0.4 acre piece of land at 0 Millmont Street, Roxbury for $1,100,000 may be another harbinger for things to come for the Warren Street Assemblage.
The development opportunities are almost endless for the Warren Street Assemblage and Table A will help you to better understand the breadth of possibilities for the land. I’ve had interest shown in the property by non-profits that include community development corporations (CDCs) and charter schools to for-profit builders and developers. We’ve had written offers from many different groups. I will freely disclose to you that we had a beautiful offer from an entity that built one of the towers in Boston but the talks broke down after too many hands were stirring the pot. We’re not hurting for offers, that’s not the issue, it’s selecting the right partner and meshing the groups’ needs and personalities that seems to be the most pressing issue.
A minority of the development groups that we’ve been talking with don’t want to share in any potential spoils that may come about as a result of engaging the Grove Hall community through community meetings and ultimately through the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s Large Project Review and the City of Boston’s Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA) but most have been open to the reality that the owner of the Warren Street Assemblage will have to wait for City of Boston approvals and, therefore, should also gain from any upside resulting from the negotiations. I’ll be blunt in telling you here that our team doesn’t want to work with any developer if the developer is not open to sharing the potential spoils of those community processes. I hope you appreciate my candor.
Our team is only interested in working with a development group that will be fair with our group as we intend to be fair with the group that will be selected by our team. With that being said, there are many questions that can’t be answered in terms of project mix, scope or size until the City of Boston has completed its approval review so an agreement will most likely be consummated that includes contingencies for: gross or net building square footage; the number of commercial and residential units; the number of residential bedrooms; or some combination or permutation of the aforementioned valuation methodologies.
I was recently alerted by Universal Hub that the City of Boston, through the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), has recently approved the development of a 97,107 square foot building totaling seventy-six units on an assemblage of four lots totaling 32,412 square feet at the corner of Washington Street and Iffley Road known as 3200 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain; its located just south of the Egleston Square neighborhood. The similarities between 3200 Washington Street and the Warren Street Assemblage are tremendous. I believe that there’s a strong possibility, because of the 3200 Washington Street project, that a building of similar size may be approved at the Warren Street Assemblage. Here’s the link to the Project Notification Form provided by the developer of 3200 Washington Street for your perusal. The purchase and sale of 3200 Washington Street closed on October 10th, 2014 for $3,000,000; the buyer was Homestead Partners, LLC.
I hope that this breakdown has given you a better insight into my thoughts to the Warren Street Assemblage. I look forward to answering any questions that you may have in the hopes of completing a deal with your development team. Here’s the complete list of land that’s currently available in Boston though the MLS: