Boston developers switch from offices to apartments

Builders in Boston have been unable to obtain financing for office developments or condominium projects. As a result, many have switched their focus to building apartments instead.

Consequently, there are thousands of proposed apartment units on the docket for the city, worth about $1 billion total, reported the Boston Globe. Some of the projects still await financing, but builders are eager to build multifamily units given scarce demand for new offices or condominiums in the city. In fact, many of the proposals were scaled-back luxury apartment projects. The infusion of new units could help the city combat rising demand for apartments, said the report.

"This need has been building for some time," Gregory Vasil, chief executive of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, told the Globe. "The apartment-building industry is really coming together and in better shape than other parts of the economy."

One proposed project would purchase the former Filene's building in the city's Downtown Crossing neighborhood and turn it into apartments. That site has been the subject of dispute for years as construction stalled on new condominiums and retail space, said the report.

More apartments in Boston will help landlords there deal with increased demand from the student housing population. A report from the Boston Foundation said there could be as many as 400,000 students living in Greater Boston by 2020.