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Old 02-28-2008, 07:25 AM   #41
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Re: Real Estate Deals

I confused. I thought large floor plates were a good thing? I thought that's why all new building "have" to be landscapers, so they can have large floor plates?

I'm surprised the windows are a big deal. I guess they are kind of small but it never seems dark in the building. they maybe talking about the blank wall on High St. Behind that wall is the rear fire stairway and bathrooms. It would be a MAJOR rehab to move that stuff. Of course it was a stupid decision to put the bathrooms on an outside wall to begin with.

That said, while as an urbanist I'm glad that a building in such a prominent location is getting a shot at a major rehab, my inner NIMBY secretly still hopes they don't sell.

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Old 02-28-2008, 08:16 AM   #42
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Re: Real Estate Deals

From the SCL thread:

Quote:
Technical complications due to the existing buildings? bearing and fire wall locations and differing floor levels will not allow for large unencumbered floor plates necessary for a feasible contemporary office building in any of the options that reused the existing buildings.
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:01 AM   #43
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Re: Real Estate Deals

I really hope that who ever buys it (when ever) they rehab it and add something like a glass tower to the top. 18 stories right at Post Office Sq. is too short and a well designed top would look fantastic with the Art Deco base. I'd say look at the new Hearst Tower in NYC but I actually loath that building. There needs to be something lighter on the top of the Verizon building.
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:06 AM   #44
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Re: Real Estate Deals

How much of this building is now used for offices, and how much for switching equipment? Isn't the latter part where the windows aren't?
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:05 PM   #45
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Re: Real Estate Deals

This is the perfect place for a building such as this:




Last edited by briv; 02-28-2008 at 07:51 PM. Reason: I fixed the image link in this post.
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:31 PM   #46
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Re: Real Estate Deals

I agree. It (99 Church St, downtown NYC) is a great design in its own right, but it'd work especially well sitting atop an art deco pile.

(too bad that design has since been changed and will never get built)
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Old 03-03-2008, 12:21 PM   #47
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Re: Real Estate Deals

Verizon is an the ideal site for a Super Tall -- the lower part of the building can be dedicated to restaurants, shops, meeting center, athletic club, movie theater complex, communications / computers and hotel services ? all functions where you don't need many windows. All of this totally new infrastructure would be carved out from the existing Art Deco masterpiece ? a la Novartis from Necco in Cambridge.

Another possible use of the base would be aa a much better location for some of the stuff that was planned for the Greenway such has the ?New Center for Culture? or the ?Boston Museum? ? again stuff that doesn?t really need windows.

Above the existing building the new tower can be devoted to offices, hotel and apartments

I think a slim 80 story glass tower set back away from Franklin St. and possibly at an angle to the street or perhaps having a convex curved facade would be fit quite well on top of the marvelous base. Who wouldn?t want to live across the street from the Post Office Square Park

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Old 03-03-2008, 01:08 PM   #48
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Re: Real Estate Deals

Quote:
Originally Posted by statler View Post
I confused. I thought large floor plates were a good thing? I thought that's why all new building "have" to be landscapers, so they can have large floor plates?

I'm surprised the windows are a big deal. I guess they are kind of small but it never seems dark in the building. they maybe talking about the blank wall on High St. Behind that wall is the rear fire stairway and bathrooms. It would be a MAJOR rehab to move that stuff. Of course it was a stupid decision to put the bathrooms on an outside wall to begin with.

That said, while as an urbanist I'm glad that a building in such a prominent location is getting a shot at a major rehab, my inner NIMBY secretly still hopes they don't sell.
Hey Do you work on 185 Franklin Street ?
I do !
ha ha Small world as they say.
and yeah I hope they don't sell the building either.
I kinda like it in here : )
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:14 PM   #49
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Re: Real Estate Deals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Newman View Post
How much of this building is now used for offices, and how much for switching equipment? Isn't the latter part where the windows aren't?
There is a Ton of empty useless wasted space in this building.
There are 18 Floors in 185 Franklin but as you can see from the Art Deccoish of it the top floors are pretty useless.
and for the most part every floor is empty.
It would be in the best interest of the company to sell the building.
There are people on every floor but not many.
Like for instance on my floor ( Floor 11)
There are about a hundred of us but there are like a ton of empty seats.

At the Sides (Congress Street) and (Pearl Street) there are scary empty cubes. Like a whole office just upped and left its creepy.

We are in the Back on High Street Side.
And up front on Franklin street there is a small office about 20 people.

