‘Transit Oriented’ an Understatement at Boston’s The Victor

New luxury building sits atop a subway station. "It couldn't be clearer that this is a transit-oriented development," developer says.

Boston—At the mid-autumn groundbreaking of The Victor, a $92 million, 286-unit luxury rental development in downtown Boston, state and local officials joined Boston-based Suffolk Construction in celebrating the new project. The 12-story, 377,000-square-foot residential tower at 95 Haverhill St., at the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway‘s north end, delivers several distinctive attributes.

For one, it is among the few luxury rental properties to arrive in downtown Boston in about two years. Second, It not only adds in-demand luxury rental units to the downtown Boston market, but more than 400 much-needed construction jobs.

Most significant is its transit orientation. “It sits atop a subway station, across the street from a regional commuter train station, where you can also hop aboard an Amtrak train and take it up to Maine,” Patrick McMahon, vice-president for development, Northeast Region, with Denver developer Simpson Housing, LLLP, tells MHN. “It couldn’t be clearer this is a transit-oriented development.”

The Victor is also within walking distances of Massachusetts General Hospital, the Government Center, Financial District and Boston Harbor.

The studio, one-bedroom, one-bedroom-with-den, two-bedroom and two-bedroom-with-den apartment homes will feature custom, Italian Wenge-finish cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, in-unit washers and dryers, hardwood flooring in kitchen, living and dining areas and ceramic tile tub surrounds and flooring in bathrooms. Floor-to-ceiling windows will open on Zakim Bridge, Boston Harbor, the Charles River, and Boston cityscape vantage points.

The Victor will be graced by two rooftop lounges and a 3,000-square-foot athletic center, with cardio and strength equipment plus basketball half-court. Additional amenities include a residential lobby and a private resident lounge with catering kitchen and flat-screen TV, which opens up on one of the rooftop lounges. Prospective residents will be able to select from a variety of floor plans at The Victor, which has been designed and will be built to LEED Silver standards.

“We are describing it as a luxury rental property, and it will be marketed as such,” McMahon says. “The design, finishes and amenity packages all reflect that.”

Included in the development will be 17,000 square feet of retail space that will likely be filled by restaurants, a dry cleaner and other service businesses.

The primary hurdle on the project was arriving at a structural design supporting the building on a portion of the MBTA tunnel, and conforming to the structural designs of both that tunnel and the adjacent Thomas P. O’Neill I-93 tunnel.

“Working through deferential settlements, and understanding how to avoid disturbing the tunnels either structurally or from a waterproofing standpoint were both very difficult,” McMahon reports. “Another challenge was that we couldn’t drive piles, so we have to drill mini-piles instead. And when we get near the tunnel roof, we are in some areas hand spade digging around the tops.”

The building’s marketing will be targeted at urban professionals without children. “What we’re seeing is that in many of the luxury rental buildings in downtown Boston, there is high demand from the market segment comprised of urban professionals working downtown,” McMahon reports.

Slated for completion in early 2013, The Victor had as its architect ADD Inc., and is being built by Suffolk Construction.

“The Victor fills a need in Boston, both for the renting population it will serve, and as a terrific generator of jobs,” McMahon concludes.