Boston Residential Group
Boston Residential Group has created some of the most elegant, sophisticated and livable spaces within historic commercial buildings in Boston’s best neighborhoods. The company also manages a diverse portfolio of apartment and condominium properties, including a half-million-square-foot, mixed-use project along the Mass. Ave. corridor.
When Boston Residential Group (BRG) announced plans to buy a sprawling historic building near the Longwood Medical Area, demolish it and redevelop the site into a new apartment building, neighborhood groups fought it. The nearly 100 year old building – which backed up onto the Jamaica Way and Boston’s famed Emerald Necklace – was headquarters for the nonprofit Home for Little Wanderers. The organization was ready to trade its old and dilapidated Boston mansion for a more modern and less expensive suburban home. Selling to BRG would fund the move and add some cash to their coffers, but neighbors feared the unknown and sought to have the deal blocked.
BRG worked patiently and collaboratively to overcome neighborhood opposition—ultimately securing their support in exchange, BRG for a public pedestrian pathway from the Jamaica Way through the site. BRG also agreed to build more affordable units than was required by the City of Boston’s rules for buildings of this size. The news was heralded in the community where there was a shortage of apartments at all price ranges.
Ellis Strategies came on board as BRG’s public relations partner after construction began on Olmsted Place. Our goal was to generate stories in the local media highlighting the project as an important development in a community starved for new housing stock; BRG also wanted to minimize the news about earlier opposition, which had gained local headlines a few years earlier.
Working through our contacts at The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, neighborhood newspapers and the real estate trades, Ellis Strategies placed articles spotlighting the modern style of the apartments, the building’s amenities and the need it was fulfilling for working professionals. Ellis Strategies also helped secure an appearance from Boston Mayor Martin Walsh at the building’s ribbon-cutting, photos from which played well in local papers and on BRG’s website. The attention helped the leasing office rent all the apartments within the first two months.
Two years later, after more apartments had been built along that stretch of South Huntington Ave., BRG sold the property and paid its creditors. Ellis Strategies had the news placed in the trade papers so bankers and investors would learn of BRG’s successful efforts.