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Broder Enters Life Sciences Fray With $46M Watertown Buy

313 Pleasant St. in Watertown

A Boston-based residential and hospitality developer is dipping its toes in the life sciences fray.

Broder acquired the Pleasant Street Science Park in Watertown last month from Boston-based Metro Realty Trust for $46M, according to Colliers, which arranged the sale. The buyer has the opportunity to build a life sciences development up to 180K SF at the property at the intersection of Rosedale Road and Pleasant Street, Colliers said. 

“We have been looking to thoughtfully enter the Watertown life science market for some time and, with this purchase, I believe we found the perfect fit,” Broder Managing Partner Eric Svenson said in a statement.

Broder, founded in 2006, has a portfolio of condos, apartments and hotels spanning from Florida to New Hampshire. The company has purchased or delivered more than 700K SF, or $200M worth of assets, since 2015, it said.

The buildings at 84-86 Rosedale Road and 313 Pleasant St. are partially leased to six tenants. The Pleasant Street building is a four-story research and development property, and the Rosedale assets are two-story office buildings, according to Watertown property records.

A Middlesex County deed shows a $39.5M purchase price for the properties. The transaction included two selling entities that combined for the $46M purchase price, a Colliers representative said Tuesday afternoon.

The properties sit in the bustling Watertown submarket, which life sciences developers have built into a thriving alternative to Kendall Square and the Seaport. Watertown counts more than 2M SF of life sciences development, and developers like Alexandria Real Estate Equities have chased lab conversion plays at existing buildings amid a lack of greenfield sites.

"Watertown offers in many cases the ability to deliver products quickly," Colliers Managing Director Frank Petz told Bisnow Tuesday afternoon. "Given the current demand out there for life sciences space, speed to market rules. Being able to provide products, you can take advantage of this huge tsunami of demand."

Petz and Colliers Managing Director Matt Sherry, Executive Vice President Jeanne Pinado, Senior Advisor John Nasca and Financial Analyst Brooke Howard marketed the property and completed the sale.