Clarion Buys ‘Jewel Box’ Boston Building for $54M

One Liberty Square, a 13-story, 157,500-square-foot office building in Boston’s financial district, has been purchased for $54 million by Clarion Partners.
Photo: Warren Patterson

Photo: Warren Patterson

One Liberty Square, a 13-story, 157,500-square-foot office building in Boston’s financial district, has been purchased for $54.4 million by Clarion Partners, of New York, it was announced Friday by Clarion and by Cushman & Wakefield, which represented the seller, Invesco Real Estate.

The building is 89.2 percent leased to tenants that include Great Hill Partners, Berman DeValerio and Boston Advisors among other law firms and financial and technology companies.

Clarion’s research, Gary Rufrano, a partner at Clarion Partners, said in a release, indicates that the sectors represented in One Liberty Square’s tenant roster “are expected to be strong employment drivers as the U.S. economy continues its recovery.”

“Historically there has been limited new office construction in the Financial District submarket,” Clarion Partners noted, “although there are currently 1,500 residential units in the area either under construction or permitted, signaling the attractiveness of the market.”

Clarion also noted that the current unemployment rate in the Boston MSA is 6.2 percent, well below state and national levels.

The building was completed in 1926 and is essentially “a B-plus building in an A location,” Commercial Property Executive was told by someone close to the transaction who wished to remain off the record.

One Liberty Square, reportedly, underwent a gut rehab in 1981 and within the past half-dozen years has gotten new HVAC and a new roof, added a fitness center, and underwent elevator modernization and repairs to its curved limestone and granite façade.

The building is near Faneuil Hall, Post Office Square and the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and is walking distance from multiple bus and “T” line stations.

One Liberty Square is one of five downtown Boston buildings known as “jewel boxes.” These are generally smaller and older, but have been substantially renovated and well maintained and are in good locations.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Capital Markets team of Robert Griffin, Edward Maher and Matthew Pullen, along with leasing specialists Dave Martel, Jim Brady and Tim Bianchi, exclusively represented the seller and procured the buyer.