January 13, 2015

This Week's Boston Deal Sheet

The US Olympic Committee's selection of The Hub as the nation's bid city for the 2024 Summer Games could bring real estate investors and long-needed infrastructure improvements. (Plus it's a huge boon for Boston's long-ignored torch industry.)

Boston triumphed over LA, San Francisco and DC based on its promise of cost effective ($4.5B), innovative, walkable and accessible events that would be privately financed, says Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish, who is the head of the games' private promoter, Boston 2024. All venues are to be a 10 minute walk from public mass transit, which suffers from decades of deferred maintenance and obsolete equipment, and cries out for extended service. If the Olympics can help accelerate the delivery of these upgrades, “terrific,” says CC&F CEO Jay Doherty.  

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Well before 2024, mass transit must be modernized, agrees Jacobs' principal Scott Simpson. If Boston gets the games, we may see more hotel development, improvement of existing academic and professional sports facilities; and new housing and student dorms that can be used by the athletes. There may be ancillary development of offices, restaurants and—most important—it will bolster the confidence of foreign investors in the Boston real estate market. By just trying to become an Olympic city, Boston will benefit whether or not we actually host the event, Scott says.

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This Week's Boston Deal Sheet

Construction & Development

Look up in the sky over Back Bay tomorrow for a light show to mark the groundbreaking for the tallest building in the city in five decades: the 61-story, $700M One Dalton, a Four Seasons Hotel and luxury condominium tower. Mayor Walsh, Four Seasons Hotels CEO Allen Smith and Carpenter & Co CEO Richard Friedman (the developer) will officiate. Boston will join only seven other cities in the world to have two Four Seasons. (And no cities have four Two Seasons.) At 6pm, Klieg lights will shoot high-powered beams into the night sky to represent the height of the new tower.


Columbia Property Trust, based in Atlanta, made its Boston debut with the $152M purchase of 116 Huntington Ave from Broadway Partners. The deal was part of a $588M package that includes buys in New York and DC. The publically traded REIT's Boston acquisition tallies $554/SF. The CBT-designed mid-rise is 78% occupied. Columbia is expanding via value-add deals in core urban markets, says CEO Nelson Mills.

Affiliates of Rubenstein Partners and Nordblom paid $75M to buy out other investors in 1000 Washington St, a 242k SF office building in the New York Streets neighborhood of the South End. HFF's Riaz Cassum, Lauren O'Neil and Brett Paulsrud were advisers on the deal and in securing a mortgage from East Boston Savings Bank.


A Multi-Employer Property Trust trustee paid $56M to an entity managed by Divco West for the 10 Necco St parking garage in Fort Point. Divco bought the facility nearly two years ago for $34M. Bentall Kennedy will be the asset manager.


A Normandy Real Estate Partners affiliate has paid $54.5M to purchase 28 acres in Center 128, the Needham office park where Normandy's been developing TripAdvisor's new HQ.


Urban Meritage and Novaya Ventures, which have been on a two-year buying spree, paid Rudin Management $54.2M for 126 Newbury St last week. Leasing Accion, a nonprofit microfinance group, did a relo into 19k SF at 10 Fawcett St in Cambridge. The project team: Diversified Project Management, Vantage Builders and Jacobs Engineering Group.


Vivint Solar has taken 18k SF at 53 Brigham St in Marlborough's Brigham Business Park, a 10k SF expansion for the residential solar provider. Avison Young's Bill Sullivan repped the landlord, an affiliate of Ivy Realty of Greenwich, CT, and Coldwell Banker Commercial repped Vivint Solar.

Executive Moves

Berkeley Point Capital has a new man in Boston—Casey Moore, who's joining the company as director, senior housing. He's been a commercial lender for 25 years—22 years focused on senior/long term care investments. He was with Prudential Mortgage Capital and Red Capital Group.


NEWiRE, New England Women in Real Estate, is now CREW Boston—making a name change that reflects its close relationship with the national CREW Network. The 33-year-old Boston group that supports the advancement of women in a male-dominated profession now has 500 members, many of whom work with companies that have a national presence.

MIT alum Samuel Tak Lee (right, with MIT President L. Rafael Reif and Samathur Li), has donated $118M to the school to promote social responsibility among real estate entrepreneurs and academics worldwide, with a special focus on China. The gift will: fund fellowships for US and international students; support research on sustainable real estate development and global urbanization; and set up a teaching lab with the curriculum available online via MITx. Lee grew his father's Hong Kong-based Prudential Enterprise into a multinational real estate company that developed the 14-acre Langham Estate in London's West End.

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