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WALTHAM, MA-A real estate company already entrenched in this suburban office market stronghold has beat out a number of suitors for 175 Wyman St., a vacant 335,000-sf office property that was owned briefly by the Blackstone Group following its $39-billion acquisition of Equity Office Properties Trust earlier this year. According to industry sources, Hobbs Brook Management LLC paid $38 million for the complex, or about $113 per sf.

Calls to HBM principal Donald Oldmixon and the company’s real estate consultant, Chip Batchelder of Wyman Street Advisors, were not returned by press deadline. Nonetheless, sources insist the deal has been completed. “It’s theirs,” one tells GlobeSt.com, adding that the new ownership will likely renovate the asset into modern office space. The property had been owned at one time by Hewlett Packard Co.

“It’s basically a tear-down and rebuild,” assessed one broker familiar with 175 Wyman St. The source could not estimate the amount of capital that will be required to be competitive in Waltham’s high-end office market, but predicted that HBM will be able to make the undertaking a success, citing both their local knowledge of Waltham and past development experience. Affiliated with FM Global Investors, HBM operates the Hobbs Brook Office Park in Waltham and also constructed two office buildings in Wakefield during the last building boom.

Jones Lang LaSalle negotiated the sale on behalf of the Blackstone Group. Calls to members of its investment sales team were not returned. Sources say they believe JLL also brought HBM to the deal. If the agreement has been consummated, it would have meant a rapid due diligence period of perhaps a week or less. That should not be a concern to HBM, says one source, because, “they probably know the building better than the seller” given the close proximity to HBM’s headquarters at Hobbs Brook Office Park.

Another comforting element of the deal is the market, according to industry observers, with Waltham having roared back from the recession of 2001 that kept 175 Wyman St. from realizing its potential earlier. Four new office buildings are under construction already in the city as developers respond to rising rental rates and the improved economy. One of the sources says 175 Wyman St. is poised to capture some of that demand given its presence “at the corner of Main and Main” in suburban Boston.

“Without question, that is a desirable location,” says the source, noting the highest rents in the history of suburban Boston have been logged on Wyman Street. The market is presently doing deals in the $40-per-sf range, according to GVA Williams in its first quarter 2007 suburban office report.

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