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CAMBRIDGE, MA-The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is apparently zeroing in on more of its home turf, with sources claiming the academic institution is on the verge of acquiring two laboratory buildings in the city’s CambridgePort district. The buildings at 185 and 195 Albany St. were put on the market earlier this year by members of the Stimpson family, a local clan whose presence in the area dates to the early 1900s.

According to sources, MIT is close to striking a deal for 185 and 195 Albany St., side-by-side brick structures that were put on the block earlier this year by Meredith & Grew. The so-called Cambridge Life Sciences portfolio also included 148 and 149 Sidney St., but Lisa Campoli, head of the M&G’s investment sales group, says those two assets have been separated from the Albany Street offerings, and it is not clear how they will be handled.

Campoli did indicate that the Albany Street assets are still being traded, but declined to say whether MIT was a candidate to secure the buildings. Campoli would also not provide an asking price. The assessed value of the two assets is just under $20 million. Inquiries to MIT fomented an e-mail response in which officials indicate there is interest in the opportunity, but would not elaborate. In the e-mail, an official relays that, “MIT, as a course of business, looks at properties that are for sale in Cambridge,” but further stresses that, “MIT, also as a course of business, does not comment on any potential negotiations or potential acquisitions of real estate, and thus will not comment on the Stimpson properties.”

Despite the silence, sources insist MIT is the frontrunner for 185 and 195 Albany St., with one broker maintaining that the institution is actively conducting due diligence on the properties. Should the deal proceed, a closing is anticipated by year’s end, sources relay.

Divestment of the Albany Street assets continues a process of rebirth for CambridgePort from an industrially intensive area into one chock full of life sciences and pharmaceutical firms feeding off the nearby East Cambridge business district and schools including MIT and Harvard University. Many of the commercial assets in CambridgePort were originally built by the Stimpson family, which owned the Stimpson Terminal Co. there for many decades beginning in 1919. The family constructed many of the two- and three-story properties lining the district, in the past 20 years focusing on the real estate aspect of their holdings. Several of those buildings were traded during the past year to Alexandria Real Estate Equities, the California REIT.

MIT has also been aggressive pursuing Cambridge product, having been a partner in the University Park at MIT mixed-use complex that is intertwined with the CambridgePort properties. The school also acquired Technology Square before trading the majority of that to Alexandria last year, and last month created a ground-lease arrangement with Alexandria that gives the school a long-time stake in several local buildings, including a number of those that Alexandria acquired from Stimpson, including 99 Erie St.

Whatever the sale price turns out to be, the transaction will mark another substantial assignment for M&G’s investment sales team. The group has orchestrated a flurry of deals recently, including the $30-million sale of 30 Winter St., a 97,000-sf office building in Downtown Boston, and BlackRock Realty’s $14-million purchase of 121 High St., another Financial District asset. M&G also quietly negotiated a $39-million sale of 419,000 sf in several Braintree buildings that closed this summer. That deal at 1515 Washington St. in South Braintree gave NPV Direct Invest control of the multi-building flex/industrial complex after being owned long-term by the Flatley Co.

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