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FRAMINGHAM, MA-On a square-footage basis, the inaugural buy for Legacy Real Estate Ventures was a tad on the high side, accedes president Michael Price, but he nonetheless defends the $7.3-million acquisition of 260 Cochituate Rd. as a prudent investment by the Waltham-based firm. A 10-year, 13,000-sf lease with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center accentuates the stability of the 26,000-sf property, says Price, a big believer in assets sporting a healthcare element to the tenant roster.

“We paid a lot for the bricks and mortar, but the building has strong credit and solid leasing, plus it’s a great location,” explains Price. Built in 1963, 260 Cochituate Rd. was renovated in 1994 into high-end office space. The upper level of the two-story structure is leased to Barr & Barr Construction. Financing of $5.4 million to acquire the building was secured through TD BankNorth.

While ebullient about Legacy’s purchase of 260 Cochituate Rd., Price expresses frustration at hesitance among many sellers to recognize the changed credit market, maintaining that underwriting is too rigid to accept their financial expectations. That supposed intransigence and a lack of quality product has made for challenging conditions cementing deals, says Price, whose firm was launched this year as detailed in GlobeSt.com’s Jan. 9 issue. Focused on Greater Boston, Price says viable investments are scant commodities in the area, and he fears deal flow will remain constricted over the near term. “You have to dig hard these days for any opportunity,” he says, calling the 260 Cochituate Rd. process “very competitive.”

Coupled with a pair of unnamed deals presently under agreement, the Framingham acquisition makes for a successful start to Legacy’s platform as the first quarter ends, says Price. Cushman & Wakefield senior director Frank Nelson negotiated the transaction, representing seller Murphy & McManus and procuring the buyer. A veteran Boston broker, Nelson is a member of C&W’s Healthcare Practice Group, while Murphy & McManus is an experienced developer of healthcare related space. The Needham-based company had owned 260 Cochituate Rd. since buying it for $3.9 million in 2001.

Beth Israel’s lease has already commenced, and Price says he anticipates the institution will occupy the building’s first floor over the near term. Price also revealed that Eastport Real Estate has been named property manager of 260 Cochituate Rd.

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