Top 10 Boston Apartment Owners
Despite rising multifamily property prices, the city has been attracting attention from major investors due to its growing economy and population, as well as its relative affordability.
By Roxana Baiceanu
Demand for Boston multifamily properties has increased throughout 2017, as the city consolidated its reputation as a life science, tech and academic hub. The latest available Yardi Matrix Boston multifamily report shows that rent growth was slightly under the national rate at the end of the fourth quarter, due to strong absorption in the second half of the year. Despite the increase, housing remained affordable compared to other major U.S. cities. The gap is expected to narrow further in 2018 as developers are increasingly focused on bringing a larger number of high-end properties to the area.
Due to rising property prices, investors are becoming slightly cautious. Nevertheless, transaction activity in Boston has been strong, with roughly $1.3 billion in assets trading as of the end of November.
Below is a list of the top 10 apartment owners in the city based on Yardi Matrix data available in January 2018. The portfolios exclude communities in the prospective stages.
10. Corcoran Jennison Cos.
In under half a century, the Boston developer has become known for transforming public housing projects into sustainable mixed-use communities. Aside from the much-anticipated 3,200-unit One Charleston, which is in the prospective stage, the company currently owns 11 more properties in the area, bringing its local footprint to a total of 3,549 units. Harbor Point on the Bay is the largest Boston community that Corcoran owns and operates. Located at 24 Oyster Bay Road, the 1988-built asset comprises 55 buildings and approximately 1,300 units.
9. Chestnut Hill Realty
Chestnut Hill is another local developer and investor owning and operating 14 properties in the Boston area. They account for approximately 3,700 units. Several communities are located in well-rated neighborhoods such as Brookline and Dedham. The largest one is the 789-unit Hancock Village at 298 Independence Drive in Chestnut Hill, Mass., which has recently been subject to a series of zoning regulations. Completed in 1948, the property consists of 99 one- and two-bedroom townhomes, a fitness center, business center, clubhouse and covered parking.
8. The Hamilton Co.
The Boston-based investor counts 33 properties in its nationwide portfolio, of which 30 are located in well-rated areas around the city. This translates into a total of 3,794 units, the majority of which are market rate. The largest community is Dexter Park at 175 Freeman St. in Brookline, Mass., which encompasses 409 units and is fully occupied. The company purchased it in 2009 from UBS Realty Investors for $129.5 million, according to Yardi Matrix data. One of The Hamilton Cos.’ most recent projects is the 40-unit, Victorian-era building at 83 Gardner St. in the Allston–Brighton neighborhood, which the firm began renovating last October.
7. Winn Residential
Primarily known as a property manager of affordable and privatized military housing, Winn Residential also owns property and has worked on behalf of such clients as Lendlease, DuPont, SunTrust Bank and Homes for America. The company owns 85 communities across the U.S. In Boston, Winn has acquired 26 market-rate and high-end communities. The most recent addition is The Watson on Howard, a 140-unit community at 116 E. Howard St. in Quincy, Mass., slated for completion by the end of 2018. Including this property, Winn’s portfolio totals 4,000 units.
Among the 13 properties that Aimco owns and manages in the region is Royal Crest Estates at 1 New Castle Drive in Nashua, N.H. The 902-unit community is one of the largest Boston apartment communities, encompassing 49 buildings. Aimco bought it in 2002 from John Flatley Co. for $80.8 million. In total, the Los Angeles-based REIT’s Boston portfolio counts approximately 4,500 units, most of them market rate.
5. Beacon Communities
Part of Beacon Communities’ Boston portfolio is Georgetowne Homes, the fifth-largest community ever completed in the region. Located at 400 Georgetowne Drive in Hyde Park, the property comprises 67 buildings and offers 967 one-, two- and three-bedroom units, as well as proximity to shopping centers and health-care facilities. Including this community, the company owns and manages a total of 23 properties and more than 4,800 units across the Boston greater area.
4. John M. Corcoran & Co.
The company has been developing, managing and investing in Boston multifamily properties for over six decades, in that time picking up 6,100 units. Almost one-third of the 20 properties it owns in the area are high-end communities, the most luxurious one being Lynnfield Commons at 375 Broadway, in the Reading submarket. The 200-unit community was completed in 2008 and features a clubhouse, fitness facility, pool, sundeck, media room, walking trails and picnic area. In addition to its Boston portfolio, John M. Corcoran and Co. has six more properties in Providence, R.I. as well as in Worcester and Springfield, Mass.
3. Equity Residential
The Chicago-based REIT is a top apartment owner in various cities on the West Coast, including San Francisco and Los Angeles. In Boston, Equity owns and manages 27 buildings and more than 7,300 units, the majority of which are luxury. The property list includes The West End, Avenir, 660 Washington and Third Square. Rents at 310-unit The West End vary between $2,300 and $3,300. The community features a wide range of high-end amenities as well as one of the best locations in the city: 4 Emerson Place in the North End–Charleston submarket.
2. AvalonBay Communities
In Boston, AvalonBay owns and manages 38 luxury properties and more than 10,000 units. The 503-unit Avalon North Station is the largest and one of the most luxurious communities. The recently built property is located at 1 Nashua St. and has been registered for LEED certification.
1. Boston Housing Authority
BHA is Boston’s top apartment owner with 56 properties and more than 12,000 units part of its portfolio. Last year in August, the association launched a $1.6 billion redevelopment project aimed at revamping the first and largest public housing development in New England. Located at 10 Kemp St., the 1930s-built Mary Ellen McCormack site is expected to feature 3,000 new units once the redevelopment is completed. The units will replace the existing apartments.
Images courtesy of Yardi Matrix