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This Week’s Boston Deal Sheet

There’s more than meets the eye in The Hamilton Co founder and CEO Harold Brown’s latest purchase in Allston of the 22k SF building at the corner of Brighton Avenue and Harvard Street. He’s got a big $100M plan.

Hamilton closed on the 27-year home of the Sunset Grill & Tap at 130 Brighton Ave in Allston. It's likely to form the eastern edge of a new mixed-use neighborhood called Brighton Place, which Harold is planning to develop with 300 new apartments and 100k SF of new and renovated commercial space. He’s working on a master plan designed by Hacin + Associates that will be filed with the BRA in two or three years. The aim is to create a uniform identity for three blocks between Brighton and Commonwealth avenues. Introducing a common theme that unites six existing parcels, coupled with the new development, will establish the location as a destination.

“I believe the area will become a second downtown Boston,” Harold tells us. Long popular with students, recently various developers, including The Mount Vernon Co, have been introducing new rental housing and retail that’s attracting an older crowd of working Millennials and others. For now, 130 Brighton Ave is leased long term to two—and soon to be three—restaurants. Asking rents are in $25/SF NNN territory, he says.

A highly regarded downtown "jewel box" office building has proven its value to DivcoWest Real EstateTwo years ago, it paid $36M for the 114k SF building. Now, MAPFRE Commerce Insurance has acquired the 1873 property for $55M.

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An affiliate of KS Partners paid $11M to Fairlane Properties for Chapel Business Center at 59-85 Chapel St in Newton: 78k SF of office, technology and storage space that’s 92% leased. The brokers were CBRE's David Pergola and Brian Doherty.

Construction & Development

Construction is wrapping up at Hines’ Fuse, a 244-unit luxury apartment in the Alewife neighborhood of Cambridge with first occupancy expected this month, says David Perry, senior managing director at Hines. One of several new multifamily projects in the area, it’s 9% leased with a two-bed/two-bath renting for $3,305. Concessions include—in some cases—$1k and a month of free rent for those who move in by the end of November.

Boston Properties is planning a $140M, 22-story, 274-unit residential tower at 88 Ames St near the Broad Institute in Kendall Square that could open in 2018, CEO Owen Thomas said Friday on an earnings call. The REIT and the city are rezoning the area to allow Boston Properties to develop 1M SF there—600k SF of office space and another 400k SF of multifamily.

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Boston Residential Group cut the ribbon today on its 196-unit mid-market multifamily building at 161 South Huntington Ave, in Jamaica Plain. Olmsted Place is on the Emerald Necklace, across the street from Jamaica Pond. 37 of the apartments are affordable for working people, the developer says. The architect for the development is ADD Inc (now with Stantec); the GC is John Moriarty and Associates. No public funding was employed in the creation of Olmsted Place.

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Greentown Labs, the nation’s largest clean tech hardware incubator, plans to build an $11M, 53k SF expansion at 444 Somerville Ave in Union Square. The addition will be its new HQ, but Greentown will still use the 40k SF it's now in at 28 Dane St. Construction is slated to start next yer for completion by year-end.

Leasing

Boston Medical Center inked a lease for 172k SF from The Flatley Co at the Schrafft’s City Center in Charlestown that will be a relo from the medical center in the South End and offices leased in Copley Place and elsewhere.

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In North Station, Pixability leased nearly 14k SF at 77 North Washington St from The Finch Group. Reps in the deals include: Avison Young’s Matt Twombly and T3 Advisors’ Jon Frisch.

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Projector PSA signed up for 8,175 SF at 85 Merrimac St, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Avison Young’s Karyn McFarland repped landlord Massey & Co. JLL’s Bryan Sparks repped the tenant.

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Confirm Inc is taking a 7,120 SF sublease at 60 Canal St repped by Avison Young’s Karyn McFarland and  Matt Twombly. ColliersDaniel Collins and Greg Tanner repped the sublessor.

At Nordblom’s 3rd Ave in Burlington, Dover Rug & Home is taking 2239 SF and The Shade Store, 2500 SF. The broker is CBRE Grossman

By The Numbers

Providence may not be big among industrial markets but it is No. 1 in the US for its vacancy rate of 1.3%, a decline of 0.9% year-to-date, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s Q3 industrial report. With the US economy and online shopping growing, rents are rising and the US industrial real estate market is lining up for another record year. Vacancies are under 6% in 25 markets—including the East Bay in Northern California, Greater Los Angeles, Houston and Philadelphia—which means they’re being used to capacity.