MetLife Investment Management Buys Boston Office Asset for $97M

Standing in for Normandy Real Estate Partners and Westbrook Partners, NKF Capital Markets arranged the sale of the 247,500-square-foot property at 89 A St. in Needham, Mass.
89 A St. in Needham, Mass.
89 A St. in Needham, Mass.

The creative office building at 89 A St. in Needham, Mass., has come under new ownership, courtesy of a transaction orchestrated by NKF Capital Markets. Acting on behalf of Normandy Real Estate Partners and Westbrook Partners, the commercial real estate advisory firm sold the approximately 247,500-square-foot property to MetLife Investment Management for $96.5 million.

89 A St. sits within Founders Park, Normandy’s 41-acre redevelopment of the former General Dynamics campus in the Route 128 submarket. Normandy commenced the transformation of 89 A St. as a speculative project in 2016 and before construction reached completion, household appliance company SharkNinja had signed a 178,000-square-foot lease to house its global headquarters in the building.

“Offering open, collaborative office space in a dynamic mixed-use location with seamless accessibility, 89 A St. enables tenants to attract and retain a modern workforce,” Matthew Pullen, an executive managing director with NKF Capital Markets, said in a prepared statement. “SharkNinja’s headquarters commitment at 89 A St. underscores this competitive advantage—the firm consolidated four locations across Needham and Newton to the property.” SharkNinja’s lease was soon followed by a commitment from Steward Health Care, which signed on for 52,000 square feet.

Along with Pullen, the NKF team representing Normandy and Westbrook in the transaction included Edward Maher, vice chairman; James Tribble, director; and Samantha Hallowell, associate director.

Suburban appeal

Boston’s CBD continues to be a favorite among office buyers, but outlying locales like Needham have their admirers, too. “Investors seeking higher yields and greater opportunities are driving suburban investment activity,” according to a second quarter 2018 report by commercial real estate services firm NAI Hunneman.

Suburban Boston properties that recently changed hands include 67 S. Bedford St., a 176,900-square-foot property in Burlington, which The Carlyle Group purchased for $55 million. The 65-acre former Reebok headquarters campus in Canton sold to Spear Street Capital in an $88 million transaction. And in another disposition arranged by NKF Capital Markets, National Development and Charles River Realty Investors sold the approximately 208,100-square-foot 101 Station Drive in Westwood to AEW Capital Management for $53.1 million.

Image courtesy of Normandy Real Estate