Berkshire Group and Boston Global Investors Announce the Groundbreaking of One Seaport Square and Reveal Details on the Project's Residences

Boston | Friday, November 14, 2014

BERKSHIRE GROUP and BOSTON GLOBAL INVESTORS
ANNOUNCE THE GROUNDBREAKING OF ONE SEAPORT SQUARE AND REVEAL DETAILS ON THE PROJECT’S RESIDENCES:
THE BENJAMIN AND VIA

November 14, 2014 – Boston, MA – Berkshire Group, WS Development and Boston Global Investors today announced the groundbreaking of One Seaport Square, a three-acre mixed-use development located within the 23-acre Seaport Square, the largest master planned project in the City of Boston.

Upon completion, expected in 2017, the development is planned to include two residential towers, constructed above 250,000 square feet of retail space across the towers’ first three floors. Named The Benjamin and VIA, each residential tower will have a distinct personality providing a wide range of living options. Calling one of Boston’s newest neighborhoods home, The Benjamin and VIA will both offer views of the city’s skyline and harbor, extensive indoor and outdoor amenities, and modern interiors and technology. Berkshire Group has partnered with Boston Global Investors (BGI) to own and develop the residential component of Seaport Square. WS Development will develop, own and manage the retail component of Seaport Square. One Seaport Square is bordered by Seaport Boulevard, Northern Avenue, Fan Pier Boulevard, and Sleeper Street.

Berkshire Group Partner and Head of Development, Steve Wood commented, “We are proud to begin construction on Seaport Square with BGI and WS Development.  In our view, the Seaport District is an important growth area in Boston with its emphasis on residential, retail and commercial space all in one neighborhood. With companies moving into the area and creating new employment opportunities, we expect Seaport Square will attract residents who desire urban living in the Seaport District in close proximity to both professional and entertainment options."

BGI CEO and Managing Partner John Hynes added, “One Seaport Square will be our largest project in Boston and within Seaport Square. It will set the tone for just how dynamic this new neighborhood will be in all categories: commercial, residential, shopping, dining and entertainment. We cannot wait to bring it to life and feel very fortunate to be partnered with Berkshire Group and WS Development on this development.”

The Benjamin and VIA will offer distinct residential experiences to appeal to diverse audiences. Both buildings are designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, also based in Boston, and are being built for LEED SilverCertification. All apartments in The Benjamin and VIA are for lease only, with the intention of giving residents the freedom of flexible, mobile lifestyles. “With their glass structures, they are a new generation of modern architecture in the City of Boston. The retail floor architecture is lively, diverse modern and glassy so as to engage pedestrians and mirror the energy of food and retail. The residences are also very open and modern; their architecture connects them to the harbor and to the city,” said David Manfredi, Founding Principal of Elkus Manfredi Architects.

Plans for One Seaport Square include a total of 832 units with 354 distinctive apartment homes in The Benjamin,ranging from studios to three bedrooms,and 458 modern apartment homes in VIA, ranging from studios to innovation units to three bedrooms. To create a socially expansive and diverse community, One Seaport Square will include 96 units that meet the City Of Boston’s standards for affordable rent. VIA alsoincludes 96 innovation units, which will be cost-effective studio and one-bedroom apartments with creative design configurations and access to collaboration space for socializing and strategizing.

The project also includes plans for Courthouse Square, a 17,000 square foot, retail-lined open space between the two towers that will serve as a pedestrian link between the buildings, the MBTA Courthouse Station and the Moakley Federal Courthouse.

Residential Amenities: Both The Benjamin and VIA will offer breathtaking views of Boston as they overlook the waterfront and city skyline, and are expected to feature several outdoor and indoor shared spaces. The Benjamin will include two spacious courtyards: one offering views of the city skyline and a second south-facing courtyard specifically planned to offer a heated pool with views overlooking the city, sky and sea, as well as lush landscaping. VIA anticipates outdoor lounges, a water feature, grilling areas and gardens. Private outdoor space was made a priority, with over one acre of outdoor terrace space designed for the residents. Both The Benjamin and VIA aim to be pet friendly buildings with a range of services residents have come to expect in high-end residential offerings.

To place value on environmentally conscious living, The Benjamin and VIA have plans for urban gardens, car charging stations, spaces for car-sharing, and a host of bike amenities from storage to repair to shares. The buildings will also be smoke-free, use environmentally safe cleaning supplies, and practice waste efficiency with recycling and trash services.

Apartments are planned to emphasize modern interiors such as hard surface flooring, chef’s kitchens, floating islands, high gloss cabinets, stone counters, brand name appliances and condo-class finishes, fixtures and lighting. Penthouse Suites in The Benjamin will enhance such high-end finishes with professional grade appliances, wine refrigerators, boutique-style custom closet design and organization systems and private elevator access. Select apartments in the Benjamin and VIA will also offer private terraces or balconies.

Shopping, Dining and Entertainment at One Seaport Square: WS Development, a locally based and privately led real estate firm, will develop, own, and manage the 250,000 square feet of retail space throughout the first three floors of The Benjamin and VIA. One Seaport Square represents the highest concentration of retail space in the Seaport District. WS is pleased to announce Equinox will be located on the third floor of The Benjamin; ShowPlace ICON Theatre at Seaport Square and Kings Bowl will be found within VIA. Further details are as follows; more announcements will be made in the future.

