Boston Properties Buys Some More in Its Home Metro

Even prior to the $106 million transaction, the REIT was already Waltham's largest owner and manager of Class A office space.
890 Winter St.

Boston Properties Inc. has acquired 880 and 890 Winter St. in Waltham, Mass., a two-building, 392,600-square-foot Class A office campus, for a gross purchase price of $106 million in cash.

The two buildings are 82 percent leased to 20-some companies primarily in the health-care, technology, services and energy infrastructure sectors. On-site amenities include two cafés, a large outdoor seating area, a fitness center and a conference center. The 28-acre property, also known as Waltham Woods Corporate Center, is adjacent to Boston Properties’ 1 million-square-foot, 58-acre Bay Colony.

The seller was not identified, and Boston Properties did not reply to Commercial Property Executive’s request for that and other information. Data provided by Yardi Matrix, however, indicates that the previous owner was New York-based Clarion Partners, which had purchased the two buildings from Leggat McCall Properties for $104.5 million in April 2000.

Unusually steady vacancy

Boston Properties is Waltham’s largest owner and manager of Class A office space, with holdings totaling more than 4 million square feet, and a long-time developer there. In all, the REIT owns and manages about 5 million square feet of office space along the Route 128/I-95 corridor in the Boston suburbs.

With the inevitable ups and downs over the intervening five years, the average total vacancy in the 128 Belt submarket was 10.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014—and 10.9 percent in the quarter that just ended, according to a recent Avison Young report.

The average Class A asking rent in the 128 Core submarket specifically is $35.89. Absorption over the past 12 months totaled 670,000 square feet, and 211,000 square feet is under construction, also per Avison Young.