With lantern and with ladder

The Arlington is the latest luxury apartment to open in Boston, but unlike its competitors’ complexes, this is not a new building.

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The Park Square rental complex at Arlington Street and Columbus Avenue in Bay Village has been carved out of a 1927 Renaissance Revival building.

Built for the Boston Consolidated Gas Co., it was part of the University of Massachusetts Boston campus in the 1960s and 1970s, and more recently it housed the Boston Renaissance Charter School.

With its limestone facade and two-story arched windows, the building—co-developed by New York’s Related Cos. and Boston’s Congress Group—cuts an elegant figure. The lobby, once used to display gas stoves, has refinished marble columns and brass detailing along with new white marble floors—and a gas fireplace tucked in one corner.

The $100 million LEED Silver makeover of the 14-story building has created 128 one- and two-bedroom apartments, with rents starting at $3,200 for one-bedrooms and $6,200 for a two-bedroom. Top floor two-bedroom units with 1,600 sq. ft. are renting for more than $8,000-a-month.

The units have condo-quality finishes, including white-oak hardwood floors, walnut cabinets, polished marble countertops and high-end Kitchen Aid appliances. Bathrooms have white marble floors and white tile tubs and showers. Each unit comes with a stacked Bosch washer and dryer and customized closets

Unlike many of its high-end apartment competitors, The Arlington does not charge monthly fees for pets, and rent includes resident-controlled heat and air conditioning and water. Everything is electric, ironic for a building that was formerly a gas company.

One thing the building doesn’t have is parking but tenants can lease garage spaces at the nearby Revere Hotel for $299 a month.

The Arlington has 20,000 sq. ft. of common space amenities. There’s a basement basketball court, carved out of a former school auditorium, flanked by a fitness center on one side and a club/game room on the other. There’s a second-floor party room and even an on-site pet-washing station.

In May, the Liquid Art House, an upscale hybrid restaurant/art gallery, will open a 180-seat restaurant on the ground floor, which will also provide room service for tenants. There’s also Zipcar, bike-sharing and concierge services.

Related says it has leased almost 20 percent of the units. “Renters like the fact that we are closer to Newbury Street, the Theatre District and three blocks from the Public Garden,” said Ellen Kang of Related Rentals, who does the leasing at The Arlington.

Kang said the complex is drawing young professionals who work in the area as well as empty-nesters looking for a pied-a-terre in the city.

“The building has a boutique quality as well as a lot of character,” Kang said. “I think it will lease up in three to four months.”

Author: Paul Restuccia, Boston Herald