CAMBRIDGE, MA-A block of buildings in this city’s Central Square has been sold to the principals of Meritage Properties. The assets were sold by local businessman Arnold Goldstein, and include 479, 485 and 493 Massachusetts Ave., as well as 49 Bishop Allen Dr.

Efforts to contact Meritage principal Andrew Nathan at his office in Scarsdale, NY and the sellers by press deadline were not successful. The Massachusetts Avenue buildings traded for $9.5 million, while 49 Bishop Allen Dr. and 30 Fisk Place went for $575,000. The acquisitions were financed with an $8-million loan from Wells Fargo Bank.

It is unclear how much of an association Meritage has with the entity that acquired the Cambridge buildings, but Nathan and Meritage principal Arthur DellaSalla are listed as directors of that group, 485 Mass Ave. Holdings LLC. The most prominent asset owned locally by Meritage is 18 Tremont St. in Boston, a 12-story, 202,000-sf office building near Government Center. The firm is in the process of selling that property, which it acquired in 2005.

The Central Square purchase comes amidst a renaissance for the business district, an area which had economic difficulties in the 1990s before such mixed-use projects as University Park at MIT arrived to bring new businesses such as medical research there. More recently, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG has infused the area by occupying more than one million sf in several buildings on Massachusetts Avenue, while investors have turned to overhauling properties in the retail section of Central Square. Arnold Goldstein has been a long-time presence in the area, and has been active in the Central Square Business Association.

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