  • ShowPlace ICON Theater at Seaport Square: Owned by Kerasotes Showplace Theatres, ShowPlace ICON Theatre at Seaport Square will be the newest location in the company’s 100+ year history. Immersing guests in luxury, ShowPlace ICON will have sophisticated décor, 10 auditoriums, and just 860 seats so as to provide an intimate cinema experience. All auditoriums will have cutting-edge technology for both sight and sound, with wall-to-wall screens and plush recliner seating for ultimate comfort. Seating will be reserved so movie-goers will never face the uncertainty of ticket availability or having just the right seat. There will be no ticket lines as guests will be able to download tickets on their smart devices via the Showplace ICON app. The theatre will also contain the Lobby Lounge, a chic restaurant with a full bar, seating for up to 175 guests and dramatic views of downtown Boston.

 

  • Equinox: This high performance fitness and lifestyle leader operates 73 upscale, full-service clubs in major U.S. markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Dallas, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., as well as international locations in London and Toronto. Since its inception in 1991, Equinox has developed a lifestyle brand that represents service, value, quality, expertise, innovation, attention to details, market leadership and results.  Providing a holistic approach to fitness Equinox offers an integrated selection of Equinox-branded programs, services and products, including strength and cardio training, group fitness classes, personal training, spa services and products, apparel and food/juice bars.

 

  • Kings Bowl: A locally grown Boston business, Kings Bowl rekindles the fun and escape of bowling with a memorable entertainment experience, emphasizing homemade food, cold beer, creative cocktails and great music. Kings will feature Private Bowling Rooms, Billiards, Shuffleboard, Air Hockey and other fun and interactive games.  Upscale, retro-inspired décor and executive-chef designed menus are brought to life by Kings’ “best-in-industry” service. With varied entertainment options, theme nights, and state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, Kings sets itself apart as an unparalleled social scene for all occasions.

Location: Residents at The Benjamin and VIA will dwell in one of Boston’s most exciting and accessible neighborhoods. Over the next several years, Seaport Square is expected to develop into twenty blocks of world-class retail, business, and residential space, knitting together the Financial District, Waterfront, Fort Point Channel and Fan Pier. Through the anticipated construction of five new streets, over 20 buildings, and four prominent public gathering areas, Seaport Square plans to redefine the meaning of a unified, walkable, and dynamic neighborhood. Large areas of open and green space, direct access to public transportation, and energy efficient design are planned to be embedded within each building. 

The Benjamin and VIA have direct access to downtown Boston as well as to the I-93 and I-90 interchange. They are located in close proximity to Logan Airport and Amtrak’s South Station, and have easy access to public transit with the Courthouse Silver Line Station immediately adjacent to Courthouse Square. Less than a quarter of a mile north of Seaport Square are The Rose F. Kennedy Greenway and Financial District, just steps south of Seaport Square is the thriving Fan Pier, a 21-acre development.

 

As One Seaport Square comes to life, Berkshire Group, BGI and WS Development look forward to creating a vibrant residential, fashion, fitness, dining and entertainment destination. 


About Berkshire Group: Berkshire Group is a real estate investment management company known for its vertically integrated platform and experience in the multifamily sector.  Berkshire deploys capital primarily through equity, debt and development in the multifamily arena, as well as through opportunistic ventures in other real estate sectors. Over more than four decades, Berkshire’s team of industry leaders has gained a reputation for being able to identify opportunities and effectively manage through various economic environments, establishing a long-term track record of solid performance based on thoughtful, leading edge strategies, and operational experience. The Company has experience across the multifamily real estate spectrum in disciplines including acquisitions, asset and property management, debt, development and redevelopment. Berkshire, a registered investment advisor, is based in Boston and has and offices in Atlanta, New York, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston and San Francisco.  For more information on Berkshire, please visit www.berkshire-group.com.

About Boston Global Investors (BGI): Boston Global Investors (BGI) is a leading real estate development and consulting firm headquartered in Boston. Led by John B. Hynes III and a team of experienced real estate professionals, BGI has over 30 years of experience developing commercial, residential and mixed-use projects from landmark towers to city-scale development. Current projects include Seaport Square and the redevelopment of United Technology Corporation’s 47-acre Rocketdyne facility within LA Warner Center in Los Angeles, California. BGI was also a major shareholder and co-founder along with Gale International in the New Songdo City project in South Korea---a massive $35 billion, 100 million square foot master planned city. Prior to forming BGI, Mr. Hynes developed the 1.1 million square foot State Street Financial Center tower, the 500,000 square foot 101 Arch Street tower in Boston, MA, and the 500,000 SF MITC Center in Chelsea, MA.

 

About WS Development: One of the largest privately-held retail development firms in the U.S., WS Development owns, manages and leases a portfolio of over 85 properties totaling more than 20 million square feet with an additional 4 million square feet under development.  At each of its locations, WS seeks to create a best-in-class environment for its merchants and customers. WS is committed to long-term investments and relationships built on trust, respect and teamwork. WS has set trends in the industry for more than thirty years with its portfolio of premiere, open-air destinations that exceed visitors’ expectations with world-class retail, restaurants and entertainment, beautiful architecture and dynamic community events. WS’s premiere portfolio currently includes Derby Street Shops (Hingham, Massachusetts), Seaport Square (Boston, Massachusetts), Hilldale (Madison, Wisconsin), Highland Village (Jackson, Mississippi), Hyde Park Village (Tampa, Florida), Legacy Place (Dedham, Massachusetts), The Street (Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts) and MarketStreet Lynnfield (Lynnfield, Massachusetts). For more information, visit wsdevelopment.com, call 617.232.8900 or follow @WSDevelopment on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

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