Crazy not to sell it. ...
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:25 PM   #50
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Re: Real Estate Deals

From what I've been able to figure out (GMACK might have more info), there is still quite a bit of switching & toll equipment left on the 2nd & 4th floor, plus some on the 1st floor (in addition to the satellite/microwave equipment on the roof.)
As this is a large communications 'hub' for the city (and possibly the east coast) moving all that equipment would be a massive project (actually, moving the equipment is easy, moving all the lines that feed into the equipment is a monumental feat.)
As such, the new owners will probably need to lease quite a bit of the building back to Verizon for the foreseeable future and that could hamper any large scale redevelopment efforts.
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:42 PM   #51
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Re: Real Estate Deals

Quote:
Originally Posted by whighlander View Post
Verizon is an the ideal site for a Super Tall
I'm with you 100%
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:02 PM   #52
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Re: Real Estate Deals

Not to kill anyone's buzz, but I'm thinking that the 'Friends of Post Office Square' would put a huge fight over anything that may cast more of a (god forbid) shadow on their beloved park.
And yes, despite being surrounded by tall buildings it does still get quite a bit of sunlight, a lot of which comes over 185 Franklin.
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:06 PM   #53
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Re: Real Estate Deals

Could the moderator break off all of the Verizon-related posts into a separate thread?
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:55 PM   #54
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Re: Real Estate Deals

Quote:
Originally Posted by statler View Post
From what I've been able to figure out (GMACK might have more info), there is still quite a bit of switching & toll equipment left on the 2nd & 4th floor, plus some on the 1st floor (in addition to the satellite/microwave equipment on the roof.)
As this is a large communications 'hub' for the city (and possibly the east coast) moving all that equipment would be a massive project (actually, moving the equipment is easy, moving all the lines that feed into the equipment is a monumental feat.)
As such, the new owners will probably need to lease quite a bit of the building back to Verizon for the foreseeable future and that could hamper any large scale redevelopment efforts.
I believe that is the plan.
They want to sell the building but keep the equipment in the building lease a portion back to Verizon so they can keep the Cable / Pairs here. I mean there are still Thousands of Phone lines in this area that need to be addressed.

As you said yes there is still a ton of switching cages for other Phone companies and so per the FCC yes Verizon needs to keep all this equipment in this building.
And yes you are correct. In regards to the switching info.

And most likely will remain in some fashion should the building be sold.
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:03 AM   #55
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Re: Real Estate Deals

perhaps this thread's title should be changed to "Real Estate Deals, or lack thereof"

Quote:
Commercial RE sales grind to halt

Boston Business Journal
by Denise Magnell
Friday, April 11, 2008

The market for Boston's downtown office buildings cratered during the first three months of this year, posting a 98.7 percent year-over-year drop in sales as the credit crunch took its toll on what was a blistering market just a year ago.

The city saw $57.3 million in office-building sales during the three-month period, compared to $4.3 billion a year ago. Total commercial sales -- which included offices, retail, apartments, industrial and hotel properties -- fell 97 percent to $152.6 million during the quarter, compared to $5.2 billion in the same period in 2007, according to figures from Real Capital Analytics, a real estate research firm in New York.

"There's been a significant disconnect between buyers and sellers in the market," said Dan Fasulo, managing director of research at Real Capital Analytics. "Sellers are not willing to reduce their prices, and anytime there's a standoff, there's going to be a significant drop-off in commercial activity.

"What our savior is in this down market is that Boston doesn't have an over supply of office buildings and that keeps rents and occupancy high."

Throughout Greater Boston, there were $144.8 million in office sales, a 97.5 percent drop from $5.7 billion a year ago; total commercial sales accounted for $767.3 million in first quarter this year, compared to $7.7 billion during the same period in 2007.

That represented a 90-percent decline for all commercial sales in Greater Boston.

The first-quarter figures for 2007 were skewed by the $3.8 billion spent for two dozen commercial buildings in Greater Boston when Blackstone Group LP purchased Equity Office Properties Trust in a $39 billion leveraged buyout.

The Boston portion of the buyout accounted for more than half of the office sales in greater Boston that quarter. Fourteen of the buildings were in downtown Boston, many considered trophy properties.

But even if those big deals had not occurred, the drop-off would be profound. Without factoring in the Blackstone effect, all commercial sales in Greater Boston would be down by nearly 80 percent, and office building sales in particular would still be down by 92.4 percent.

Real estate executives are hopeful the market could right itself by summer.

"There's been a dramatic decline in the number of transactions, both in opportunities to buy as well as actual sales," said Scott Jamieson, managing director of capital markets group at Jones Lang LaSalle in Boston. "But I don't see this inactivity as being protracted. By summer, we'll see both buyers and sellers again."

Holding back

For now, industry experts say investors continue to hold back due to a tight credit market and an aversion to big, risky deals.

