X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

CAMBRIDGE, MA-One of the city’s more enduring companies has sold its headquarters here to the New Boston Fund. For $24.5 million, Abt Associates is handing over the keys of 55 Wheeler St., a 125,000-sf complex located in Cambridge’s emerging Alewife district on the western fringe of the community.

Abt Associates is an internationally known research and consulting firm that moved its operations to 55 Wheeler St. soon after being founded by namesake Clark Abt in 1965. “It seems like they have been there forever,” one veteran Cambridge broker acknowledges, but the source says Abt officials have occasionally explored alternative venues. Abt has an office in Lexington as well, part of a global workforce exceeding 1,000 professionals. The original Cambridge space was expanded several times from 1965 to 1980.

A real estate investor familiar with 55 Wheeler St. describes the property as well-maintained but somewhat outmoded in the format of low-slung buildings interconnected by passageways. The site is about 5.5 acres, says the investor. “It has a nice campus feel to it,” says the source who envisions a redevelopment as a likely strategy going forward. Abt Associates had initially sought a sale-leaseback arrangement, says the investor, but it is unclear whether the tenant did commit to remain at the site for any period.

The disposition of 55 Wheeler St. was orchestrated by Grubb & Ellis investment sales specialist Phil Giunta along with colleague George Nugent. The brokerage team “did a great job holding that deal together,” relays G&E VP of investment sales Anthony Biette, challenging given the market disruption caused by the credit crunch that has doomed several transactions in recent months. NBF VP Robert Kirschner and senior acquisitions analyst Jay Hirsh negotiated the agreement for 55 Wheeler St. on behalf of their firm. Efforts to contact Abt and NBF were unsuccessful by press deadline. Biette referred inquiries about specifics of the sale to Giunta, who also was not available.

Based in Boston’s Financial District, NBF is quite familiar with Cambridge’s Wheeler Street neighborhood, having previously owned a 130,000-sf office building one block away at 10 Fawcett St. NBF traded that six-story structure in January 2007 to an Irish group, Synergy, for $21 million. NBF recently launched its Fund VII, a $350-million vehicle touting a national platform that includes both core and value-added investments. It is the same fund that recently purchased 151 Campanelli Dr. in Middleborough, a $9.1 million sale detailed on Jan. 8 by GlobeSt.com. One document indicates NBF acquired 55 Wheeler St. through its Fund IV, a mature capital pool which has acquired assets on the east coast and in the Midwest and southern New England throughout the decade.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 3 free articles* across the ALM subscription network every 30 days
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

GlobeSt

Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.