More than 500 prospective residents have expressed interest in the Boston Seaport District’s largest luxury apartment complexes to date, the 22-story luxury tower Benjamin and the 20-story VIA nearing completion on Seaport Boulevard.
Preleasing for the 354-unit Benjamin will begin in January, when a sales center opens on Northern Avenue. The majority of interest is from existing Boston residents, according to Heather Boujoulian, senior vice president at Berkshire Group, although inquiries have come from as far as Asia and Brazil.
Berkshire developed the 832-unit complex in a joint venture with Boston Global Investors; WS Development owns 250,000 square feet of retail space on the lower floors.
Prices haven’t been set yet for the apartments, ranging from studios to three-bedroom penthouses on the top six floors with balconies and wraparound views of Fort Point Channel and the Boston skyline. But Boujoulian said they’ll be competitive with new luxury complexes in the city. The Benjamin includes 46 units reserved for households meeting city affordable housing guidelines.
The Benjamin is scheduled to open in April, followed by the VIA during the summer. Both complexes are equipped with the sort of perks and common-area amenities typical of the current wave of luxury rental complexes in Boston and Cambridge: the Benjamin has a pair of outdoor terraces totaling 23,026 square feet including a pool, outdoor grills and firepits. An 8,000-square-foot common area on the fourth floor at the Benjamin will include an entertainment kitchen and dining area, lounge and game room.
The two complexes will hit the market during a slight lull in multifamily development in the booming Seaport. The 346-unit Watermark Seaport apartment tower opened in January and is more than 90 percent leased, according to developer Skanska USA, which partnered with Twining Properties on that project. And Pasadena, California-based developer Cottonwood Management is expected to break ground by year’s end on a 750-unit apartment and condo complex on Pier 4 Boulevard.
The Benjamin and Via are built atop a 3-story, 250,000-square-foot retail podium which will be occupied by dozens of stores and restaurants. Although most of the retailers haven’t been announced yet, confirmed tenants include Equinox fitness club and two nightclubs, The Grand and Scorpion Bar & Restaurant, run by Boston-based Big Night Entertainment Group, as well as Showplace ICON Theatre, Kings Bowl, STK steakhouse and Tuscan Italian Kitchen & Market.
The property across from the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse was originally known as One Seaport Square, part of the larger 23-acre Seaport Square development by Boston Global Investors built on former parking lots. BGI obtained Boston Redevelopment Authority approval for the 6.3-million-square-foot master-planned development including housing, office buildings, retail and hotels.
Now that all but one parcel has been sold off to other developers, including Cottonwood Management and WS Development, each of the new owners will put their own names on the final pieces and the Seaport Square name has been retired.