William Moylan, senior vice president and partner at CB Richard Ellis/New England, said he's seen "a 5 (percent) to 15 percent decline in pricing."But he said his firm has about 18 commercial property listings in Greater Boston right now, compared to a dozen in late 2007.

Moylan doesn't attribute the sales slowdown strictly to the weakened credit market. Because so much property changed hands in the last two years, he said, the new owners of major commercial properties may choose not to sell for a while.

Moylan said brokers can adapt to a down cycle in the market by advising their clients on financing alternatives. "They need to engage the building-owners in a discussion about whether they want to refinance, or recapitalize, or maybe seek new partnerships," he said.

Some attractive properties have been put into play. In February, two Financial District office buildings went on the market -- One Federal Street, a 38-story building owned by New York-based Tishman Speyer Properties LP, and 100 Franklin St., a nine-story building owned by Oasis Development Enterprises.

Tishman Speyer Properties LP bought One Federal Street two years ago for $514 million in a robust market.

But 100 Franklin St., on the other hand, was bought by Oasis for $19.5 million in 2004 for what was considered a discounted price as the region's recession lingered.

Cushman & Wakefield of Massachusetts Inc., is the broker for both properties.

Jones Lang LaSalle's Jamieson said investor confidence will have to be restored before any real movement takes place in commercial sales again.

"There's ample capital that has been raised with the single purpose of investing in commercial real estate, but investors' advisers are telling them to wait," he explained. "What signals the end of that no one knows for sure."

Denise Magnell can be reached at denisemagnell@bizjournals.com.
http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/ot...145600^1618450
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:21 PM   #56
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Re: Real Estate Deals

Lease turnovers may mean expanded business district

Boston Business Journal - by Denise Magnell
Friday, July 18th, 2008

After 18 months of scouting locations citywide for her luxury home furnishings showroom, Caroline Morson knew a good deal when she saw it: the ground-floor retail space at Lincoln Plaza, a high-end condo project in Boston?s Leather District.

The Morson Collection opened in June on a 15-year lease within walking distance of upscale housing that, in years to come, will stretch clear to the water?s edge.

?We knew full well what was going on in this area,? said Morson, whose business previously was located in the Park Square area. ?There?s sophisticated residential living here now, and we?ll be very much in the center of things in a few years, 360 degrees around where we parked the store.?

By 2011, as many leases come due for the 3.3 million square feet of Class A commercial space in downtown Boston, the city?s business community could reach from the Financial District to a revitalized Downtown Crossing, an up-and-coming waterfront and nearby areas of reclaimed land from the Big Dig.

But ?could reach? are the operative words here. It remains anyone?s guess how many will choose to keep paying top dollar to stay in the Financial District, or get in on ground-floor rates for new construction during the coming three years.

?The increased rents and declining vacancy rates for Class A space downtown will probably go on for another two years,? said David Begelfer, CEO of the state?s chapter of National Association of Industrial and Office Properties. ?But with all the projects planned on Washington Street, near South Station, Russia Wharf, and Fan Pier, we?ll have the largest amount of space coming on the market in 10 years.?

Downtown rents for tower space average nearly $70 per square foot, but it is not unusual for landlords to charge $85 to $90 for premium buildings, say real estate experts. Single-digit vacancy rates have been a major contributor to the high rents downtown.

In recent years, the Back Bay has drawn large law firms and corporate tenants, most notably, Ropes & Gray LLP, which is moving in 2010 from International Place to 400,000 square feet in the Prudential Tower.

On the other hand, Bingham McCutchen LLP chose to stay in the heart of the Financial District, moving across the street in May from 150 Federal St. to One Federal.

Bingham signed a 15-year lease in 2005, and spent two years preparing the 315,000 square feet it occupies on 13 floors, nearly one-third of the building.

?For a large tenant, the options are limited in downtown Boston if you?re looking for contiguous space as we were when we started the process,? said Toni Belding, Bingham?s chief real estate and facilities officer. ?Anyone looking for 150,000 to 200,000 square feet would be in the same position now.?

Developer Joseph Fallon?s project under way at Fan Pier and Gale International?s Seaport Square, in the permitting phase, comprise nearly 10 million square feet of mixed-use development near the water.

But few large-scale tenants have taken the plunge, as Wellington Management Co. LLP did in April, when it signed on for most of the office space at Russia Wharf ? 450,000 square feet of 550,000 available at the office tower being built on the downtown side of Fort Point Channel.

Others are in the talking stages ? Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., mulling a move from Cambridge to the office complex at Fan Pier, and accounting firm KPMG LLP, looking to fill about half of the 210,000-square-foot Two Financial Center near South Station.

