Boston Properties Closes $375M Financing of Four Embarcadero Center

Using the proceeds to pay down its unsecured line of credit, Boston Properties Inc. has closed on an eight-year, $375 million loan secured by Four Embarcadero Center in San Francisco. The loan was provided by a syndicate of life insurance companies and bears interest at a fixed rate of 6.10 percent annum. The 47-story, Class A office building has approximately 937,000 rentable square feet and is located at the corner of Drumm and Clay Streets in the city’s North Financial District submarket. Boston Properties bought the skyscraper and its sister properties–One Embarcadero Center, Two Embarcadero and Three Embarcadero Center–in 1998. Completed in 1982, the tower is 95 percent occupied and also has three levels of retail and commercial space at the base of the building and three underground levels of parking. The REIT entered into the loan agreement with the insurance syndicate on Sept. 9, according to its third-quarter financial statement issued Oct. 28. The financial statement also noted that on Sept. 10 the company used available cash to repay the mortgage loan collateralized by its One and Two Embarcadero Center properties totaling about $274.8 million. The mortgage loan had been scheduled to mature on Dec. 10, 2008. Doug Linde, Boston Properties president, also addressed the Four Embarcadero Center financing during its Oct. 29 conference call about the 3Q results. Linde said the REIT was “very well positioned in the short term to weather this crisis,” according to a transcript provided by SeekingAlpha.com. “After the closing of the Embarcadero Center loan, we will have $900 million of availability on our credit facility, which expires in August, 2010 with an extension to 2011, and we will have cash balances of about $100 million,” Linde said. Still, he said the REIT was preparing for the worst in the economy by focusing on “maintaining excess liquidity” and being “extremely cautious when considering new acquisitions or developments.” He added that growth “must rank behind keeping our portfolio well leased and financing or refinancing our existing commitments.” Boston Properties made numerous big ticket purchases during the third quarter, including the Sept. 26 acquisition of the National Public Radio headquarters at 635 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., in Washington, D.C., for $119.5 million in cash. As reported Aug. 14 by CPN, Boston Properties also bought four Manhattan office buildings from Macklowe Properties for nearly $4 billion. The REIT acquired 540 Madison Ave. and Two Grand Central Tower for approximately $705 million as well as 125 West 55th St. for $440 million, including the assumption of $263.5 million in debt. Along with several partners, Boston Properties also paid about $2.8 billion for the GM Building at 5th Avenue and 59th Street. As of Sept. 30, the company’s portfolio consisted of 146 properties comprising approximately 48.5 million square feet, including 14 properties under construction totaling 4.4 million square feet and one hotel. The overall percentage of leased space was 95 percent for the 131 properties in service at the end of the third quarter.