Can ‘in-law apartments’ help ease the housing crisis?

A bill on Beacon Hill includes a seemingly simple way to make Boston-area housing more affordable: Allow more accessory dwelling units — commonly called “in-law apartments’’ or “granny flats’’ — to boost the housing supply and keep prices in check. But while everyone seems to agree on the affordability problem, its root cause, and even some elements of this solution, changing zoning ordinances in Massachusetts can be more difficult than changing lanes at rush hour.

That there is a housing-affordability crisis is hardly in dispute. Buying a median-priced single-family home in the Boston area requires an income just shy of six figures, according to the mortgage tracker HSH. And many economists agree that a key driver behind the high prices is a shortage of housing for sale. Available inventory has fallen for 37 consecutive months in the Boston area, compared to a year

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Canyon Partners Provides $63.5 Million for Portland Condo Project

Century City-based Canyon Partners Real Estate said it provided a $63.5 million loan to an affiliate of Portland-based PHK Development Inc. to finance construction of a seven-story, 162-unit condominium project.

Canyon finances condominiums nationwide, but the project is its first in the Portland metro area, according to the firm.

“Portland continues to be one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States. However, the supply of new, for-sale homes has not kept pace with this growth,” said Patrick Kessi, president of PHK, in a statement. “With Canyon’s extensive experience financing and investing in condominium and other commercial real estate developments across the country, we are gratified that they understand our vision of meeting the needs of this evolving community.”

Canyon Partners Real Estate, the real estate investment arm of Canyon Partners, invests in condominiums as well as other product types through senior and mezzanine loans, preferred equity and equity, and has facilitated

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Seven-story, 162-unit condo project gets going in the gulch

Andersen Construction has started site work for PHK Development on a seven-story, 162-unit condominium project at the southwest corner of Northeast 21st Avenue and Multnomah Street. (Hacker Architects)

By Ted Perkins

On November 14, Patrick Kessi and the team from PHK Development visited with the Sullivan’s Gulch Neighborhood Association to bring neighbors up to speed on a seven-story, 162-unit condominium project they have started site work for at the southwest corner of Northeast 21st Avenue and Multnomah Street.

The completed building will include two underground lots with 172 parking spaces for cars and an additional 265 spaces for bikes. Andersen Construction will serve as general contractor for the project, scheduled for completion in summer of 2019. The building has been designed by Hacker architects. Both companies are headquartered in Portland.

“We’re bringing beautiful homes to

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Chicago Area Home Price Gains Improve But Still Lag Most Of Country

Chicago Area Home Price Gains Improve But Still Lag Most Of Country

The Dow Jones SP CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price indices for September came out this morning, showing national prices for single family homes rising 6.2% over the last 12 months. Chicago did register a 6 month high in year over year price gains – it’s 59th consecutive month of price gains – but at 3.9% we were still 2nd to last place among the 20 metro areas tracked. At least we are doing better than Washington DC, which only had a 3.1% increase, but it pales in comparison to #1 Seattle which had a 12.9% gain. That’s a good reason for Amazon to look elsewhere to expand.

Chicago condo prices rose 4.5% in the last 12 months, which was a 7 month high in that number. As you

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UMaine, Ready Seafood team up to toughen up lobster shells

Scientists are trying to toughen up the shell of Maine’s soft summertime lobsters, hoping to help the industry fetch higher prices and ship to distant markets.

The University of Maine and Ready Seafood Co. of Portland are joining forces to examine what influences shell growth in Maine’s signature product to see if they can speed up the shell-hardening process in recently molted lobsters.


In Maine, the summer catch is mostly soft-shell lobsters, or shedders, which sell for a lower price per pound than a hard-shell lobster. The majority of the summer lobster catch is sold to the domestic market because their fragile shells can’t withstand shipping long distances. Hardening the shell just a little could turn a shedder into a more valuable lobster, regardless of its final market, as well as one that can survive a plane

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As downtown Cleveland grows, condos are in short supply (photos, interactive graphics)

CLEVELAND, Ohio — When Jason Lucas moved to Cleveland from Portland, Oregon, four years ago, he rented an apartment within walking distance of his office on East Ninth Street.

