Obviously, close proximity to a University is top on the list; however there are other factors in play. For example, since I can remember, East Somerville and Winter Hill have been underdeveloped. With the redevelopment of Assembly Square we’ve had both developers and wealthy young professionals choose to invest in those great neighborhoods. With development comes a sense of a new community and especially new dining options. If you haven’t attended the East Somerville Foodie Crawl, please consider it next year. It is truly an amazing showcase of ethnic cuisine.
The “Starbucks Effect” was coined a few years ago and opinions vary on that. Supposedly the real estate web site Zillow claims that “prices increase within a 1/4 mile of a Starbucks.” Just look at the development in Southie’s Broadway Station, directly across the street from Whitey Bulger’s old stomping ground. I’m not saying that Starbucks is the reason that certain neighborhoods gentrify and become hot spots. However; being on the ground level, I’ve witnessed clients make comments about feeling more comfortable buying in a neighborhood with a Starbucks on the corner.
With the ebb and flow of the economy, there are a few neighborhoods that are prime for residential development. One area that for years I felt had a lot of potential: NewMarket. Just past the South End as you reach the end of Mass Ave in Dorchester. An industrial wasteland; however it’s within a mile of the Red Line, a major hospital and state administrative offices. South Bay Center could be the anchor for things to come.
Another neighborhood that is prime for residential development is East Watertown. With its close proximity to Cambridge and already vibrant arts and dining destination, it’s only a matter of time. The Arsenal area hosts the usual big box stores; however Athena Health is a big employer and if you haven’t been to La Casa de Pedro you are missing out! The consensus has been that the next big tech area will be right in that spot.
What do you think? Where is the next hot spot?