Miami-based developer Crescent Heights bills NEMA Boston as the city’s “smartest” new address, loaded with high-tech perks such as algorithm-dispatched elevators, interior LTE antennas and convertible furniture by Boston-based startup Ori Inc.
When the 414-unit tower at 399 Congress St. opens in November, much of the attention is likely to be focused on Charley, a robotic assistant that doles out snacks and beverages in the lobby and shuttles take-out orders and deliveries to the luxury apartments above.
Crescent Heights is the first multifamily developer to partner with Savoike, a Silicon Valley vendor of robotic assistants for hotels, health care facilities and logistics companies including FedEx. After being introduced to Savoike’s robots at a trade show, Crescent Heights decided to deploy one at its Ten Thousand Santa Monica property which opened in 2017, said John Orlando, Crescent Heights’ director of information technology.
“Residents love him,” Orlando said. “Charley will be roaming around or sitting in his charging station, and they’ll come by and pat him on the head and say, ‘Hi, Charley.”
NEMA Boston – the acronym is a reference to “new markets” – recently opened a sales office at 22 Boston Wharf Road and is listing units ranging from $2,400 to $9,140 a month.
Crescent Heights bought the fully-permitted development site in 2016 for $36 million from Madison Properties.
Charley is programmed to use the complex’s elevators – even waiting for the next car if one arrives near capacity – and notifies residents via the buildings’ resident app or mobile phone when he arrives at the door, Orlando said.
“We were looking for technology that sets up apart from others in the market,” he said. “A good way to judge technology is: if he’s not there, they notice. They notice him missing.”