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17K SF Back Bay Luxury Retail, Office Building Sells For $42M

8 Newbury St. in Boston's Back Bay.

A joint venture between a Chilean company and a German fund manager has purchased a fully leased, 17K SF Back Bay luxury retail and office building for nearly $2,500 per SF. 

Corso, a Chilean family firm, partnered with the German GLL Real Estate Partners to buy 8 Newbury St., according to Newmark Knight Frank, which brokered the deal. A joint venture between L&B Realty Advisors and UrbanMeritage sold the property for $42.45M. 

The largest North American Rolex flagship store anchors the building, which has a nearly century-long history of luxury retail as well. 

“Originally developed in the 1920s as a Rolls-Royce showroom, 8 Newbury Street has been fully transformed into a top-tier office/retail ‘crown jewel’ via a multi-million-dollar gut renovation over the past three years,” NKF Boston Capital Markets Group Director Paul Penman said in a statement. “The institutional-quality offering represented an exceptional opportunity to acquire a landmark building on the prestigious first block of Newbury Street.”

The newly sold building was assessed this year at a value of just less than $13.64M, according to property records, although it wasn't clear if that assessment was made prior to the completion of the renovation. 

It was one of 13 retail properties UrbanMeritage held along Newbury Street, according to its website. The company boasted 15 Back Bay properties in 2017. 

The Newbury Street building is nestled among other high-end retail outlets, including Burberry, Chanel and Tiffany & Co. Above the two-floor Rolex store sit high net worth family offices and private equity firms, according to NKF. 

Around the country, retailers have borne the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, and even some luxury retailers have been forced to adopt high-end versions of the curbside pickup model seen at department stores. 

Contact Tim Carroll at tim.carroll@bisnow.com.