East Boston is blowing up. If you mention the historic, waterfront neighborhood in conversation, chances are someone will tell you they have a friend buying a place in Eastie, where real estate is booming. 

And then there are the people who don’t even know where the neighborhood is.

“It’s amusing to see people’s reactions to hearing that I live here,” says Amelia Sutton, 33. “It’s crazy that somewhere so close to downtown is basically unknown to most people. You get one of two responses: ‘Wait, like near the airport?’ or “That’s a really up-and-coming neighborhood!’ I’ve been hearing that for seven years.”

Sutton, who works in Boston as a publicist, came to East Boston in 2012 in search of a one-bedroom for under $2,000. “It  was the only place that wasn’t a 40-plus-minute T ride away from downtown,” she says.

The commute into downtown is one of the biggest motivators bringing young professionals through the tunnel to East Boston, particularly in neighborhoods like Jeffries Point. Kelly Smith, 30, just moved to East Boston on Sept. 1 from the edge of Chestnut Hill. Like many Bostonians who rarely made their way through the tunnel, Eastie felt like a world away.

“I used to be one of those people who thought Eastie was far away from everything, but it’s actually closer to everything that’s important to me: family, work and friends,” says Kelly.
“My family is on the North Shore, so I’m closer to them. I could pay the same amount as I did in Brookline and have my commute be 45 minutes less.”

The MBTA’s Blue Line, which begins at Bowdoin station right where Beacon Hill and the Government Center area meet, is known as one of the more reliable lines in Boston’s subway system. And for those who spend much of the workweek traveling, the short commute to Logan International Airport is another desirable aspect of moving to the neighborhood.

Raleigh Werner is co-founder of Jumpshell, a real estate startup that connects renters with a network of property agents in Boston.

“We’ve also seen a growing number of renters express interest in living in East Boston over the past four months,” says Werner. “They’re citing easy access to downtown without the exorbitant price tag of the North End, Downtown, Back Bay and Beacon Hill as a primary selling point.”