Fitting home buyers’
lifestyles to a ‘T’: Brookline locale has great MBTA
Friday, June 1, 2007 -
Updated: 04:49 PM EST
and her husband commute in different directions each weekday, but
found a perfect place to buy a condo: Brookline’s Washington Square.
a really convenient place, has all these trees and greenery - and
it’s right on the T,” Ostrowski said of Washington Square, which
draws buyers partly because two MBTA Green Line branches serve the
Ostrowski and her husband paid some $700,000 for a two-bedroom,
new-construction condo featuring a private balcony and two garage
spaces - a real perk in Brookline, which bans overnight on-street
neighborhood has become our home, and we want to stay,” Ostrowski
said. “It has a great mix of families, older residents, students -
and there (is) a great spirit here.”
residential enclave between Coolidge Corner and Cleveland Circle,
Washington Square runs along Beacon and Washington streets from the
Brighton line to Brookline’s Putterham neighborhood.
square’s big draw: Two different MBTA Green Line branches service
line connects Washington Square with downtown Boston, while the D
branch runs across the Metrowest suburbs to Route 128.
get a lot of young couples buying here (where one) works in town and
the other out on Route 128,” said Geoff Cramer of Century 21 The
Howard Group, whose office is in the square. “It’s a convenient
commute for both.”
true for the Ostrowskis. She’s a downtown accountant, while her
husband works as a cost analyst on Route 128.
also the true for Devorah Bitran and her husband, who recently
bought a newly renovated, $545,000 two-bedroom condo that features
expansive views and garage parking.
works in Waltham as a college fundraiser, while her husband runs a
hedge fund in town.
wanted to get out of downtown,” said Bitran, who recently gave birth
to her first child. “There’s more green out here.”
Square also attracts young professionals who work at the Longwood
Medical area a few miles away.
Lastly, buyers include downsizers like Jerry Camman, a 76-year-old
retired dentist who’s lived on Beacon Street for a half century.
who owns a nearby apartment building, recently bought a renovated
one-bedroom condo for just $350,000, plus another $50,000 for an
underground parking space.
always loved this area,” Camman said. “It feels like part of the
city, but my neighbors are suburban.”
Goldsmith of Prudential Unlimited Realty said many buyers appreciate
such “suburban living with an urban feel.”
area is a little further out than Coolidge Corner, but it’s more
affordable and not as congested,” Goldsmith said. “It has more
Washington Square began its life as farmland, with colonists laying
out what’s now Washington Street in 1657 to carry cattle from
Brookline Village to Brighton’s stockyards.
Beacon Street opened in 1851, the neighborhood’s Summit Hill and
Corey Hill began to host large summer estates.
came stately apartment buildings like the Stoneholm, which still
offers rental units today.
apartment buildings have gone or are going condo.
instance, developer Jeff Feueman is currently converting The Warwick
- a 1920s apartment building on Beacon Street - into 66 condos, 23
of which are still available. A typical renovated one-bedroom unit
there offers a granite kitchen and marble-floored bathroom and costs
developer Nordic Properties recently rehabbed a 1960s apartment
building into 125 stylish condos. Nordic’s Steve Logan said 80
percent of buyers have been people in their 20s and 30s.
the lobby upgrade, the finishes and the fitness center, we really
targeted this project to young professionals,” he said. “This is a
good location in a good solid town; (the building) just needed some
Developers are also converting former brownstone apartments into
condos that start below $300,000 for small units and run to $700,000
for large, high-end spaces.
buyers with $1 million or more can purchase one of the
neighborhood’s gracious single-family houses. Ranging from
Victorians to Comtemporaries, these homes sit on tree-lined streets
layered along Washington Square’s hills.
Schech-ner and his wife have lived in one such home for 40 years,
but are downsizing nearby and have listed the four-bedroom for sale
at $1.2 million.
a retired engineer, designed and helped build the split-level
like the country out here, (but) it’s only a few miles from Boston,”
he said. “It’s a great commuting location.”
Moving” profiles a different Greater Boston locale on the first
Friday of each month. Check out our next neighborhood profile on
Friday, July 6.
a look at who lives in the 02445 ZIP code, which includes
Brookline’s Washington Square and the surrounding neighborhood.
Figures are from the 2000 census:
Median age: 36.5
Median household income: $73,197
Owner-occupied units: 58.5 percent
Renter-occupied units: 41.5 percent
Adults with high-school education or higher: 96.5 percent
Adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 75.2 percent
Married people: 45.4 percent
buyers Heather and Paul Ostrowski say Brookline’s Washington
Square offers great green space and easy commutes via the two
nearby MBTA lines. (Staff photo by John