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BOSTON-Capital clamoring for real estate has a substantial investment to pursue in the new year, thanks to retention of NAI Hunneman Commercial Co. to market a 13-building mixed-use portfolio situated in several prime Boston neighborhoods. The holdings encompass 130 residential units and four units of retail. The latter element is on Newbury Street, the region’s renowned shopping destination.

“It’s a fascinating opportunity,” NAI Hunneman principal David Ross tells GlobeSt.com. “We think it is going to generate top dollar even in this marketplace.” The sales climate has certainly chilled in many parts of the country and for some product types, but Ross says multifamily remains popular, particularly for core assets such as those contained in what is being termed the Boston Apartment Portfolio.

While unusual due to the scattered geographic reach, the package is tied together by one management agent in BRW that has ensured all of the buildings have been maintained to a high degree, explains Ross. “They’ve done a wonderful job,” he says. Another constant is the pedigree of the locations, which besides the Back Bay include Beacon Hill, the Fenway and the South End. “Newbury Street and the Back Bay are still on fire,” Ross says, noting that record pricing continues to be achieved in those districts. More than $200 million of property sales occurred on Newbury Street alone last year, and Ross predicts 173 and 314 Newbury St. will receive similarly strong interest, as suggested by the initial response.

“The phone is ringing off the hook,” says Ross, who is peddling the package as part of NAI Hunneman’s Investment Sales Group. Others tackling the assignment are colleagues Gina Barroso, Carl Christie, Dan McGee, Amy Szeto and Robert Tito. The portfolio is being pitched without an asking price, and bidders are welcomed to make offers on all 13 buildings or on individual pieces.

The largest property is 211 Park Dr. in the Fenway, which has 23 residential units, followed by 21 units at 384 Commonwealth Ave. and 19 units at 80 the Fenway. Other addresses are 12 Arundel St., 583 Beacon St., 116 Marlborough St., 28 Montgomery St., 51 Phillips St., 96 and 196 St. Botolph St. and 15 St. Germain. Gross square footage of the portfolio is 126,000 sf. Fifty apartments are one-bedrooms, 35 are two-bedrooms, 25 are studios, 15 are three-bedrooms and five have four bedrooms.

Although the portfolio could be sliced up, Ross says he believes there are investors who might consider buying the entire swath as a way to quickly ramp up a presence in Boston. Having just attended the Commercial Mortgage Securities Association Florida meeting, Ross concurs that the start of 2008 is fraught with question marks throughout the industry, but says NAI Hunneman is confident of another solid campaign after a record 2007 for the ISG. “We like what we see so far,” he says, with New England seemingly poised for a better year than some regions, especially tertiary markets.

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