In a virtual sea of luxury high rises sprouting up across Boston’s evolving skyline, Radian is poised to command attention.
By Rebecca Luongo
From its geographic location in the heart of the city to the unique amenities, Boston’s newest residential tower is in a league of its own. The brainchild of two development groups, Radian is a collaborative effort between Hudson Group North America, LLC and Forest City Boston. The 26-story structure, by prolific Design Architects Elkus Manfredi, Executive Architects Perkins Eastman, Interior Architects RODE, with Interior Design and Artwork Consulting by Planeta Basque, boasts 240 units ranging from efficient studios to spacious penthouses. At the base of Radian lies the intersection of some of Boston’s most vibrant and culturally diverse communities. At the top, residents have a view of it all from the comfort of their couch.
Boston is currently in the throes of a real estate boom. The lack of both condominium and apartment inventory in the city has led to skyrocketing demand. Along with the neighboring Seaport District as well as the Leather District and Fort Point, Downtown Crossing and Chinatown have been experiencing unprecedented growth and development. For years, two of Boston’s most dynamic neighborhoods faced dwindling population, appearing desolate after the workforce leaves for the evening. Noam Ron, project manager at Hudson Group, is proud that Radian and its 240 apartments will contribute to the density of the surrounding area and help transform the area from “dead after 5pm” to a healthy, active community. The easy walkability of the district and neighboring Rose F. Kennedy Greenway allows Radian to play a role in creating a heightened pedestrian experience.
The developers at the Hudson Group are no strangers to the Boston landscape, having successfully completed a range of projects in the city over more than three decades. The principals of Hudson Group have been leading residential and commercial developments, construction, and investments in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Israel since 1980. In the mid-1990’s alone, the Boston-based Hudson Group redeveloped over 100,000 square feet of space in the leather district, playing an instrumental part in the resurgence of the neighborhood. According to Hudson Group, “The properties at 107 South Street and 108 Lincoln Street were both adaptive reuse projects in the historic Leather District.” By adapting the space to fit contemporary needs while preserving the building’s original facade, the developers were able to successfully repurpose the structure without disrupting the unique character found in some of Boston’s oldest streets.
This project is a family affair for Ori and Noam Ron of Hudson Group, the father and son team behind Radian. Ori Ron has been working in redevelopment since 1976 in his native Israel and in America since 1992. Noam, a 2007 graduate of the University of Connecticut, worked alongside his father during the development, construction, and management of the spectacular three-sided glass tower.
Forest City Boston is a division of Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises and has a proven track record for “creating long-term value.” Forest City is one of the largest publically-traded real estate development and management firms in the country and understands the importance of making a commitment to creating a thriving community and maintaining that commitment over time. That dedication to the neighborhood helped forge a strong bond between Forest City Boston and The Hudson Group, which led to Radian, a joint venture. Joined Ori and Noam Ron is Michael Cheek, a property manager for Forest City Boston. Michael has been in the industry for over 15 years and was most recently working on Forest City Boston’s swanky University Park Apartments at MIT in Cambridge before coming to Radian. He appreciates the team atmosphere, something that Ori Ron reflects in his praise for Forest City Boston. Ron explained he was “looking for something I didn’t know existed, and [Forest City] nailed it in every aspect.”
According to a joint statement by the two companies, “We were both drawn to the site for the same reasons (light and air, etc) and both groups share overlapping values of attention to detail. Both groups are long-term holders who believe in the location, the neighborhood, and the value of the real estate. There are complementary skills gained from FC’s national perspective as active players in most major US cities, and Hudson’s local, street level knowledge.”
My tour of Radian began in the airy lobby as sunlight streamed in through the floor to ceiling windows. As I took a seat on one of the plush chairs in the lounge, I immediately noticed a piece of art that was projected on the wall. Artist Alyson Denny’s 15-minute video titled Half & Half & Honey captures the attention of everyone who passes through the lobby with its constantly changing display. RODE Architects continued the theme throughout their design of the interior of the building, featuring contemporary artwork and reflecting contemporary Italian design. RODE paid homage to the Dainty Dot Hosiery factory, whose 19th-century building stood on the land on which Radian now occupies, by commissioning a stunning fixture featuring the iconic letters from the side of the factory. That installation can be seen hanging on the ceiling of the resident’s lounge as visitors look out onto the Leather District below, once a booming center for Boston’s forgotten textile industry.
I am greeted warmly by the concierge and then by Noam Ron, who commented on the importance of the artwork in the building, in which there are nearly 100 pieces by local artists. As he opens the door to a 17th floor apartment, I am immediately drawn to the view like a moth to a flame. In a word, the view is breathtaking. The floor to ceiling windows flood the room with natural light as I stand in front of what is arguably one of the best views in Boston. The Boston Opera House is visible on Washington Street, as is Boston Common. The Charles River peeks through the skyline past the west-facing windows. The kitchen in this apartment is all white, reflecting the ample sunlight beautifully onto the hardwood floors. We moved on to a large penthouse on an upper floor with natural wood cabinets and granite waterfall countertops in the kitchen. As always, the view does not disappoint as residents can gaze out onto the Greenway and Boston Harbor far below while watching Sunday Night Football from the comfort of their living room. The apartment’s ten foot ceilings and state of the art design quickly whisk its inhabitants away from the noise and congestion of the city as soon as you close the door.
The residents at Radian enjoy a variety of five-star amenities including a concierge service at no additional charge, which offers package acceptance, dog walking services, door to door grocery delivery, cold storage and hot towels for weary commuters coming in from the cold. The state of the art fitness center boasts 1,500 square feet of space with cable-TV and internet-enabled Technogym Cardio equipment in which users can personalize their workout experience by connecting their personal electronics, and a fully adaptable studio large enough to accommodate group yoga, Pilates, ballet, and spin classes. In addition, the health club features Fitness OnDemand, a personal kiosk offering over 200 revolving, unique, virtual work out options which can be used for individual and group sessions.
Across the hall on the fifth floor is the resident lounge. As the letters from the location’s prior life hang in the installation overhead, residents enjoy a beautifully designed multiuse space with couches, TV, Starbucks coffee, and a conference room. One of the most unique amenities Radian has to offer is the fully furnished one-bedroom guest apartment, which residents can rent for their guests instead of the hassle of a hotel. They have received excellent feedback on the guest suite, according to Noam.
Those fortunate enough to rent a unit at Radian also have access to Radian Rewards, which highlights local services such as restaurants, companies like Clark’s Shoes, and dry cleaning. Residents receive special offers and discounts for a 30-day period while local businesses benefit from the extra publicity. The 4,500 square feet of ground floor retail space will be occupied by Townsman, the latest venture by award-winning chefs Matt and Kate Jennings. The Jennings’ were behind Providence, Rhode Island’s wildly popular Farmstead, Inc. and plan to open Townsman in their hometown in the coming months.
Radian’s leasing office offers prospective residents an easy way to find the perfect apartment using technology developed by Pynwheel. The 55″ touch screen monitor allows visitors to swipe through current availability, 3d floorplans, galleries of the building and surrounding neighborhood. If you are not quite ready to make a decision, you can email the information to your inbox for more time to think.
Units at Radian range from 564 square foot studios for around $2,700 a month to penthouses with skyline views and ultra-lux amenities for around $8,600 monthly. For leasing information, visit the leasing office on the fifth floor and chat with Michael Cheek and his team, or visit www.radianboston.com. For more information on Forest City, visit www.fceboston.com and www.forestcity.net