Boston’s Center Plaza Commands $365M

Synergy Investments and GreenOak Real Estate are the new owners of the 741,200-square-foot office and retail property, which comprises three interconnected buildings near Boston City Hall.

By Gail Kalinoski

GreenOak Partners bought
Center Plaza in downtown Boston, newly acquired by Synergy Investments and GreenOak Real Estate.

Center Plaza, a 741,200-square-foot mixed-use property with a distinctive curved shape located across from Boston City Hall, is under new ownership. Synergy Investments and GreenOak Real Estate acquired the asset from Shorenstein Properties LLC for $365 million.

Shorenstein paid $307 million when it bought Center Plaza from Equity Office Properties Trust on Dec. 31, 2013. Since 1992, Shorenstein has sponsored 11 closed-end investment funds with total equity commitments of $7.9 billion. It acquired Center Plaza on behalf of its 10th fund, Shorenstein Realty Investors Ten LP, formed in 2010 with $1.2 billion of committed capital, according to a Commercial Property Executive report.

Comprising three interconnected buildings, most of the space is office and approximately 60 percent leased with a diverse roster of 31 tenants. The property has street-level retail with nearly 875 feet of frontage on Cambridge Street and a 575-space below-grade parking garage.

The transaction was handled by NGKF Capital Markets. The Boston team led by U.S. Head of Capital Markets Robert Griffin, Vice Chairman Edward Maher, Executive Managing Director Matthew Pullen and Director James Tribble oversaw the deal.

“Center Plaza represents one of Boston’s largest mixed-use complexes, offering critical mass and a commanding presence in the heart of the city. Additionally, it features one of the most profitable parking garages in the city, solidifying its status as a generational investment with substantial upside,” Maher said in a prepared statement.

The property is located by the newly renovated MBTA Government center station and City Hall Plaza as well as City Hall, the John F. Kennedy Federal Building and Suffolk University.

The Boston Globe reported the FBI recently moved its regional headquarters from Central Plaza but the property still has other major tenants including Localytics, which announced in September 2015 it was taking 55,000 square feet at the complex. At that time, Shorenstein had announced plans for a $25 million capital improvement plan. But the Globe noted the work was not completed. It’s unclear whether the new owners will do the work, which was supposed to add a conference center and penthouse, among other upgrades.

Synergy is a full-service real estate investment and operating company primarily focused on the Boston market with a growing portfolio of 3 million square feet.

GreenOak is a global partner-owned, real estate-focused firm that has raised $5.7 billion of equity since 2011 to invest in various funds, targeted strategies and assets