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Panera Sells Au Bon Pain Corporate Boston Office To Developer

Marcus Partners spent $25M on a leasehold interest for Au Bon Pain's Seaport office at a 1.4-acre site.

Marcus Partners is spending dough for Au Bon Pain's corporate office in the Seaport's rising lab market.

The Boston-based firm secured the 1.4-acre site in the Marine Industrial Park for $25M to compete in the neighborhood's fast-growing lab scene, Colliers announced Monday. Au Bon Pain owner Panera Bread, represented by Colliers, has a lease on the city-owned building through 2022, public records show.

The asset at 19 Fid Kennedy Ave., also known as 1 Au Bon Pain Way, includes the building and parking lot totaling 61K SF. The property was assessed this year for $7.2M, according to Suffolk County land records.

“We received widespread interest from the market, and the owners appreciated a competitive process attracting renowned investors and developers from the Boston area and beyond,” Colliers Managing Director Frank Petz said.

Marcus Partners didn't reveal specific plans for the site but a representative said in a statement the firm looked forward to working with the landlord, the Boston Economic Development and Industrial Corp. Colliers touted the deal as a "life science redevelopment opportunity."

Au Bon Pain didn't respond to a request for comment.

Lab vacancies across Boston sit at 7.6% according to Colliers’ 2020 Q3 Lab Viewpoint Report, and developers are increasingly turning to hubs outside of Cambridge's Kendall Square to grow in one of the nation’s tightest markets.

Marcus Partners made noise in August when, in a joint venture with The Davis Cos., it sold a 515K SF office and life sciences complex in Waltham to industry leader Alexandria Real Estate Equities for $330M. Alexandria already owns a massive portfolio of Seaport developments.

Au Bon Pain, a chain fast-casual bakery in 24 Eastern states and Washington, D.C., was purchased by Panera three years ago and has seen its footprint decline amid the coronavirus pandemic, with at least two Boston locations closed over the summer.