BOSTON-The KBS family of companies has made its largest acquisition in metro Boston since 2008, with KBS Strategic Opportunity REIT buying 50 Congress St. here for $51 million. The century-old, landmark office property in Boston’s financial district had been owned and managed by the Burlington, MA-based Nordblom Co. for more than six decades.
In a release, Nordblom president Peter Nordblom calls 50 Congress “a gem of a building, and while the sale is the end of our long association with the property, it is another new beginning for the Nordblom Co. We are particularly delighted with the community of companies within the building and pleased to be selling the property to such a quality operator.” HFF marketed the property and brokered the sale to KBS, according to the release.
Separately, Shep Wainwright, SVP of acquisitions at Newport Beach, CA-based KBS Capital Advisors LLC, the REIT’s external advisor, cites the 10-story, 179-872 square foot property’s “high ceiling and exceptional natural lighting” as draws. He adds that KBS Capital has hired Richards Barry Joyce & Partners to handle leasing at the property, “and we look forward to working with all tenant-rep brokers in the market.”
Currently it’s 88% occupied, with a tenant roster of more than 50 companies. Tenants at 50 Congress include high-end gym Fisique and private trustee firms Rice, Heard & Bigelow and Nichols & Pratt. Availabilities include office suites ranging from 1,000 square feet to 6,000 square feet, with one 6,000-square-foot space on the top floor.
Although 50 Congress is the first acquisition for KBS Strategic Opportunity REIT, KBS-affiliated companies currently own three other Boston-area assets. In December 2006, KBS REIT bought 825 University Ave., a 166,574-square-foot R&D building in Norwood, MA, from Cabot, Cabot & Forbes of New England for $28.8 million. The following month, KBS Realty Advisors paid Prospectus about $29.6 million for the 133,731-square-foot 625 Mount Auburn St. in Cambridge, MA.
KBS REIT bought the two-building Rivertech Park from New Boston Fund for $5.2 million in February ’08. The 285,772-square-foot industrial complex is located in Billerica, MA.
Nordblom’s president says in a release that a substantial portion of the sale proceeds from 50 Congress will be going to a charitable foundation. “The funding of the foundation is the result of several generations’ efforts and the estate planning by Rodger Nordblom, who wanted the family to continue a legacy of contribution to the community,” he says. “A professional advisory team will be developing a strategic plan for the foundation to implement this vision.” Rodger Nordblom, who in 1950 joined the family business and eventually took the helm of the company, died this past February at age 85.