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Downtown Crossing's Barnes & Noble Building Finally Sold

DTX 399

Downtown Crossing’s long-dormant Barnes & Noble storefront will finally see new life after late Wednesday’s closing of a $63.25M deal for the building. Eastern Consolidated brokered a sale to Chicago-based L3 Capital and LaSalle Investment Management for longtime owner Robert Posner’s 77K SF building at 395-403 Washington St. 

“Past ownership had significant tenant interest, which helped increase the value of the property,” Eastern Consolidated director Evan Papanastasiou, who represented the seller, said in a statement. “They then decided to capitalize on market conditions, and engaged us to sell the property.”

The building is branded as DTX 399 and will undergo a major facelift beginning this summer. While Boston’s real estate community has speculated on what could materialize from the Barnes & Noble site in the decade since the bookseller closed, Papanastasiou stressed the building was not marketed as something to redevelop into something taller.  

“National investors clearly view the Boston retail market to be valuable and were more bullish on the property’s retail and creative office potential than the local investors,” said Eastern Consolidated Senior Managing Director and principal Adelaide Polsinelli, who procured the buyer.

The five-story building, which features 70 feet of Washington Street frontage, is across the street from Millennium Tower and has been viewed by many as a key component in Downtown Crossing’s revival. Plans for the building include ground-level retail with creative office space above. Colliers International has been retained to recruit new retail and office tenants for DTX 399. 

“Given its proximity to the Millennium Tower and the exciting tenants who accompanied that ‘game-changing’ project, we anticipate tremendous interest from flagship retailers and innovative companies drawn to the vibrancy and accessibility of DTX,” Colliers International Senior Vice President Peter Montesanto said in a statement. 

Washington Street has been hot with construction and development proposals in recent years. Along with Millennium Tower, developer Millennium Partners also delivered the 15-story Millennium Place condo development closer to Chinatown. Midwood Investment and Development has proposed a 59-story residential tower nearby at the corner of Bromfield and Washington.