Jamestown, an Atlanta-based real estate and investment firm that has been on a local buying spree, has purchased a pair of buildings in Cambridgeâ€™s Kendall Square fromÂ Equity OfficeÂ for $192.6 million.
The sale includes two properties totaling more than 260,000 square feet of office space, including Riverview at 245 First St., a 10-story Class A office building located above a 334-space, eight-story structured parking garage, and a six-story science facility, Cambridge Science Center, connected by a large glass atrium.
â€œKendall Square continues to be an innovation zone and be a real focus for companies in acquiring and retaining top talent in those industries,â€Â Michael Phillips, Jamestownâ€™s chief operating officer, said in an interview. â€œWe want to create more amenities and more of a focus in the building by upgrading systems and make it a place that is at the top of office and research and development.â€
This is the latest mega purchase by Jamestown. In a blockbuster deal in 2011, Jamestown bought a portfolio of 28 mixed-use properties on Newbury Street that encompass more than 219,000 square feet of street-level retail, office and residential space for $226 million. Earlier this year, Jamestown bought the Boston Design Center fromÂ Millennium PartnersÂ for $72.7 million and the adjacent Bronstein Center for $48 million. The 1.4-million-square-foot complex is located at 21, 23, and 25 Drydock Ave.
â€œWe are big believers in Boston,â€ said Phillips, whose company bought One Federal Street, the 38-story office tower in the Financial District, in 2001 for $367 and sold it in 2006 for $514 million. â€œWeâ€™ve been looking for a long time and wanted to be in Bostonâ€™s core markets in a meaningful way. Newbury Street is the retail front door, the Seaport and Innovation District is the production and design piece, and Kendall Square is clearly R&D and technology. Itâ€™s sort of a three-legged stool. They all play off each other.â€
The sale of the Cambridge offices is the latest effort by theÂ Blackstone Group, which owns Equity, to shed major pieces of the Equity portfolio.
Blackstone has already unloaded several Equity properties in the region:Â Manulife Financial Corp.Â purchased Wellesley Office Park for $237 million; New England Executive Park in Burlington was sold to Charles River Investors for $216 million, 25 Mall Road in Burlington was purchased byÂ TA AssociatesÂ for $77.1 million,Â HinesÂ bought Riverside Center at 275 Grove St. in Newton for $197 million, and 1-3 Center Plaza is under agreement withShorenstein Properties. Equity is listing 225 Franklin St. in Bostonâ€™s Financial District, the 34-story tower formerly known as the State Street building that features 916,000 square feet of Class A office space.
Blackstoneâ€™s remaining Boston-area office holdings include 60 State St. and 100 Summer St. in Bostonâ€™s Financial District, 500 Boylston St., in Bostonâ€™s Back Bay, and 125 and 150 Cambridgepark Drive in West Cambridge.
Source: Boston Business Journal