Rubenstein Acquires 500 KSF Boston-Metro Office Portfolio

Rubenstein Partners purchased CenterPoint, a 500,000-square-foot office park in Waltham, Mass., for $68 million in a JV partnership with Saracen Properties.

By Gail Kalinoski¸Contributing Editor

Rubenstein Partners purchased CenterPoint, a 500,000-square-foot office park in Waltham, Mass., for $68 million in a joint-venture partnership with Saracen Properties. The deal is the first investment in the firm’s second value-added office real estate fund – Rubenstein Properties Fund II, L.P.

The 24-acre property consists of two office buildings – 41 Seyon Place and 43 Foundry Ave. – and a self-storage facility at 190 Willow St., Deke Schultze, director of New England for Rubenstein, told Commercial Property Executive. Schultze said Rubenstein and Saracen were not currently planning new construction at the site located in a Boston suburb.

Saracen, a Waltham-based commercial real estate company that provides development, construction, investment acquisition and property management services, originally purchased CenterPoint in a joint venture with Trammell Crow Co. The site was built in the 1970s as a research and development facility for Raytheon Co., which is no longer a tenant. Saracen has been redeveloping and retrofitting the buildings into “creative class” office space. It is also located near the town centers of Waltham, Watertown and Newtown, Mass., in a rapidly improving section of the Route 128 West submarket of Boston. A press release from Saracen and Philadelphia-based Rubenstein noted that this kind of space is seeking increased demand from a variety of users including professional services, technology and marketing firms.

“We are extremely excited about the prospects for the future with Rubenstein Partners as we continue to expand the repositioning efforts at CenterPoint,” Ted Saraceno, president of Saracen Properties, said in the release. “It has been a dramatic transformation to date and with all this happening in the neighborhood in regards to retail and residential development, we are posted to see this transformation continue into the future.”

Schultze noted in the release that there had been a shift in the type of suburban office space sought by companies today.

“Vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods with nearby amenities are increasing in appeal at the expense of standalone office parks,” he said. “CenterPoint appears to be positioned perfectly to capitalize on this trend, which we believe will only intensify as more and more tenants look creatively to drive corporate performance through their use of office space.”

David Rubenstein, senior managing partner of Rubenstein Partners, said in the release that the transaction is part of the private real estate management and advisory firm’s execution of its value-added strategy.

“It was made possible by our continued commitment to penetrate markets throughout a broad geographic area, including gateway markets such as Boston, by leveraging our in-house regional directors in conjunction with local operating partners,” Rubenstein concluded. “We are enthusiastic about the rapidly expanding prospects for future investments of this nature such as CenterPoint.”

Rubenstein has been selling lately as well. Last month, the firm sold 64 and 68 Perimeter Center East, a two-building office and data center in the Central Perimeter submarket of Atlanta, to Wells Core Office Income REIT for $118.5 million. Rubenstein had owned the 584,000-square-foot complex since 2007. In November, Rubenstein and its joint venture partner Trinity Capital Advisors sold NASCAR Plaza, a 20-story, 395,000-square-foot office tower in Charlotte, N.C., to Parkway Properties for approximately $100 million.

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