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BOSTON-Having last week bought another Boston office building for nearly $12 million, an investment group fueled by Irish capital has reportedly emerged victorious in a spirited competition to purchase 100 Franklin St. in the Financial District. The nine-story, 117,000-sf property is among the city’s most historically significant commercial structures, and has undergone substantial capital improvements in recent years while also changing hands three times in the past decade.

“That’s pretty good information,” one source tells GlobeSt.com of rumors that Synergy Investment & Development has outpaced a bevy of bidders vying for 100 Franklin St., which is owned by Asian entrepreneur Raymond C. Lee. Other sources concur, and say Synergy and the seller are now in negotiations and working towards a closing. Sources could not provide a price range, but a Lee spokesman had indicated in previous comments that 100 Franklin St. was expected to fetch nearly $40 million. Lee’s affiliate, Oasis Development Enterprises, acquired the building in 2004 for $19.5 million.

Cushman & Wakefield is brokering the sale for Oasis, but members of the real estate firm’s Capital Markets Group did not respond to inquiries regarding 100 Franklin St. Equally mum are officials at Boston-based Synergy, who also did not comment for the GlobeSt.com story regarding the acquisition of 100 North Washington St. for $11.7 million from A.W. Perry Co. Synergy was founded in 2005 by Irish native David Greaney and already controls several buildings close to 100 Franklin St., including 211 Congress St., 27 School St. and 141 Tremont St.

The steady pace of purchases by Synergy comes amidst a difficult stretch for the investment sales sector, and bucks anecdotal reports that Irish players are easing up on commercial real estate in New England and other US markets. Some industry watchers maintain the slowdown is a result of the Irish financial boom being interrupted, while others say safety conscious Irish funds are wary of the shaky global economy and US woes in particular. One Boston-based advisor for a heretofore active Irish group tells GlobeSt.com that his investors have opted to head for the sidelines until conditions stabilize. “It’s not for the faint of heart,” the advisor says of the 2008 investment climate.

Given the dour environment, sources say it is difficult to gauge whether the bidding for 100 Franklin St. fell near the $40 million goal, particularly at a time when buyers and sellers are said to be at odds over how much radically revised financing terms should reflect pricing. If stories of the multiple suitors for the building are accurate, it would at least indicate continued investor interest for available Boston product, which has been hard to come by during the past six months. If it were to trade for more than $35 million, 100 Franklin St. would fetch above $300 per sf, an impressive figure given the building’s age and a large block of empty retail space, previously occupied by the Boston Stock Exchange, which last year was acquired by NASDAQ.

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