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BOSTON-An old schoolhouse that is now one of the city’s most exclusive retail locations has been sold for $42.6 million to a group of private international investors. The deal ranks among the most expensive acquisitions on trendy Newbury Street.

The sale of 201 Newbury St., arranged by Anglo-Irish Bank for a group of unidentified Irish-based investors, gives the new owners 24,993 sf of retail space that is more than 91% leased to a number of specialty apparel stores, including Betsy Johnson, American Eagle Outfitters, the Gap and Adriano Goldschmied. Cushman & Wakefield’s Boston office represented the seller, the Abbey Group, of Boston, which developed the five-story mixed-use building several years ago.

Paul Stanislas, who handles retail transactions for Grubb & Ellis’ Boston office, tells GlobeSt.com that with a sales price of about $1,680 per sf, the building is among the priciest acquisitions on Newbury Street.

“There are very few streets that are any better,” he says, adding that the property, located near Exeter Street, offers tremendous upside potential to generate solid long-term rents for the new owners. Rents along Newbury Street, one of Boston’s priciest retail locations, recently hit a high of $165 per sf, although 201 Newbury St. probably commands between $100 and $120 per sf, he says.

Newbury Street ranks among the most expensive shopping areas in the nation. Its high rents and upscale offerings place it in the top five exclusive retail streets in the US, which include Rodeo Drive, in Beverly Hills, CA, North Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Madison Avenue in New York City and Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, FL, Stanislas says.

Originally built as a schoolhouse in 1875, the property was redeveloped by the Abbey Group in 1986 into street-level retail space and residential condominiums. No improvements are planned for the property, which has had all its interior systems and roof recently replaced, an official with Anglo-Irish Bank said in an email. Neither the Abbey Group nor Anglo-Irish Bank returned calls from GlobeSt.com in time for deadline.

In a statement released by the bank, president and CEO Tony Campbell says, “This well-located, trophy asset will make this long-term investment a very strong addition to their globally diversified portfolio,” adding that the bank has worked with the buyers on a number of other high-profile acquisitions.

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