Spring has sprung in Boston and Boston residents are out in full force enjoying the beautiful weather. What’s not springing up is much in the way of new apartment listings for those looking to make a move. If you’re looking to relocate to the Porter or Davis square area of Cambridge and Somerville, you’ll be interested in knowing that the real time vacancy rate for these areas is currently sitting at 4.14% This figure comes from an analysis provided by BostonPads.com – the largest real time apartment rental database in New England. At the moment, BostonPads.com has over 121,000 apartment listings in the Greater Boston Area. Of these 121,000+ listings, 1,256 of them are in Porter/Davis Square. There are 52 apartments currently listed as available in Porter/Davis. In other words, there are 47 properties that are vacant now or available to be rented between now and September 1st. This gives Porter and Davis Square a vacancy rate of 4.17%. For comparison, the overall vacancy rate of Greater Boston is 6.4%.
Porter square is located north of Boston and occupies both the cities of Cambridge and Somerville. Davis Square is located just above Porter Square and occupies Somerville exclusively. If you follow Mass Ave up through Cambridge you’ll eventually come to intersection of Somerville Ave. This area filled with shops, bars, small businesses, galleries is known at Porter Square. Keep heading north towards Winchester and you’ll find yourself in a major intersection of Holland Street, Dover Street, Day Street, Elm Street, Highland Ave and College Ave. This vibrant space filled with commercial, retail, nightlife and dining options is known as Davis Square. The types of housing you’ll most typically run see here includes privately owned homes, condos and professionally managed buildings.
In 1984, the area got a huge boost when the Red line was extended from Harvard to reach through Porter all the way up to Alewife Station. The Porter Square Station also serves as a stop on the Commuter Rail Fitchburg Line. During a period between 2004-2006 Porter square went under a huge renovation project to make it friendlier for vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit commuters alike. It also got a major aesthetic overhaul that added a new circular design layout abutted by concrete paving, stone walls and selectively places boulders. A major portion of Lesley University sits on the southern portion of Porter Square, providing the neighborhood with a modest college population.
Davis Square is also served by its own stop on the MBTA Red line. The surrounding areas include Porter Square, Powder House Square, Magoun Square, Spring Hill and Tufts University. With its 10,000+ students, Tufts definitely fuels the Somerville area population and gives it a University town feel. In 1982, The MBTA developed a central plaza linking station entrance buildings or the Boston and Maine Railroads. The plaza was designed to serve as the center of Davis Square, a gathering place and center for activities and entertainment. The plaza and the station were both eligible for state percent-for-art moneys. This meant that one percent of the cost of constructing the new station entrances was used to commission several figurative sculptures, including the Davis Square statues. This new development marked a major shift for the Somerville neighborhood. Somerville has now moved away from its affordable working-class roots and now contains some of the priciest homes in eastern Massachusetts.
Porter Square is full of shopping and dining options for those looking to explore what the neighborhood has to offer. The Porter Square shopping center is a hub consisting of two large buildings connected by an ample parking lot. The main building houses shopping staples including a Shaw’s, Ace Hardware, multiple cafes, Dunkin Donuts and Panera Bread. The Mega CVS building has an Emack and Bolios Ice Cream, Healthworks gym, and several art galleries. Adjacent to the Porter Square shopping center is the Porter Square Galleria, which offers patrons an Anna’s Taqueria, Pizza Pie-er and a Walgreens. Porter Square also has a number of delicious independent dining options such as Rod Dee, Bluefin, Masa’s Sushi Bar, and the Tavern in the Square. Head over to the Newtowne Grille for the best deal in Porter – a pitcher of beer and a large pizza for $11
Not to be outdone by their neighbor to the South, Davis square also boasts its fair share of arts, culture, dining and shopping options encompassing over 200 businesses. Some of the must-visits include the Somerville Theatre, The Rosebud diner, McKinnon’s Meat Market, and the Somerville candlepin bowling alley. The Somerville theatre offers its guests an array of entertainment including movies, live performances and a gallery of bad art. You read that right – a gallery of bad art whose mission statement is “to celebrate the labor of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other forum”. Davis square also plays host to several festivals during the year, including HONK! which showcases a number of traveling brass bands.
Having a knowledgeable local real estate agent on your side with exclusive listings in the Davis/Porter Square region can do wonders for making your making your apartment search successful. With databases controlling massive amounts of listings and abundant landlord relationships at their disposal, realtors have the ability to find you the perfect mix of quality, value and location in your new home. To find a qualified Real Estate Professional in Cambridge or Somerville consider visiting www.cambridgepads.com or www.somervillepads.com – these are the leading local real estate websites containing thousands of beautiful apartments. Also you can check out the Cambridge and Somerville Facebook pages at http://www.facebook.com/somerville.boston.apartments and http://www.facebook.com/cambridge.apartment