This Week’s Boston Deal Sheet
In this hot multifamily market, affordable ownership opportunities are almost nonexistent. But The Community Builders just completed 20 townhomes priced from $190k to $282k ($300k below market price), sold 17 and plan 80 more. They’re in Brighton near Harvard Business School and an easy bike ride from Harvard Square.
Among the new multifamily developments surging through Boston, few ownership units are affordable and few rental apartments are low or even moderately priced. But Mary LaRosee, a home buyer (with son Christopher), accepts the key to her new home from Mayor Marty Walsh, who launched a program to produce 53,000 affordable and mid-market apartments by 2030. The build-out of Brighton Mills reflects TCB tenacity. It negotiated for seven years to acquire the site in a land swap with Harvard, has spent 3.5 years in construction and, in another three years the development with 240 apartments and 100 ownership units will be completed.
TCB financed the affordable townhomes with cash generated by the lease-up of the 240 apartments, a well-priced loan from Eastern Bank and savings on construction, CEO Bart Mitchell (smiling through the storm yesterday) tells us. It’s an opportunity to illustrate the demand for ownership opportunities, he says. Affordable and mid-market housing is also critical for maintaining the vibrant mix needed to attract new residents and businesses to Boston, he says. TCB’s James Madden was the project manager and Eliza Datta is the VP of development.
Target Corp paid Samuels & Associates $59M for its site at 1325-1341 Boylston St in the Fenway, where it plans to open a 170k SF store. It's part of a $315M mixed-use complex, the Van Ness, slated to have 172 luxury apartments that will open in the spring, 237k SF of offices, 200k SF of retail and 500 below-ground parking spaces.
BU paid $11.5M to Lesley University for 700-704 Beacon St, which has housed its art school. BU says the property will be put to institutional use. Lelsey just opened a new 74k SF, $46M Lunder Arts Center in Porter Square, Cambridge.
Linear Retail Properties paid Cambridge-FAB $2.4M for a 3,075 SF retail condo at First and Cambridge streets in East Cambridge across from the Lechmere T-stop and two blocks from the CambridgeSide Galleria Mall.
Imprivata signed a 93k SF lease at 10 Maguire Rd in the Lexington Corporate Center with landlord Normandy Real Estate Partners that includes a 20k SF expansion and a long-term extension. T3 Advisors’ Roy Hirshland repped the tenant. iBasis signed a new, long-term lease for 42k SF repped by NAI Hunneman’s Jim Boudrot. MC10 of Cambridge signed a new, long-term lease for 36k SF for a relo repped by Avison Young’s Kevin Malloy and Dan Collins. Normandy was repped by Transwestern | RBJ’s Jon Varholak and Ron Friedman.
Safari Books Online, O’Reilly Media signed up for 30k SF at Lafayette City Center, the formerly forlorn Lafayette retail center in Downtown Crossing that The Abbey Group acquired (2002) and renovated (2014). It’s becoming a tech beehive as wired companies take more space downtown. JLL is repping Abbey.
Weidt Group, the Minnesota-based energy analysis and environmental consulting arm of global design firm EYP, is expanding in Boston to work on two new state projects. It will provide energy analysis for Massport on an existing terminal and partner with the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership and the Mass Department of Energy Resources to develop a "building asset rating" pilot project. Chris Baker will oversee Weidt's Boston office.
MediSafe plans to open a new office on Atlantic Avenue in Boston next month to grow the Israeli-based firm's staff, which is focused on the engineering and R&D of its medical reminder app. It chose Boston, not New York or San Francisco, to be close to the healthcare system, says CEO Omri Shor.
Development & Construction
The publicly funded $115M redevelopment of the Ferdinand Building in Dudley Square, which will house the Boston School Department, is nearing completion. It will be officially dedicated to honor former City Council president Bruce Bolling. The ribbon cutting, scheduled for today, is being rescheduled due to the snowstorm. The six-story building that will house 500 school employees has helped advance the revival of Dudley Square with the private development of new retail, housing and offices and a hotel.
Thomas W. Brown has been promoted to president of Beverly-based Brookwood Financial Partners, where he’s worked for 20 years. In 1994, shortly after the firm’s founding, he joined as the director of real estate acquisitions. Since then, Brookwood has acquired 142 assets with 13M SF valued at $1.7B. Now, he’s a member of the investment and executive management committees.
Boston Properties may be shedding some buildings but on Friday it announced the results from Q4 and for 2014 showing its real estate is valued at $18.2B compared to $17.2B a year ago. Its portfolio of assets in Boston, New York, DC and San Francisco is 91.7% occupied versus 93.4% in ’13. Occupancy in its tech portfolio is 87.7% compared to 85.4% a year earlier while office occupancy fell by 2% to 91.8%.
Select Income REIT completed the $3.1B acquisition of Cole Corporate Income Trust with its 64 single-tenant, net leased office and industrial properties. Newton-based SIR says the purchase diversifies its portfolio since Cole has 87 single-tenant, net leased office and industrial properties in 30 states, totaling 18.3M SF that are 100% leased with many credit tenants: Amazon, Tesoro, F5 Networks, Noble Energy, FedEx, Allstate Insurance and PNC Bank.