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BOSTON-Prevailing in what one broker called a “hotly contested” bidding process, Normandy Real Estate Partners has closed on a trio of office buildings in the city’s Fort Point Channel district. The assets are 273-281 Summer St. and 321 Summer St., with Normandy paying Archon Group LP $73 million for a total of 258,000 sf. The agreement was first reported by GlobeSt.com last month.

According to HFF director Coleman Benedict, the Fort Point Channel area “is poised to reposition itself as a prominent mixed-use center for housing, office space and entertainment” which he characterizes as similar to New York City’s TriBeca district. “The properties were extremely well-received by the investment community and Normandy won a hotly contested marketing process,” adds Benedict, who negotiated the deal along with HFF senior managing director Todd Stressenger and senior real estate analyst Porter Terry.

Archon invested a substantial sum into renovating 273-281 Summer St., which was originally built in 1910. Among the improvements was creating a better connection with 273 Summer St. to allow for the insertion of a modern lobby and elevators into the 281 Summer St. entrance. The nearby 321 Summer St. is a 96-year-old asset that underwent a major overhaul in 2001 by its then owners, the Boston Wharf Co. “This is a great strategic investment for Normandy into the emerging submarket and a validation for Archon’s early belief in the area’s potential,” says Benedict, whose firm provides commercial real estate and capital market services to the industry through 18 offices nationally, including the Boston operation at One Post Office Square.

Fort Point Channel once served as Boston’s manufacturing center, but during the past 25 years has undergone a transformation into primarily office space, with many of the former warehouses such as those purchased by Normandy being converted for that purpose. The fringe district has struggled on and off during that period, usually reflecting local economic conditions, but industry observers maintain the latest rebound may finally take hold. Besides Normandy, several experienced real estate investors are pouring into the market betting on that happening, among them Berkeley Investments of Boston and the recently formed Aegean Capital LLC of New York City.

Just a few blocks east of Normandy’s acquisitions is the new Boston convention center, while the Seaport District that makes up the larger part of South Boston is emerging quickly. Summer Street also provides quick access to South Station and Boston’s Financial District.

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