Real Estate News

What will happen to rents in Seaport once GE makes the move?

GE is moving its headquarters to Boston with Seaport in its sights, but what will happen to the neighborhood’s already pricey rents?

GE is moving its headquarters to Boston with Seaport in its sights, but what will happen to the neighborhood’s already pricey rents? Bill Sikes / AP Photo

By now you have probably heard that General Electric is moving its corporate headquarters to Boston and is expected to land in the Seaport District. In a neighborhood that has seen a lot of change in the past few years, becoming a hotspot for new developments while also being one of the most expensive places to live in the city, the addition of a major corporation will further shake up the district.

We spoke to Ishay Grinberg, president of Rental Beast, an online rental listing service, about what he thinks will change in Seaport’s rental market once a corporate giant like GE hits the ground.

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“If you look at what has happened since 2011, since post crash,’’ he said. “Rents [in Seaport] went on average from about $3,100 to $4,100, from 2011 to 2013.’’

Then when demand wasn’t high enough, they plummeted almost 20 percent in 2014, but went back up in 2015, increasing 15 percent to an average of $3,850 per month.

Currently, rents are high, but so are vacancies — a rarity for the Boston market.

More than 12 percent of all rental units in Seaport are currently vacant, according to Grinberg, while in Downtown only a little more than 2 percent are empty. The Greater Boston vacancy rate is 4 percent.

And supply is still coming into Seaport, such as One Seaport Square, will include 832 units.

“On average it will still be an expensive neighborhood,’’ Grinberg said of the effects of GE’s move. But, he added, “All the new employees will absorb inventory and stabilize rents.’’

Though rents are not likely to go down, he thinks they can at least stop fluctuating as much as they have in the past few years.

Grinberg is also optimistic that a grocery store will soon come to the neighborhood, along with other amenities they have been lacking.

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“There are already world class restaurants,’’ he mentioned. “[GE is] a huge positive. It’s like getting the trophy spouse of corporate America.’’

Related: See Seaport change through the years

Photo history of the South Boston waterfront

A view across the Boston Wharf Co. toward the Boston skyline ca. 1898-1907. Boston Wharf Co., the major developer in the area, was established in the 1830s and lasted until the early 2000s. Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth

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This ca. 1898-1907 view shows the Fort Point area industries, Boston Button Co. and Boston Asphalt. Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth

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A look down A Street, where the business Western Union and Willian Prary resided, ca. 1898u20131907. Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth

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Horses wait outside The Sherwin Williams Co., ca. 1900-1907. The paint manufacturer was one of the many companies who had factories in Fort Point. Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth

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A ca. 1898u20131907 view of the American Radiator Co., one of the many businesses located in Fort Point. Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth

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Two men stand inside of a storage shed, ca. 1898u20131907. Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth

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A look down A Street from Congress Street showing the Summer Street bridge. Floydu2019s Quicker Lunch is to the left, ca. 1898u20131907. Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth

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A view down Congress Street toward the east from the corner of A Street. Bernstein Electric Co. is to the left, ca. 1898u20131907. Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth

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A group of men, ca. 1898u20131907, sit on a rooftop with the wharves, a grain elevator, ship, and freight car in the background. Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth

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A view of Boston from Fort Point across the Northern Avenue bridge, ca. 1919. Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth

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John Sullivan (right) stands on his unique houseboat, Dawn, in 1928. He lived year round in the South Boston Boatyard. Flickr Creative Commons/ Boston Public Library

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A 1929 view of South Boston and the Fort Point Channel from the Fire Department in the South End. Flickr Creative Commons/ Boston Public Library

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The Congress Street Bridge connects Fort Point with the rest of the city, ca. 1929. Boston Public Library

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A view of South Boston and Fort Point from the South End Fire Department, ca. 1929. Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth

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An overhead view of a bustling fish pier in South Boston, ca. 1929. Boston Public Library

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A horse pulling a cart stand outside on the South Boston waterfront with a view of the city in the background, ca. 1930. Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth

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An aerial view of Boston and the Fort Point Channel around 1932. Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth

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A schooner is docked in the Fort Point Channel during winter when the water is icy, ca. 1939. Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth

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A Public Works boat tows garbage from Fort Point Channel in 1956. Boston Public Library

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People watch a Boston Tea Party reenactment on the HMS Beaver in the Fort Point Channel in 1973. Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth

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