This Week's Boston Deal Sheet
The topping off next week of Avalon Bay Communities’ $500M multifamily development in the North Station area fulfills the city’s vision of transforming this former light industrial, second-tier commercial area—long hidden under elevated transitways—into a hot new downtown location.
On Wed, Dec. 2, developer AvalonBay Communities will celebrate reaching the 38th story of the $500M, 503-apartment tower with retail in what was once a parking lot behind the TD Garden. By late ’17, the glass-clad tower designed by CBT Architects is slated to welcome its first occupants.
The neighborhood once was cut off from the rest of downtown by the elevated Central Artery and was dominated by light industry, small shops and the North Station T-stop.
The $16B federally funded Big Dig demolished the dust-laden highway that cast a shadow over the district, letting in the sun, connecting it to the rest of the city and paving the way for $3B in various developments. Avalon North Station will have a two-story public arcade that creates pedestrian access through downtown and the tower itself will become a dramatic new entry to Boston.
Construction & Development
LCB Senior Living will build two senior housing developments. The Residence at Vinnin Square in Swampscott will be an 84-apartment/90-resident independent, assisted living and memory care community in a three-story building on a 3.1-acre site. The Residence at Melrose Station in Melrose will be a 90-apartment/92-resident independent, assisted and memory care community on a 1.5-acre site downtown. Cushman & Wakefield Senior Housing secured $53.4M in construction financing and JV equity, with Rick Swartz, Jay Wagner, Aaron Rosenzweig and James Dooley repping the developer.
A Grossman Cos and Waypoint Cos JV will build a $20M, 80-unit multifamily building in Allston near Boston Landing at 61-83 Braintree St that features a rooftop deck, a fitness center, bicycle storage and 68 parking spaces. Bank financing was secured by EagleBridge principals Ted Sidel and Brian Sheehan.
Lasell College will build a new academic center with 21 classrooms, five science labs, student meeting rooms, a math lab, bookstore/café and faculty offices. It will create green space by demolishing another academic building, Wass Hall. It will also renovate a Victorian house for its president’s residence. A $10M tax-exempt bond issued by MassDevelopment will help finance the projects.
ServiceNet, a mental health and human services organization with a HQ in Northampton will buy, renovate and furnish seven properties in western Mass that will serve people with brain injuries, are developmentally disabled or can be treated as outpatients for behavioral and other related health issues. To help finance the projects, MassDevelopment has issued a $1.8M tax-exempt bond purchased by TD Bank.
Samuels & Associates is forming a JV partnership with Principal Enhanced Property Fund, managed by Principal Real Estate Investors for The Launch at Hingham Shipyard at 18 Shipyard Dr. The JV has secured nearly $44M in financing from MetLife. CBRE/NE’s Kyle Juszczyszyn, Chris Coutts and Taylor Shepard repped Samuels & Associates, Legacy Capital Partners and their affiliates in sourcing both the JV and the financing. The Launch is a 245k SF waterfront destination mixed-use center that Samuels built in ’09; it is 95% leased and hosts a newly renovated MBTA commuter ferry port.
In one of the largest deals of 2015, JP Morgan Chase and Oxford Properties closed on their $1.29B purchase from Blackstone of 500 Boylston St for $755.3M and 222 Berkeley St for $534.5M. The tally is a bit over $1k/SF for the properties that total 1.2M SF and were both developed by Hines; they share a 1,000-car parking garage. Oxford, which invests in real estate for the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, has been an active buyer here. Last year, it led a group to buy four Class-A buildings in Boston and Cambridge from Blackstone for more than $2B, or roughly $650/SF. In June, Oxford purchased 745 Atlantic in the Leather District for $114.5M. These are some of the properties that Blackstone acquired with its ‘07 purchase of Equity Office Properties Trust. Meanwhile, JPMorgan’s asset management unit runs the country’s biggest fund for core real estate.
The Davis Cos paid $32M to Columbia Sussex Corp for the 344-room Hilton at 2 Forbes Rd in Woburn. TDC is planning $15M in improvements. The property is directly off the I-95/ I-93 interchange. TDC plans to start its renovation of the property in late 2016. Boston-based Pyramid Hotel Group will manage the hotel.
Boston University sold 601 Newbury St near Kenmore Square, a historic 23k SF commercial building on the periphery of its campus for $8.25M. Boston Realty Advisors' Christopher Sower repped the buyer, 601 Newbury St LLC managed by William Thibeault of Everett.