Prudential Real Estate’s New Life in Cambridge

The global real estate investment business of Prudential Financial has just grabbed a brand new luxury property for its ever-growing portfolio.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Prudential Real Estate Investors has just grabbed Twenty|20, a brand new luxury multifamily property in Cambridge, Mass., for its ever-growing portfolio. PREI, the investment business of Prudential Financial, purchased the 355-unit property from Canyon Partners Real Estate L.L.C., which developed the tower at a cost of approximately $147.3 million. The acquisition price was not disclosed.

Kevin R. Smith PREI
Kevin Smith, PREI

Twenty|20 carries the address of 20 Child St., and with its position within the 42-acre NorthPoint master-planned development project, its tenants will be able to watch a transit-oriented, 24/7 community sprout up around them. The 20-story high-rise, which also features 8,000 square feet of ground level retail, was constructed with Canyon equity as well as a construction loan funded by Wells Fargo.

Canyon wrapped up development of Twenty|20 in August, and PREI wasted precious little time taking over ownership. Given the current state of the apartment sector, there was no reason to wait; it’s a landlords’ market in Cambridge. With an average monthly rent of nearly $3,000, Cambridge, along with Intown Boston, boasts the highest average rent in metropolitan Boston, according to a second quarter study by real estate investment services firm Marcus & Millichap.

The life sciences sector has more than a little to do with Cambridge’s rising rental rates, which are spurred by rising demand. Cambridge is not the No. 1 life sciences market in the U.S.; it is the No. 1 life sciences market in the world, as noted in a report by commercial real estate services firm JLL, so job growth is on the upswing in Harvard University’s hometown, and therefore, so is demand. And, per the M&M report, job creation in the biosciences industry in the Boston area in general will remain elevated for the foreseeable future.

Kevin Smith, head of Americas for PREI, summarizes the perfect storm for Twenty|20’s success. “The Boston metro area offers solid, long-term growth prospects thanks to an expanding job market and a thriving biotechnology and pharmaceutical presence, and we expect that Twenty|20 will benefit from the transformation of NorthPoint into a dynamic, urban ‘live-work-play’ community over the coming years,” Smith said in a prepared statement.