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With groundbreaking of Echelon, more Bostonians can call the Seaport home

Construction officially begins on the three-tower residential and retail space.
Echelon
Gov. Baker and Mayor Walsh attended Echelon's groundbreaking ceremony. Photo by Catherine Perloff

Cottonwood Management officially broke ground on Echelon, a 1.3 million square-foot, three tower mixed-used development in the Seaport District, on June 13. This VIP event with a guest list of notables including Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh and celebrated chef Ming Tsai, rang in the creation of a new residential and retail space in the rapidly growing South Boston area.

Echelon will sit on 3.5 acres at the corner of B Street and Seaport Boulevard, currently known as Seaport Square Parcels M1 & M2, and offers 733 luxury condominiums and apartments. The development will also feature 125,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, in an attempt to add a new upscale shopping center to Boston. The three buildings of Echelon will meet on a public piazza, complete with programming, seating, art and a signature bridge.

Cottonwood Management CEO Alexander Shing revealed that he sees Echelon as a crucial step into making the Seaport a more residential neighborhood.

“There aren’t that many opportunities for home ownership in Seaport,” Shing said. “And I think this project will help deliver on that much anticipated, pent-up demand.”

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Echelon will also offer residents luxury amenities, including two outdoor pools and one indoor pool, a fitness center, two sky lounges, a new parking garage and access to other upcoming Echelon properties. Echelon is Cottonwood Management’s new lifestyle concept, with another property being developed for 5th Avenue in Manhattan. Moreover, Cottonwood will be branded by the Regent Hotel Group, so future residents can expect the level of service of a 5-star hotel. 

After the official groundbreaking and brand announcement at Tuesday’s event, James Beard Award-winning chef Tsai gave a cocktail demonstration. Attendees were then able to try the Echelon-inspired drink, a gin and tonic with lime foam.

Tsai, who owns Asian gastropub Blue Dragon in nearby Fort Point, believes Echelon will help turn the Seaport into a community.

“Finally, there’s going to be enough apartments to really make it a neighborhood,” Tsai said. “Up until really this year, it was mostly people come here to work and then they go home.”

Mayor Walsh echoed the importance of the development to the city while speaking at the groundbreaking event, saying that the “project paves the way for more people to see the Seaport as a place to not only work in and visit, but also a place to live in and call home.”

Tsai emphasized that Echelon is a coup for Boston.

“I really welcome Alex and his team into town,” he said, referring to Cottonwood Management. “They could have gone anywhere… They chose Seaport to make a major statement here in Boston.”

The Los Angeles-based asset management and development company opened its Boston office in March, when pre-construction began. Echelon is a three-year, over $900 million construction project that is slated to be finished by the first quarter of 2020. 

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