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BOSTON-In a deal that the brokers involved are calling one of the city’s downtown area’s largest leases of the year, William Gallagher Associates is leasing 45,152 sf in Independence Wharf, which is located at 470 Atlantic Ave. The company, a provider of insurance brokerage, risk management, employee and executive benefits services to companies with complex risks, will use the space for its corporate headquarters. Lease rates for this deal were not available, but average asking rents for office space in this area is about the low to mid $40s per sf.

Frank Nelson and Gil Dailey of Cushman & Wakefield represented Independence Wharf in the transaction while Bill Motley of Spaulding & Sly represented William Gallagher Associates.

Independence Wharf is a 14-story, 336,725-sf office building that is situated on a landmark property and a historic location–the actual site of the Boston Tea Party. The building changed hands just last summer when Modern Continental Enterprises sold it to GE Asset Management. At the time, sources involved in the deal told GlobeSt.com that the building went for over $80 million. MCE, the lead contractor on the Big Dig, paid $52 million for the former factory building two years before selling it, and had it converted it to Class A office space. The building had been struggling to fill its space since its renovation. Wellington Management backed out as an anchor tenant for 52,000-sf even before the building came online.

Prior to this lease the building’s only two tenants were Duane Morris LLP and Regus Business Centers with the remaining 240,000 sf sitting vacant. “Independence Wharf has a beautiful waterfront location, with great views, and it provides us with the desired access to Boston’s Downtown Financial District,” says Chris Rourke, CFO for WGA, which also has offices in Atlanta; Columbia, MD; Princeton, NJ; and Paris. In addition, Independence Wharf also offers us an ideal layout without any business disruption and meets our future growth needs.”

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