BOSTON-The Blackstone Group‘s divestiture of its Greater Boston office portfolio continued this past week with the sale of the nine-story, three-building Center Plaza in Boston’s Government Center district. Shorenstein Properties LLC, the buyer of the 717,128-square foot property, did not say how much it paid to acquire Center Plaza from Blackstone; a source familiar with the deal confirms published reports that Shorenstein paid $307 million.
“This is an excellent property to own in a market with strong appeal to a wide range of tenants, including those looking for creative, open floor environments in urban settings close to transit and amenities,” says Douglas Shorenstein, chairman and CEO of San Francisco-based Shorenstein. “We believe this property is well positioned to benefit from our ability to add value over time through hands-on management and leasing expertise.”
Shorenstein acquired Center Plaza on behalf of its 10th fund, Shorenstein Realty Investors Ten LP, which it formed in 2010 with $1.233 billion of committed capital. The property, which includes 620,000 square feet of office and 77,000 square feet of retail as well as a 575-space parking garage, is Shorenstein’s fourth acquisition in the Boston market since embarking on its fund format in the early 1990s, and the second local acquisition for Fund Ten.
Center Plaza was developed in phases by Beacon Properties Corp. in the late 1960s and early 1970s; the developer was later sold to Equity Office Properties in a $2.9-billion deal. When Blackstone in turn acquired EOP in 2007, the private equity giant inherited a sizable Boston-area portfolio, much of which has now been sold.
Prior to divesting Center Plaza, Blackstone in December sold Wellesley Office Park, a 649,184-square-foot office park in suburban Wellesley, MA, to Manulife Financial Corp.’s John Hancock division for $237 million. Other recent sales have included New England Executive Park in Burlington, MA to Charles River Investors for $216 million; 25 Mall Road in Burlington to TA Associates for $77.1 million; and Riverside Center at 275 Grove St. in Newton, MA to Hines for $197 million.