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The Biggest Home Sale of '12; Return of the Bike-Share

Photo: Curbed

It's time for the weekly contribution from our sister site Curbed Boston: Curbed Cuts, all the latest neighborhood news...

SOMERVILLE/CAMBRIDGE - It hasn't been that cold nor snowy this winter, so how do we demarcate that magical turn toward spring? Hubway is returning for its second year! The wildly lauded bike-sharing program will have a soft launch starting March 1, with 40 stations opening. The rest, about 20, will come online shortly after St. Patrick's Day. More importantly perhaps, the program is expanding by some 30 stations, with 300 bikes, into Cambridge and Somerville. That appears to be nothing but good news for property owners near the proposed pathways and bike racks.
BACK BAY - Gibson Sotheby's broker David Bates enlightened us re: the smallest 2-bedroom to trade in the tony 'hood in all of last year: "534 Beacon Street, #706: This was the smallest Back Bay two bedroom condo that found a buyer in 2011. It had million dollar views and a half million dollar sale price [$535K to be exact]. At 705 square feet, most may consider it “tiny,” but to some in Beacon Hill it might be palatial—as it was nearly two hundred square feet larger than the smallest Beacon Hill two bedroom sale which measured in at only 506 square feet."

BACK BAY - We told you that there were three downtown Boston condo sales of at least $3 million each in January. Well, there were four. And three of those were in one building: the Mandarin Oriental in Back Bay. The 3-BR, 5-BA Unit W11-B, which went for $10,300,000, may be Boston's biggest home sale since at least the $11.5M trade of 20 Louisburg Square back in August.
DORCHESTER/HYDE PARK - One-third of Boston's vacant properties lay within a half-mile of the Fairmount commuter line, which starts at South Station and wends its way through Mattapan, Dorchester and Hyde Park (and a sliver of Milton). The city has a plan it calls the Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative to build up these vacant lots and make the corridor a busier, more populous space (about 160K people live along its 9.2 miles right now).