John Hancock Adds to Its Signature

Manulife's U.S. affiliate plans a $350 million office tower in Boston's Back Bay.

John Hancock is hoping to develop a $350 million Class A office tower in Boston’s Back Bay. The U.S. affiliate of Manulife has submitted plans to the Boston Redevelopment Authority for a 625,000-square-foot project at 380 Stuart St., the current location of a nine-story building owned by John Hancock now sits.

John Hancock's proposed tower at 380 Stuart St. in Boston's Back Bay

John Hancock’s proposed tower at 380 Stuart St. in Boston’s Back Bay

“We are excited about this development because we’ll be able to convert a site that currently has an asset that has reached the end of its useful life to a dynamic office building that will enliven a mid-block location,” Thomas Crohan, John Hancock’s associate vice president & counsel for corporate responsibility and government relations, told Commercial Property Executive. “The decision to build at 380 Stuart Street was made based primarily on its long-term corporate growth potential and securing our company’s ability to use our assets fully.”

As with previous real estate developments by John Hancock and Manulife, the entire project will be funded in-house, with no lenders, partners or third-parties involved in the process.

“This project reflects John Hancock’s philosophy to use company-owned and managed buildings for our corporate needs,” Crohan said, noting that the site is adjacent to other company-owned assets in the Back Bay. “We’ve been in this neighborhood since 1922 and want to enhance the neighborhood by improving this site,” he added.

John Hancock also owns the nearby 197 Clarendon and 200 Berkeley buildings. Both have won the Boston Society of Architects’ Harleston Parker Award for best new building, as has John Hancock’s property at 200 Clarendon.

The 380 Stuart St. project will feature a curved glass façade designed to minimize wind impacts.

The architectural team working on the project is Skidmore Owings Merrill & CBT; the project manager is Colliers International.

If approved, project construction is expected to commence in late 2016, with completion set for early 2019.