For a price tag of $50.7 million, a joint venture of Saracen Properties, of metro Boston, and New York–based CRE fintech company Cadre has acquired One Newton Place, a four-story, 172,813-square-foot Class A office building in Newton, Mass. The seller was international CRE private equity company Taurus Investment Holdings LLC.
Taurus had purchased the property, at 275 Washington St., in mid-2013 for $34 million, after which it repositioned the ground-floor retail and office space. That effort included renovations to the entrance, lobby and atrium and conversion of part of a retail space into office space.
Completed in 1985, the property is currently subject to a $36.5 million loan held by Eastern Bank, according to information provided to Commercial Property Executive by Yardi Matrix.
The building is 93 percent leased, predominantly to Adobe Systems Inc., Clearview Health Partners and financial services firm Sapers & Wallack.
“The investment was one that followed our standard business model of adding value into an already good building in a strong and improving location,” Taurus CEO & Co-Founder Peter Merrigan said in a prepared statement. “Taurus has had great success in Boston, and throughout the U.S., acquiring and repositioning high-quality assets in desirable urban infill locations.”
Managing Director Chris Phaneuf and Director Ben Sayles of the HFF Boston office marketed the property on behalf of Taurus and procured the buyer.
“One Newton Place embodies the type of investment that today’s most active capital sources are pursuing,” HFF Senior Director Ben Sayles told Commercial Property Executive. “Investors are seeking urban, in-fill assets with modern tenant fit-outs and best-in-class common spaces. One Newton Place has a permanence to it, in terms of location, asset quality and tenant appeal.”
The metro Boston office market is perhaps best characterized as “restrained,” with development remaining moderate and landlords catering to tenants with building upgrades and amenities, according to a fourth-quarter 2018 report from Cushman & Wakefield.
In the suburbs, the dominant trends are life sciences space and new construction, the former notching up 1 million square feet in new leases for three straight years. And despite the prominence of a few outsized deals, like Amazon’s prelease of an entire 430,000-square-foot building in the Boston Seaport development, the tech sector in particular is generating ample demand for mid-sized leases.
The Route 128 Central submarket has a 15.7 percent availability on an inventory of 39.1 million square feet. Net absorption in 2018 totaled just over 1 million square feet, while 376,000 square feet was underway at year-end. The average asking rent was $34.35 per square foot, also per Cushman & Wakefield.
Image courtesy of HFF