COGnitions

12
November 2018
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Deep Dive on Louisburg Square | By Jeff Hamilton

When seeking out the best of the best in city living, it’s hard to beat (not to mention, afford) the ever-aspirational Louisburg Square. Indeed, Louisburg Square is often referenced not just as a top neighborhood in Boston but a top neighborhood in the country!

Would you believe that before the homes on this land were selling for $10’s of millions of dollars, this was “pasture acreage” in colonial Boston? Louisburg Square’s residential history begins in 1826 when a partition deed laid out a plan in which a central park and adjacent streets would be owned by the founding neighbors, hereafter known as the Proprietors of Louisburg Square. Intriguingly, this group of 28 home owners is referenced as one of the earliest examples of a homeowner’s association in the country. One of their surprise covenants? In 1852, they voted that children would not be allowed in the park!

The actual buildings around Louisburg Square came to fruition throughout the 1830’s and early 1840’s with completion by 1844. Charles Bulfinch was the architect of record for several of these homes. For more information on the history of Louisburg Square, refer to the Mass Historical Society.

For our real estate data tracking purposes, we include portions of Mt Vernon, West Cedar, Acorn, Willow and Pinkney Streets as part of our Louisburg Square neighborhood. This is one of the smallest sub-neighborhoods in our collection but remains a signature area of the city. It harbors a concentration of massive single family homes in addition to brownstone buildings that have been divided up into condominiums.

As one might expect, the sales in this area are extremely limited. Within the cozy confines we’ve laid out above, there have been 6 properties that were marketed (on MLS) for sale (and sold) thus far in 2018. The market was even thinner in 2017 with only three sales for the year.

The last time a property changed hands on Louisburg Square itself was in September of 2015. That was the single family addressed as #13. Sales price was $10.8M for 5,500 SF. While $2,000 per square foot is not an eye opener in our market these days, it certainly was three years ago when very little had traded for that benchmark. Having said that, when you get to this stature of real estate, price per foot can become a throw away statistic. These home sales are so rare that a bidder is more than likely going to pay up for the opportunity to own such history.

On average, one will find that the townhouses around Louisburg Square run about 24 feet wide by 80 feet deep. The units on the lower side of the hill tend to be a little deeper and a little wider… of course, the units on the upper side of the hill tend to have better views as you get toward the top floor and roof. Residents are afforded the right to park on the square itself, a rare treat to have direct access parking in this area. Though perhaps not as prominent of an address, the handful of townhouses that face Louisburg Square on Pinckney Street are most certainly cherished. The last sale of one of these occurred in 2011.

As you can see below, there are 10 properties lined up on the top side of the hill and 11 properties lined up on the lower side of the hill.

The street with the most activity over the last few years has been tiny little Acorn Street. Known as on of the Most Instagram Worthy Spots in Boston, Acorn Street has witnessed 5 sales in the last three years. Acorn Street’s buildings are known to be smaller. Typical dimensions are 23’ wide by 33’ deep. There are ten addresses on Acorn Street. Nestled lovingly along a pedestrian friendly cobblestone stretch, the smaller homes here remain in the spotlight as photographers from near and far find their way here each and every season.

The Louisburg Square area is an exciting place to call home. Finding out about opportunity to buy in this area is no insignificant task. Be in touch if we can keep our eyes and ears open for you!