Wells Park, a collection of three buildings totaling approximately 377,700 square feet in Newton, Mass., has come under new ownership. With the assistance of CBRE, a joint venture partnership of Angelo, Gordon & Co. and Jumbo Capital Management has sold the approximately 95 percent leased, suburban Boston portfolio to Taurus Investment Holdings in a transaction valued at $92 million.
Sited just 10 miles outside of downtown Boston, Wells Park is a magnet for a diverse array of businesses and features a nearly full roster of 29 tenants, including Sally Mae Corp, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Karyopharm Therapeutics, and Ascensus and Adviser Investments.
“Interest [among the investors] was robust,” Dan Hines, a vice president with CBRE, told Commercial Property Executive. Hines and colleagues Scott Dragos, Chris Skeffington, Doug Jacoby, Anthony Hayes, Roy Sandeman and Tim Mulhall marketed the portfolio on behalf of the joint venture and arranged the sale.
“Most prospective buyers were attracted to the location of the real estate, in one of Boston’s core suburban markets, and the relative yield discount to other offerings in the market,” he added. “Investors ranged from high net worth syndicates to private equity funds, to real estate fund management companies.”
Angelo Gordon and Jumbo had owned Wells Park since 2016, when the joint venture acquired the three low-rise buildings in two separate transactions valued at a total of approximately $69 million. Following the purchase, the partners invested more than $4 million in capital improvements, including rebranding the asset, remodeling lobbies, updating the café and fitness facility, and other enhancements. The property has seen more than 125,000 square feet in leasing transactions over the last 24 months.
Metro Boston Beckons—Still
The office market in the Greater Boston area continues to struggle with the consequences of the pandemic. But, while vacancy rates have yet to rebound to pre-COVID-19 levels, investors have not been deterred. As noted in a fourth quarter 2021 report by Colliers International, record amounts of capital are waiting to be deployed in metropolitan Boston and this factor, combined with low interest rates and attractive long-term value appreciation, has translated to high-water marks on price per square foot in many recent office transactions.
As for the suburban Boston office market, in particular, the road ahead looks brighter. “On a macro scale, CBRE expects improving market fundamentals as employers plan a return to the office,” Hines said.
Taurus is keen on the market as well and the company has big plans for Wells Park. Taurus will transition the property to a low-carbon, energy-efficient office park by removing the existing natural gas heating and installing roof-top and carport solar panels, efficient air-source heat pumps, LED lighting retrofits and making other system upgrades.