By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
New York Life Real Estate Investors has given more than a helping hand to a joint venture between Oxford Properties Group and a group of institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. The debt and equity investment company teamed with TIAA-CREF Global Real Estate to provide the joint venture with $648 million in financing for the $1.3 billion acquisition of 500 Boylston and 222 Berkeley Streets, two interconnected office towers totaling 1.3 million square feet in Boston’s coveted Back Bay area.
With a purchase price equating to a cool $1,000 per square-foot, Oxford and J.P. Morgan’s acquisition of the property from Blackstone Group L.P. marks, as noted in a third quarter report by commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, “the highest price per square-foot ever paid for a Boston building.”
Developed by Hines, 500 Boylston and 222 Berkeley first opened their doors in 1988 and 1991, respectively. A 707,000-square-foot building, the 25-story 500 Boylston was designed by architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee and includes more than 65,000 square feet of exclusive retail space. Its companion tower, the 500,000-square-foot, 22-story 222 Berkeley, was designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects and features 45,000 square feet of retail. The two structures share a 1,000-space parking facility.
Eastdil Secured, acting on behalf of the buyers, orchestrated the 7-year loan from New York Life and TIAA-CREF. The lenders had their reasons for parting with nearly a quarter-billion dollars. “The properties’ street presence combined with their flexible floor plates, panoramic views, floor to ceiling windows and high level of finishes makes them two of the most desirable office buildings in Boston,” Eric Becher, senior director at New York Life Real Estate Investors,” said in a prepares statement. “The loan represents a continuation of our long-term relationship with these teams of premier real estate owners and co-lenders.”