This Week's Boston Deal Sheet
Boston’s first downtown office high-rise in decades might be on the way, as the city seeks a developer to build what could be a $1B tower on a prime site it owns.
The BRA, which owns the site at 115 Winthrop Square in the heart of the Financial District, has asked developers to express their interest in the project by April 13. They can propose a mix of uses, but they're likely to include offices, BRA spokesman Nicolas Martin tells Bisnow. The Boston population is growing, office rents are rising, leasing is strong and vacancy is falling. TransNational Properties’ CEO Steve Belkin, who owns an adjacent office building at 133 Federal St, has voiced interest in developing Winthrop Square, Nicolas tells us.
In ’06, Steve presented a plan to the BRA for a 1,000-foot tower on the Winthrop Square site but ran into the recession. Now, he revised the plan by lowering the height to 740 feet, about 70 stories. Steve says he’s best suited to build an iconic complex by joining his parcel with the new one. The city is eager for a new building to rise on the land now occupied by a city-owned parking garage that was condemned and shuttered two years ago.
Construction & Development
Carpenter & Co secured $680M in financing for One Dalton in Back Bay, a 61-story residential tower that will be the tallest built here in four decades: a $500M construction loan through the UK-based Children’s Investment Fund and $180M in JV equity through Citi Private Bank. For the equity, there was a lot of interest, Carpenter CEO Richard Friedman tells us. For the construction loan, “We selected a team from the get-go.” There wasn’t a US lender able to do such a large loan, he says.
Designed by architects Pei Cobb Freed & Partners (who did the Hancock Tower nearby) with Cambridge Seven, the building with 180 condos and a 211-key Four Seasons hotel will be the city’s only super luxury high-rise residential tower. Soon to have two Four Seasons hotels, Boston will join an elite circle of only seven such cities: London, Shanghai, Singapore, Istanbul, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The HHF team that secured the financing included Riaz Cassum, John Fowler and Robyn King.
The CATS Academy Boston plans to build a $40M campus in Braintree that it recently acquired, repped by The Traid Gp. The developer and landowner of the 20-acre parcel is 2001 Washington and the architect is Beacon Architectural. The UK-based school which now has nearly 300 students will renovate an existing 100k SF facility and build a 20k SF athletics facility and three dormitories.
Heads up bikers! You now have a new place to ogle a Harley: 649 Squire Rd in Revere. Harley-Davidson recently completed construction of a new 60k SF showroom that includes space for service, sales, office and bike storage. The development team: J. Calnan, studio TROIKA and WB Engineers.
Learn from your teachers. Own your own home and, if possible, build it yourself. An affiliate of the Boston Teachers Union—with Tetra Tech, Perkins+Will and Posternak, Blankenstein & Lund—plans to develop and construct a new HQ for the union and its 7,000 members and associates at the site of its current HQ, 188 Mount Vernon St in Dorchester. The existing HQ is 33k SF; the new one will be 53k SF.
Calare Properties paid $11M for a 94k SF mixed-use facility at 20 Seyon St in Watertown, which is fully occupied by tenants that include Saks Fifth Avenue and Launch Trampoline Park. The seller was repped by CBRE/NE's Bill Moylan, Chris Angelone, John Meador and Bruce Lusa.
Northland Investment bought 215 Needham St and 160 Charlemont St in Newton for an undisclosed price. They’re close to other properties in Northland’s portfolio and position the company “for future growth and development,” CEO Steven Rosenthal says.
Used to be, you had to live here for decades to learn your way around. But the Downtown BID and BRA recently installed custom designed kiosks by omloop and KMDG on Summer Street, between the Park Street and South Station T-stops. Now, anyone can easily make their way through downtown; no more home court advantage.
For its East Coast expansion, Juniper Networks has taken 8k SF at One Technology Park Dr in Westford. The office features an open plan layout, lots of natural light and expansion space. The company wants to be close to its financial services and government agency clients and the talent coming out of our colleges and universities.
Tulane University has selected Cambridge-based acoustical firm Acentech to consult on the design of the acoustics and IT infrastructure for the renovation of, and 30k SF addition to, the school’s 50k SF Richardson Memorial Hall. The architect is KieranTimberlake. The historic building, home of Tulane’s School of Architecture, will be a model structure that aims to foster innovation and creativity.
RMR Real Estate Income Fund has promoted Fernando Diaz to president and senior portfolio manager, replacing Adam Portnoy, who will continue to serve as a managing trustee on the RIF Board and a co-portfolio manager of the fund. Fernando’s been with the company since ’07. He came from GID Securities, where he was a senior REIT analyst and assistant portfolio manager.
Colliers International has hired Martha O'Mara to serve as executive managing director and head of consulting for Colliers' Corporate Solutions Americas team. Colliers acquired Corporate Portfolio Analytics, which Martha co-founded in ’04. Her client list included: AT&T, Bank of America, Verizon, American Express and GE.