Hines Sells Interest in Pair of Boston Trophy Buildings to Equity Office

Equity Office Properties now has full ownership of two trophy buildings in Boston’s Back Bay area after buying out the minority interest in both properties from ownership partner Hines.Terms of the deal for Two Twenty Two Berkeley (pictured) and Five Hundred Boylston were not released. Hines, which developed both buildings, will continue in its role as property manager. “We continue to seek attractive investment opportunities here in the Boston market, both in the repositioning of our currently owned properties as well as new acquisitions,” Greg Shay, president of the Boston region for Equity Office, which is owned by The Blackstone Group, said in a prepared statement. Five Hundred Boylston, known to TV viewers as the fictitious headquarters of law firm Crane, Poole & Schmidt on ABC’s Boston Legal, is a 25-story, 710,000-square-foot building with more than 65,000 square feet of retail space. The building, which shares a 1,000-space parking garage with Two Twenty Two Berkeley, opened in 1988. Currently 95 percent leased, publisher Houghton Mifflin Co. and MFS Investment Management are among its real major tenants. Two Twenty Two Berkeley, a 22-story, 520,000-square-foot office building, was completed in 1991. It has more than 44,000 square feet of retail space and features a five-level, glass-enclosed Winter Garden in the center. It is 97 percent leased with Houghton Mifflin taking most of the space. “We have been involved with these buildings and their tenants for almost a quarter of a century, so we are delighted to stay on as manager for Equity Office,” David Perry, Hines senior vice president, said in the release. “We are also excited to further expand our footprint in Boston by redeploying capital into new, quality projects.” As reported Oct. 1, 2006, Hines and joint venture partner TUDC L.L.C. are planning a massive, $800 million commercial complex at South Station, Boston’s main transportation hub that will include a Cesar Pelli-designed 1 million-square-foot office tower. Later phases will have more office space, residential condominiums and a hotel. Hines is also developing Greenway Center, a 350,000-square-foot, 10-story office and retail property at the north end of the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Outside of Boston, Hines is also involved in developing numerous high-profile properties including the Dr. P. Phillips Orlando Performing Arts Center, a $450 million project in downtown Orlando, Fla., that will feature two performance halls, rehearsal rooms, outdoor plaza and performance space, and administrative offices, according to a Sept. 5 CPN report. Late last month, plans were approved in Oklahoma City, Okla., for a 1.9 million-square-foot, 54-story building to be buil t by Hines as the new headquarters of Devon Energy Corp., CPN reported Aug. 22. Hines, a privately owned, international real estate firm, has offices in more than 100 cities in 16 countries and controlled assets worth at least $22.9 billion. Equity Office, which was acquired about 18 months ago by The Blackstone Group, has more than 300 properties with a total of at least 50 million square feet, in its portfolio. Most of the assets are Class A office properties in Boston, New York, and California with some in the Midwest, Denver and Texas, according to a Sept. 2 CPN article.