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Harrison Street, Bulfinch Cos. Partner On Billion-Dollar Cambridge Deal


Osborn Triangle is keeping East Cambridge prices sky-high.

Osborn Triangle

Chicago-based Harrison Street entered a ground lease with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the three-building, 677K SF life science complex near the university’s campus and Kendall Square. The deal surpassed $1B, or just over $1,600/SF, setting a neighborhood portfolio price record, according to sources familiar with the deal.

“Osborn Triangle is a one-of-a-kind complex serving as a global hub for the life science and innovation communities, supported by high barriers to entry and [a] blue-chip tenant base,” Harrison Street Managing Director Mark Burkemper said in a prepared statement. “The East Cambridge/Kendall Square submarket is very attractive, with vacancy rates of less than 1%, and we are excited by the opportunities to continue to enhance this already thriving neighborhood.”

The Osborn Triangle portfolio consists of 610 Main St., 1 Portland St. and 700 Main St. and is fully leased to seven tenants, including anchor tenants Pfizer, Novartis and LabCentral.

Harrison Street led a partnership that includes Boston-based Bulfinch Cos. on the deal. MIT will also retain a minority interest in the transaction. Harrison Street and Bulfinch declined to confirm the pricing of the deal to Bisnow

“A lot of investors and companies alike look at East Cambridge as the most stable and innovative square miles in the world,” Avison Young Senior Research Analyst Tucker White said. “These record-shattering sale prices only reaffirm that.”

Harrison Street is an investment firm known mainly for its student and senior housing, healthcare and storage assets. 

MIT’s ground lease will enable the university to use the capital in other investments in East Cambridge, like its Kendall Square Initiative and the Volpe Transportation Center redevelopment, MIT Executive Vice President and Treasurer Israel Ruiz said Friday to a university publication. The university has executed ground leases previously at Technology Square and University Park

“We are thrilled to partner with MIT and the Bulfinch Companies to invest in and support one of the most cutting-edge neighborhoods serving the biotech, medical and scientific research and development communities,” Harrison Street co-founder, chairman and CEO Christopher Merrill said in a prepared statement.