Boston Creative Office Asset Sells for $72M

NB Development Group sold the property at 20 Guest St., across from the Boston Landing district, with the assistance of JLL Capital Markets.

20 Guest St.
20 Guest St. Image courtesy of JLL Capital Markets

The creative office building at 20 Guest St. in Boston has come under new ownership, courtesy of a $72 million transaction. With the assistance of JLL Capital Markets, NB Development Group sold the approximately 228,900-square-foot asset to Griffith Properties LLC and Artemis Real Estate Partners.

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For its part, the Griffith-Artemis partnership relied on a $44 million loan through MetLife Real Estate Lending LLC to help finance the acquisition of 20 Guest. Located on an approximately 5-acre site across from the vibrant Boston Landing district and adjacent to the MBTA Boston Landing station, the ADD Inc.-designed building first opened its doors in 2001 as the site of New Balance Athletics’ global headquarters and served as the company’s home base until its relocation to Boston Landing in 2015. Today, the 10-story property, which also features 5,000 square feet of ground-level retail space, is fully leased to a group of seven tenants. Harvard Business School of Publishing leads the roster as anchor of 20 Guest, having committed to 128,000 square feet in 2015, and Global Atlantic Financial has occupied roughly 47,000 square feet since 2017.

NB Development relied on Coleman Benedict, Kerry Hawkins and Ben Sayles of JLL Capital Markets for representation in the sale of 20 Guest, having employed the same team in the disposition of the neighboring office building at 15 Guest St. in January 2020. Developed in 2000, 15 Guest was 86 percent leased when it sold for $18.4 million earlier this year.  

Sales lull

While Boston’s life sciences office/lab sector has garnered a great deal of attention among investors during the pandemic, pure office properties haven’t seen quite as much action. “Office investment activity has mirrored the wait-and-see approach of rents,” according to a third quarter 2020 report by Lincoln Property Co. “Landlords don’t want to sell or drop rents in the current climate when hold periods can be for 10 years or more.”  

Among the short list of metropolitan Boston office transactions since the beginning of the pandemic are 8 Newbury St., a 17,000-square-foot office and retail asset that sold for $42.5 million, and the approximately 531,900-square-foot Campus at Marlborough, which traded for $66 million with the assistance of a $51.9 million acquisition loan arranged by JLL Capital Markets.

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