At Home in Fort Point

In moving from the suburbs to the city, this couple found a greater sense of community in their new neighborhood than ever before.

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How did a couple with 4 kids, 4 dogs, 2 cats and a kitten transition from a big house in the burbs to a condo in Boston so seamlessly? When Kel Kelly and Ginny Pitcher decided it was time to move from Hopkinton to Boston, they were fortunate enough to have a friend in town who loved their house and was looking to upsize. With a buyer for their home lined up,  they reached out to my Burbs to Boston partner,  Phil MacArthur, who had previously helped the couple's son purchase a condo in the North End.  The city search was underway!

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From the onset, the biggest challenges that faced humanitarians and PR/social media gurus, Kel Kelly and her wife Ginny Pitcher, when making the transition from the leafy suburbs into the city, was finding a pet-friendly place and a dedicated dining area.  Being able to host family dinners around a big table was a "must". With Phil’s guidance, the couple discovered a spacious three bedroom brick condo in the Fort Point section of the Seaport that offered the historical charm of old Boston with easy access to their workplaces and the budding waterfront. The open floor plan lent itself to a perfect dining area for a reclaimed Russian oak table that seats twelve people. “With the high ceilings and open layout, this place checked all the boxes,” says Ginny.  

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Several years after moving in, the couple are still enjoying their neighborhood, the proximity to work and hosting family gatherings. Living in the city affords Kel Kelly the time needed to spend on her  humanitarian organization, Humanity Rises, which provides medical humanitarian aid to Rohingya refugees stuck in the world’s largest refugee camp in  Bangladesh. “Our top priority has always been to achieve a good work/life balance,” Kel states. “Working and living in the city gives us more time to do the things we want to do and see the people we love more often.” Ginny continues to head up  Kel & Partners, a PR and social media agency which is steps away from home. “As you age, it’s exponentially more important to continue to be active,” says Kel. They are continually awestruck by the walkability and energy of city life.

Read on for the Q & A….

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Kel and Ginny, what about the Seaport appealed to you?

Kel: The Seaport was a clear choice for us given Kel & Partners was already based here. And, because of our long hours, we had previously bought a small studio apartment in the Fort Point which we stayed in from time to time. I had a gut check that the Seaport was a great real estate investment due to the city’s increasing plans for development. Phil combed through the condo inventory and kept an ear to the ground to keep us up to date with new and upcoming Fort Point listings making it easy for us to jump when the right place came along.

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Ginny: We are both drawn to the water and own a summer home in Wellfleet on Cape Cod so the Seaport resonated for us. “Fort Point” is a neighborhood within the Seaport, and has been designated as a historic district which was very appealing. There’s a building height restriction due to the proximity of the airport, so the Fort Point Historic District will always keep its charm with its turn of the century brick buildings and oversized windows without the risk of being morphed into skyscrapers. We love knowing that the character and uniqueness of the Fort Point community will always be preserved.

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What was the biggest unanticipated perk in moving to the Seaport?

Kel: Living in the city feels more like a neighborhood to me than living in the suburbs. Boston is such a walkable city and I love being able to walk from the Waterfront to the Boston Common, over to the the North End to see our sons or Charlestown to visit our daughter. Also, we’re no longer dependent on two cars which is really liberating. If I need a car, I go to Zipcar which has locations all around us. I walk everywhere -- the gym, my dentist, the post office, and our favorite coffee shop, Cafe Nero, is right around the corner.

What did you struggle with most about your move to the city?

Ginny: I was a little concerned about having enough space for our family coming and going and a place to walk the dogs. Seeing that three out of our four kids are launched and have their own places now,  we didn’t have to worry too much about storage, but having the opportunity to purge was actually quite welcome. We have plenty of space to hang out together and our condo is designed with lots of cool storage spaces like custom walk-in closets. Even our dogs, Koko, Edie and Puck get their special space at the dog park just a block away!

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How have you made this place your own?

Kel: I’m a minimalist-- I love clean lines and monochromatic color schemes which play off well with our big windows and open space. We kept it simple with white Belgian linen slipcovers on the couches (very handy when you have pets!) to let the light and energy stream in. Every time I make a trip to a refugee camp in Greece, I collect these beautiful rocks from the beach where the refugees land on the boats from Turkey and add them to the wooden bowl on our dining room table. 

Ginny: Even though our building is almost 190 years old, we’re inspired by the mash-up of old world charm and a modern day vibe.  The floors are in need of replacement, so one of our home improvement projects is to have the floors redone. We’re excited to use reclaimed wood on the floors to bring out the uniqueness and historic character of our home.  

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Stay tuned for our next Client Spotlight, anticipated for June 2019!

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