Houghton Mifflin Makes History in Beantown

It's a big one—one of the largest office lease transactions in the city, year to date.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

125 High St.,  Boston
125 High St., Boston

It’s a big one. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt just committed to 162,000 square feet of Class A office space at 125 High St. in downtown Boston’s Financial District. The transaction with building owner and tenant Tishman Speyer marks one of the largest office lease transactions in the city, year to date.

The deal at the three-building, 1.5 million-square-foot complex is even more noteworthy at the submarket level.

“Their move is significant as it is the largest into Boston’s downtown submarket in years, and is likely to propel the submarket to its second consecutive year as the city’s leader in commercial office space absorption,” Gil Dailey, an executive vice president with commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, told Commercial Property Executive. Dailey represented the tenant in the transaction.

Houghton Mifflin will vacate its current home approximately 2 miles away at 222 Berkeley St. in Back Bay, where it leases 328,686 square feet under an agreement that’s due to expire in 2017. At 125 High St., the global learning company will occupy the fifth through eighth floors in their entirety.

Boston’s Financial District is fast emerging as a hub for office users in the technology, media, advertising and information sectors, so Houghton Mifflin will fit right in at its new digs. “Houghton Mifflin Harcourt continues to be one of Boston’s most iconic and forward-thinking organizations,” Dailey added.

The office market is booming throughout Beantown’s central business district, and its 4.5 million-square-foot pipeline of tenants in the market bodes well for the city. “To put this in perspective, across all classes, today, the Boston CBD has only 5.9 million square feet of direct availability on the market,” according to a first quarter report by Cushman & Wakefield.

Houghton Mifflin will settle in at 125 High St. in 2017.