But he quickly started searching for something to buy. And he was shocked by the lack of for-sale housing in the center city.

“I love condos. I want to live vertically,” said Lucas, a 39-year-old national sales director for AmTrust Financial Services, Inc., a New York insurer with a large office downtown. “I want to live as high up as I can. I want to be far away from yards and garages and window cleaning.”

Yet in August 2014, Lucas bought a three-bedroom Tudor in Cleveland Heights. With a yard. A garage. And plenty of windows to clean. He felt like he was throwing away his money on rent. He’d canvassed the condo market, he said, and came up empty-handed.

Urban condo living exists in

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On the market: Oregon homes with tranquil, Japanese-style pavilions, gardens (photos)

People find Japanese-style gardens peaceful. Imagine escaping right now to take in bronze maple trees, graceful stone paths, contouring ponds and tranquil Zen-style raked gravel?

In this week’s real estate gallery, we look at homes on the market or recently sold that have a Japanese-style garden and perhaps even a pavilion or soothing soaking tub.

Some of the homeowners hired landscape designers who specialize in Japanese-style design. One of the most well known is Hoichi Kurisu, the former landscape director for the Japanese Garden Society who, starting in 1963, supervised the construction of the Portland Japanese Garden based on designer Takuma Tono’s vision.

A few years after the garden opened in 1967, Kurisu started the landscape design/build firm Kurisu International in Portland. Clients range from discerning homeowners to demanding city officials. All want contemplative outdoor spaces with features used in Japanese landscaping along with restorative and healing gardens.


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Seattle marks a full year as America’s hottest housing market, with …

Seattle is now a full year into its reign as the hottest housing market in the country, an unusually long surge that doesn’t look likely to end anytime soon.

Single-family home prices across the metro area grew 13.2 percent in August compared to a year prior, easily the most in the nation and twice the U.S. average, according to the monthly Case-Shiller home-price index, released Tuesday.

Las Vegas replaced Portland as second behind Seattle after the two Pacific Northwest cities had been the top two markets since last year.

Fastest-rising home prices compared with a year ago

1. Seattle +13.2%

2. Las Vegas +8.6%

3. San Diego +7.8%

4. Detroit +7.2%

4. Denver +7.2%

4. Portland +7.2%

Source: Case-Shiller home-price index

Seattle has had the biggest annual home-price gains of any region in the country

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NAI The Dunham Group completes sales and leases throughout Maine totaling 250143 s/f

199 Main Street – Saco, ME

Saco, ME NAI The Dunham Group has completed the following transactions totaling 250,143 s/f: 

• Deering Block Properties, LLC purchased a 6,552 s/f office building and 0.31-acre parking lot from 190 Main Street LLC at 190 Main St. Chris Craig from NAI The Dunham Group brokered the sale. 

• Agren Appliance leased 12,000 s/f of warehouse space from John Galt Holdings, LLC at 97 Shaker Rd., Unit 2 in Gray. Justin Lamontagne, CCIM from NAI The Dunham Group brokered the lease. 

• Guideline Financial Services leased 1,720 s/f of office space from 22 Monument Square LLC at 22 Monument Sq. in Portland. Sylas Hatch from NAI The Dunham Group and Nate Stevens from CBRE | The Boulos Company brokered the lease. 

• TF Real Estate Group, LLC purchased a 27,684 s/f industrial building on 5.1 acres from York County Biscuit Company, Inc. at 362 Hill St. in Biddeford. Greg

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Is OMSI’s land the next big waterfront development?

For the museum, the project would fulfill a long-held goal to redevelop the under-used stretch along the Willamette River, one with the potential to create a vibrant new neighborhood. And because OMSI plans to lease the land instead of selling it, it could provide the museum with a needed revenue stream.

The effort comes as the Central Eastside is transforming around it. What was once a strictly industrial landscape has undergone rapid change in recent years as apartments and office buildings pop up. The opening of Tilikum Crossing and the launch of a new light-rail line in 2015 also increased access to the district.

Though early in the process, there already are competing visions for the museum blocks.

City leaders envision an “Innovation Quadrant,” in which OMSI, along with Oregon Health Science University, Portland State University and Portland Community College, would attract high-paying tech and research jobs.

The director of the James Beard

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