Transactions - JUNE 27, 2017

Morgan Stanley JV buys Boston-area office portfolio for $270m

by Andrea Waitrovich

Longfellow Real Estate Partners has partnered with Morgan Stanley to acquire three class A office and tech properties totaling 605,873 square feet in Cambridge, Mass. An official statement has not been released.

The properties were recently renovated and include a high-end wellness center, full-service cafe, outdoor patio seating and fire pit, recreation centers, and collaborative conference facilities.

The portfolio includes 100 CambridgePark Drive, a 135,615-square-foot, five-story office building constructed in 1990, 125 CambridgePark Drive, a 201,922-square-foot, six-story property erected in 1985, and 150 CambridgePark Drive, a 268,336-square-foot, 10-story office.

Leasing activity in the Boston office market was dominated by TAMI (technology, advertising, media and information) companies during the first quarter 2017, according to Colliers International.

During the first quarter 2017 rents continued on an upward trend, and demand for space advanced across the market, pointing to another solid year for Greater Boston, according to JLL. On the heels of three consecutive years of near record-breaking occupancy gains, absorption dropped slightly this quarter. However, the lack of available space in Cambridge and the Seaport continued to fuel adjacent submarkets and renewed leasing momentum in the inner suburbs pushed overall market rents up 3.0 percent quarter-over-quarter.

While the amount of new space expected to hit the market in 2017 is less than half of the 2016 total, only 38.0 percent of this new space is pre-leased.

From ground-up developments in the Seaport (Pier 4, 121 Seaport) to creative office space at North Station (Hub on Causeway) to the redevelopment of 40 Water St. and 22 Boston Wharf, 1.4 million square feet remains under construction, according to Colliers. New projects totaling several million square feet of new inventory are either proposed or permitted to move forward.

In the Cambridge market, rents continue to push northward, and developers remain active in seeking to bring new product to the market. Vacancies are still below the historical average and the 10-year average.

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