South End penthouse is large and beautifully renovated

In the modern open kitchen, white cabinetry contrasts nicely with black granite countertops. The breakfast bar is enhanced with corbels similar to those on the building’s exterior.

Built in 1910 and totally renovated in 2015, a brick bowfront at 678 Massachusetts Ave. in the South End stands out from its fellow rowhouses with white pediments over the windows and classic corbels supporting the roof line.

One of the most luxurious unit in the building, a pristine duplex penthouse with four bedrooms, is on the market. The unit is listed by Iliyan Padinkov of the Whaley/Ring Team at Coldwell Banker Realty for $1,475,000. The home’s style is fresh, sleek and very current.

“The place looks like it was built last year,” Padinkov says.

Although the residence is a penthouse, it is up only a couple of flights of steps from the street. The last group of steps is behind a door - essentially part of the home.

Step into the unit to see a spacious open kitchen, living and dining area. This space is very long and the buildings in the South End are wider than most in other parts of the city. White oak flooring adds a satiny glow.

The open living area is bright with light oak hardwood flooring. There is an electric fireplace and its “flames” look remarkably real.

Tall ceilings with crown molding and a waist-high chair rail are great details that nod to the building’s history. They work as beautiful accents to the contemporary space.

The kitchen is the main attraction on this level. White cabinetry is custom and it contrasts with black granite countertops. The island offers additional storage and its breakfast bar is enhanced with corbels that echo the ones on the building’s exterior. A pair of pendant light fixtures hang over the island.

Stainless steel appliances are all by Thermador. Gas cooking will delight the home chef and the range hood actually vents to the outside. The microwave is conveniently installed in a drawer.

Planter boxes on the wrought iron railings present an opportunity to grow annual flowers or culinary herbs every summer.

A private deck made of a composite material is located off the kitchen. (Composite resembles wood, but is more durable.) Bring out a couple of Adirondack chairs because the Back Bay skyscraper views from there are characteristically Bostonian.

Planter boxes on the wrought iron railings present an opportunity to grow annual flowers or culinary herbs every summer. Since the unit has roof rights, it would work nicely to build out the roof deck with the same accoutrements.

Back inside, the living and dining area is ideal for entertaining. It’s a versatile space that could be arranged in any number of ways. The table could go against the wall or in the bow - ideal for people who like to observe street life. Otherwise, the sofa could be placed with its back to the bow, illuminated by light coming in through the windows.

Possibly the best arrangement is to set up the seating area facing the electric fireplace. The flame looks authentic and the black tile surround and handsome white mantel make it an excellent focal point. A ceiling fan moves air around, helping to support the home’s central air conditioning system.

When guests come over, they can use the powder room, where a window lets in fresh air.

The bedroom on this floor is spot-on for a home office. It feels expansive because glass pocket doors allow light to penetrate into the space.

The home’s other three bedrooms are on the second floor of the duplex, so climb the stairs for a viewing.

Quiet and located at the back of the residence, the primary bedroom suite has a walk-in closet and an elegant en suite bath. The frameless glass enclosure around the shower, marble countertop, niches to hold bath products, beautiful floor tile and dark stained cabinetry all radiate luxurious vibes. A window over the modern toilet provides light and, of course, ventilation.

The primary bedroom suite is located in the back of the residence to ensure quiet. With a walk-in closet and a sleek bathroom, it’s comfortable and private.

The largest bedroom in the residence is at the front of the unit, facing Massachusetts Avenue. It isn’t billed as the home’s main bedroom, but it could serve as one if the next owner choses that. This room has bow windows that invites in lots of natural light. Its closet is a good size and it shares a hall bathroom with the other guest bedroom.

The front bedroom is the largest and its bow windows allow light to flow into the space. Crown molding and tall baseboards frame the room.

The second front-facing bedroom is smaller with a window that brightens things up. Use this room as a family bedroom, nursery, den, yoga studio, exercise area - the possibilities are, if not endless, quite extensive.

The contemporary primary bathroom is elegant with plenty of storage available in the vanity. The tiled niches in the shower provide convenient spaces for shampoo, conditioner, body wash and other bath necessities.

The bathroom shared by the front bedroom is another beauty, very similar to the bath in the main bedroom suite. Multiple shower heads and sprays make this an exceptional place to relax and get clean.

Two more features - a linen closet and an LG washer and dryer pair - complete the home’s top floor.

This penthouse has everything it needs to make living there beautiful and convenient, including its location.

People are drawn to the South End for its outstanding restaurants. Cafes and coffee shops abound. The neighborhood pulsates with culture with art galleries and theatres. Shoppers in the South End score great finds at exclusive boutiques and specialty shops. Residents who walk a dog or push a stroller enjoy discovering this area’s many pocket parks and playgrounds.

The South End also offers proximity to Downtown and the Back Bay. And with a couple of deeded parking spaces that come with the penthouse unit, it’s easy to hop on the highway and take off for the Cape or the North Shore.

Padinkov is a big fan of the area.

“I really like the South End,” he says, “And I feel like this will be a perfect unit for a young couple or a family, considering all the bedrooms.”

The penthouse unit has roof rights and the view of iconic Back Bay skyscrapers is quintessentially Bostonian.


Address: 678 Massachusetts Ave., PH, South End

BR/BA: Four bedrooms, two full bathrooms and one-half bath

Price: $1,475,000

Size: 1,844 square feet

Taxes: $19,0866 (Tax Year 2021)

Association fee: $493 per month (includes water, sewer, master insurance, common electric)

Building features: South End brick bowfront rowhouse with beautiful proportions, completely renovated in 2015; pet-friendly building; self-managed homeowners’ association

Features of home: Spacious duplex penthouse unit with high-end finishes, hardwood floors, fireplace in living area, bow windows and high ceilings enhanced by crown molding; chef’s kitchen with gas cooking, Thermador stainless steel appliances, custom white cabinetry, black granite countertops and island with storage and breakfast bar; elegant marble bathrooms; in-unit laundry; private deck off kitchen; roof rights; two deeded side-by-side parking spaces

Close by: The South End’s fashionable restaurants and popular coffee shops, Whole Foods supermarket, community gardens, galleries, theatres, artist studios, food trucks, farmers markets, Boston Medical Center; easy access to MBTA Silver Line and Orange Line; short drive to Route 93 and the Massachusetts Turnpike

Contact: Iliyan Padinkov, Whaley/Ring Team - Coldwell Banker Realty, 399 Boylston St., Suite 200 Boston, MA 02116

Phone/text: 617-678-6400