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BOSTON-One of Boston’s newest office towers is going on the sales block–again. Since its completion in 2003, the 36-story, one-million-sf structure has changed hands multiple times, and in each instance at record highs for New England on a square footage basis. According to sources, current owner Fortis Property Group is now hoping the magic will spin once more, aiming for a level approaching $1 billion. If that lofty 10-figure milestone were achieved, the price would amount to $961 per sf.

“The way things are going, maybe,” one observer says of the prospects for achieving such a return, and most concur $900 million-plus should be attainable. The tower last sold in December to New York City-based Fortis for $889 million, or close to $854 per sf. The marketing campaign is sailing into the teeth of a fickle financing climate, and super-sized transactions are considered the most vulnerable to a prolonged downturn. But some observers note that foreign investors, major pension funds and all-cash buyers are not as affected by the debt disruption that took hold nationally this summer as are those requiring highly leveraged loans.

In any event, sources claim the new ownership has opted to test the financial waters, and say Eastdil Secured’s Boston office has been selected to handle the assignment. A broker in the Boston office declined comment when contacted by GlobeSt.com, while calls to the firm’s headquarters in New York City were not returned by press deadline. Sources insist that Eastdil is brokering the deal, however.

One Lincoln St. is one of the few office towers constructed in the city after the market crashed under a glut of space in the early 1990s. The tower was originally conceived in the 1980s as a way to spread investment to the inner city, with the developers required to erect another commercial building in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood. While that initiative was eventually realized, One Lincoln St. foundered until the Gale Co. stepped into the picture in 1999 and teamed with the controlling partnership to get the site permitted and land an anchor tenant. The latter goal was achieved when State Street Corp. preleased the entire building.

Bolstered by the strong credit tenant, Gale and its partners cashed out in February 2004, selling to American Financial Realty Trust for $705 million. That Pennsylvania-based REIT then divested a minority stake to Canadian-based IPC US Income Commercial REIT later that year for $60.3 million, and those firms held the asset until selling to Fortis in late 2006.

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