WALTHAM, MA-Private equity firm Rubenstein Partners on Wednesday said it had closed on its acquisition of the 500,000-square-foot CenterPoint office park here in a joint venture with owner and developer Saracen Properties. The deal marks the initial investment of Rubenstein Properties Fund II LP, Rubenstein’s second value-added office real estate fund.
Philadelphia-based Rubenstein did not disclose financial terms of the acquisition in its announcement. The Boston Herald reported earlier this week that the deal, which marked original partner Trammell Crow Corp.’s exit from the JV, was worth $68 million. A TCC spokeswoman declined to comment on the newspaper account.
“The closing of this transaction represents the continued successful execution of our firm’s value-added strategy,” says David Rubenstein, senior managing principal of Rubenstein, in a statement. “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. We are enthusiastic about the rapidly expanding prospects for future investments of this nature such as CenterPoint.”
Located in the Route 128 West suburban office submarket of Boston, the three-building CenterPoint complex started life as a research and development facility for Raytheon Co., which is headquartered in Waltham. The Saracen/TCC JV, known as TC Saracen, acquired the I-Park Office Park complex for $37.5 million in late 2007 with a view toward repositioning as well as renaming it; at present much of the space has been retrofitted into what a release terms “creative class” office space.
The release states that the repositioned complex boasts efficient floor plates and high ceilings with an abundance of natural light, increasing its appeal to a variety of users including professional service, technology and marketing firms. Further, the complex is located in a transforming in-fill neighborhood with many retail and residential amenities within walking distance, as well as short drive times to the town centers of Waltham, Watertown and Newton.
“The suburban office market of Boston, with Waltham at its epicenter, has historically been an exciting place to be and that is no different today; however, there has been in a shift in the types of office space that are in demand,” says Deke Schultze, director of New England for Rubenstein, in a release. “Vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods with nearby amenities are increasing in appeal at the expense of stand-alone office parks. 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.”
This past May, Rubenstein held a first close on $113 million in equity commitments for its second value-add fund, with the ultimate goal of raising $750 million, according to SEC documents. The first such fund, Rubenstein Properties Fund, closed at $475 million in 2006.