Verizon Pockets $192M in Sale of Boston HQ

Kennedy Associates has taken the 22-story office tower at 185 Franklin Street in Boston off the hands of Verizon Communications Inc. in a deal valued at $192 million. But Verizon is not walking away from the six-decade-old property completely. The telecommunications company will continue to own 100,000 square feet of the building, which has a total 700,000 square feet of rentable office space, and will lease back the remaining 600,000 square feet from Kennedy under a short-term agreement. Sited in Beantown’s bustling Financial District, the art deco-style structure at 185 Franklin (pictured) originally served as the headquarters of New England Telephone & Telegraph Co. Kennedy has charged real estate development and investment firm Commonwealth Ventures with overseeing management of the building, which will undergo substantial renovations, including the addition of 60,000 square feet of retail space, as well as repositioning to accommodate multiple tenants. Additionally, the new ownership will pursue LEED certification for the property. The disposition of Verizon’s Boston headquarters building dovetails with the company’s ongoing corporate strategy of evaluating its real estate requirements in an effort to maximize use and reduce operating expenses. “We are constantly assessing our business needs and how our real estate portfolio fits into them, and we make certain moves when they make sense,” a Verizon spokesperson told CPN. Real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis Inc. represented Kennedy in the transaction. Headquartered in Seattle, Kennedy is the largest private real estate advisor in the country. The company is a leader in Responsible Property Investing, incorporating the consideration of environmental and social consequences into its investment platform. Presently, Kennedy’s portfolio of completed or in-progress LEED projects is valued at approximately $2.5 billion.