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Fortis Lands 11-Floor Lease, $1B Refinancing Deal At Boston Office Tower

Boston Office
A rendering with the HarbourVest signage on the One Lincoln tower.

Private equity firm HarbourVest Partners will soon have its name atop one of the most iconic buildings in the Boston skyline as part of a deal that will nearly double its office footprint.

Fortis Property Group signed HarbourVest to an 11-floor, 250K SF lease at the 36-story One Lincoln office tower. Along with the lease, Fortis closed a $1B-plus refinancing deal for the property, and it plans to invest more than $200M to upgrade the building.

The lease and refinancing deals, first reported by Bloomberg, were confirmed to Bisnow by spokespersons for HarbourVest and Fortis. 

The 19-year-old tower currently bears the name of State Street Corp., which signed a deal in 2019 to move to the new One Congress office project. 

The HarbourVest lease, one of the largest signed in Boston since the start of the pandemic, is almost double the amount of space the firm occupies at One Financial Center, according to the Boston Globe, which also reported the deals. HarbourVest will occupy the top four floors along with another seven floors at One Lincoln. 

HarbourVest has grown its Boston workforce by 60% in the last three years to roughly 700 employees, and it has around 1,000 globally, according to the Globe. The firm plans to move into One Lincoln in mid-2025. 

“HarbourVest has been headquartered in Boston since our founding 40 years ago, and we are excited to continue growing our presence locally in this dynamic city,” John Toomey, managing director at HarbourVest Partners, said in a statement to Bisnow. “One Lincoln is an iconic building that will help create a best-in-class workplace experience for our team.”

Fortis Property Group, which owns the building along with investor David Werner, secured the $1B refinancing deal with MSD Partners, according to Bloomberg. The loan will be used to repay existing debt and provide more than $200M in capital upgrades, including renovations of the lobby, food service space and amenities.

The 1.1M SF tower, built in 2003, is also losing law firm K&L Gates to the One Congress project. The tower's second biggest tenant, WeWork, is giving up some of its nine floors to HarbourVest, the Globe reported.

Mayor Michelle Wu helped Fortis receive approvals for the HarbourVest signage and was "instrumental" in getting the deal done, Fortis CEO Jonathan Landau told the Globe. 

This deal is another boost of confidence for office landlords in a market that is still struggling with vacancy above 15%. Last week, McKinsey & Co. signed a 95K SF lease in Millennium Partners’ Winthrop Center, and in June Bain & Co. agreed to lease most of The Druker Co.'s proposed nine-story development near Boston Public Garden.