Skanska Scores $95M on Sale of Cambridge Life Sciences Building

One year after completing the approximately $70 million development of 150 Second St., a laboratory and office property in the bustling life sciences hub that is Cambridge, Mass., Skanska has sold the property to Alexandria Real Estate Equities for $95 million.

150 Second Street

One year after completing the approximately $70 million development of 150 Second St., a laboratory and office property in the bustling life sciences hub that is Cambridge, Mass., Skanska has sold the 123,200-square-foot property to Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. for roughly $95 million.

Twelve-month holds aren’t always the most profitable these days, but Skanska believes the timing was right for 150 Second’s trade. “We are always monitoring the strength of the market and we had a lot of interest and feedback from the investor community that this was a good time,” Mark McGowan, director of development with Skanska USA, told Commercial Property Executive. “In general, we look to stabilize, and the market was favorable for us.”

Sited in the Kendall Square area of Cambridge, 150 Second garners its share of attention. The three-story building is 85 percent leased to a bevy of tenants, including Foundation Medicine, which committed to 61,500 square feet in what was Cambridge’s largest lease transaction in the first quarter of 2013, and bluebird bio, which signed on for 43,586 square feet in July. Skanska apparently had its finger on the pulse when it acquired the land for the self-financed 150 Second project in 2010.

“Kendall Square is, in our view, one of the world’s leading biotech clusters and when we saw this opportunity we were excited about it just because of what we felt the market strength and long-term value in Cambridge is,” McGowan added. “So the investment thesis was to deliver a Class A office and lab facility for tenants of generally the smaller size and that’s what we ended up delivering.”

Skanska also delivered on the green factor, with LEED Platinum certification. Among the sustainable development features at 150 Second are an underground rainwater storage and filtration system and a landscaped rain garden. “Skanska is committed to LEED because it represents the highest commitment to sustainable building performance and design, and we believe that drive towards excellence is valued by our tenants,” said McGowan.

Skanska is a big fan of Bean Town so the disposition of 150 Second is hardly indicative of a shying away from the City. In March 2012, the company joined forces with Twining Properties on the acquisition of a parcel that will become home to the Watermark Seaport residential tower. Additionally, just before the close of 2012, Skanska acquired a parcel for the 101 Seaport project and acquired the adjacent parcel  that will become home to the Watermark Seaport residential tower. Additionally, just before the close of 2012, Skanska acquired a parcel for the 101 Seaport project and acquired the adjacent parcel in November of 2013.