Real Estate

Follow the money — to Chelsea

Boston’s commercial and residential development boom spills across the Tobin Bridge.

Last year, the FBI set up its regional headquarters in Chelsea. It was one of several new developments in the city.

John Blanding/Globe Staff/File

Last year, the FBI set up its regional headquarters in Chelsea. It was one of several new developments in the city.

The secret is out: Chelsea has become one of the hottest addresses for new development.

Capitalizing on its proximity to Boston, Chelsea has experienced a commercial and residential building boom that shows no signs of slowing. The small city of 38,000 is preparing for the arrival of the MBTA’s Silver Line extension next year and the construction of 692 high-end apartments and retail space on a former industrial site that spans two blocks.


Among last year’s new arrivals in the city are the FBI’s eight-story regional headquarters on Maple Street, a 152-room Homewood Suites hotel, and the former Boston Flower Exchange, which relocated from Boston’s South End. One North of Boston, a luxury rental complex off Route 1, opened a 222-unit building last summer to complement a separate 230-unit building that has attracted the millennial set. A brewery and new restaurants have arrived and are looking to expand.

“It’s been a year of a lot of change, new development, and new infrastructure improvements; major investments, but also setting up for future investment,” says John DePriest, Chelsea’s director of planning and development. “When I first came here, I had to make calls to developers and set up meetings with them. Now it’s the other way around. I’m getting the calls.”

Katheleen Conti is a Globe staff writer. Send comments to Follow us on Twitter @BostonGlobeMag.
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