In Downtown Crossing, the city?s shopping district is going decidedly upscale. City officials recently announced a 28-story retail and residential tower planned at the corner of Bromfield and Washington, in addition to the rebuilding of the historic Filene?s Building into the 38-story One Franklin Street complex now under construction.

?The prestige of an address is often associated with a particular building rather than the market it is in,? said John Barry, a partner at the commercial real estate firm Richards Barry Joyce & Partners LLC. ?The Financial District?s cache isn?t likely to be diminished, but there will be a new cache for quality developments in neighboring areas.?

Belding contends that ?real estate economics? have more influence on lease decisions than the current downturn in the economy.

?It is a significant undertaking to move a company, and it can be disruptive to the business,? she said. ?Most companies are in for the long term, they?re not inclined to go for the short-term.?

http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/othercities/boston/stories/2008/07/21/focus2.html?b=1216612800^1670694
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:48 PM   #57
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Re: Real Estate Deals

Area office and lab space piling up, but rents steady

Boston Business Journal
By Michelle Hillman
Friday, August 8, 2008

Office and lab space is trickling onto the market in Boston and Cambridge, a trend some industry experts believe will continue over the next six months and contribute to sagging rents.

Among the companies looking to shed space are: Houghton Mifflin Co., which has put 100,000 square feet on the market for sublease at 500 Boylston St.; First Marblehead Corp., which is marketing about 50,000 square feet of space for sublease at the Hancock Tower and another 30,000 square feet at 31 St. James St.; and Pearson Education, which is marketing about 50,000 square feet at 10 St. James St.

This year?s grim economy has resulted in a market freeze as tenants delay real estate decisions and even reduce the amount of space they occupy in pricey office towers. To be sure, several large blocks of office space have recently hit the sublease market in Boston?s Back Bay neighborhood.

The market has largely withstood the downturn, said William Motley, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle.

Motley said at the end of the second quarter this year there was 825,000 square feet of sublease space on the market in Boston, compared with 1.3 million square feet the same time last year and 2.2 million square feet the same quarter three years ago.

?Boston has managed to withstand this economic downturn reasonably well,? Motley said, adding that he?s still worried about what could happen if the economy continues to worsen.

Tenants trying to sublease space typically charge less than what a landlord would charge to lease the space directly. However, landlords will lower rent to compete. Companies typically sublease space in economic downturns to reduce expenses or cut back on unneeded space as growth stalls.

So far, the sublease market hasn?t dramatically affected rents. At the end of the second quarter, rents were $63.83 for Class A space in Boston, which posted a 9 percent vacancy rate, according to Brendan Carroll, vice president of research at Richards Barry Joyce & Partners LLC. A year earlier, rents averaged $53.54 per square foot with a vacancy rate of 9.6 percent.

Carroll also said the Boston market has been helped by the fact that construction has cooled. There is just 2.1 million square feet of office space under construction in Greater Boston, compared with 9.6 million square feet of office construction in third quarter of 2000.

But cracks are beginning to show. In Cambridge, where the demand for lab space has slowed and large blocks of new space are sitting vacant, pharmaceutical and medical device companies are beginning to give back space.

Two companies ? Alkermes Inc. and Perkin Elmer Inc. ? have recently enlisted real estate agents to sublease lab space. Alkermes is marketing 90,000 square feet of space for sublease at 88 Sidney St. and another 25,000 square feet at 64 Sidney St. Alkermes also recently sublet 11,000 square feet of space at 245 First St., said Peter Bekarian, a vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle hired to sublease Alkermes space.

Bekarian said the availability rate ? or the amount of space available for lease and sublease ? stands at 22 percent and is the highest it?s been since the end of 2005.

Much of lab space available in Cambridge is largely due to 301 Binney St. ? a 400,000-square-foot lab building that is 75 percent vacant, said Bekarian. Other tenants, such as Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. are absorbing bits of lab space. The company recently signed a lease for 50,000 square feet of lab space at 200 Tech Square.

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Old 09-05-2008, 12:25 PM   #58
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Re: Real Estate Deals

Brady taps another one

Quote:
The superstar quarterback with the supermodel girlfriend has made a super-savvy real estate deal.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady earned back more than he paid two years ago for a building in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood by renovating three condominiums and selling them - and, as a bonus, he kept the top two floors, with a panoramic view of the Charles River, for himself.

Brady purchased the Beacon Street building in May 2006, trading up from a modest condo at Marina Bay in Quincy that lacked water views. He converted the Back Bay town house into four condominiums and closed his third condo sale last week to a South American tycoon. That transaction brings his total pro ceeds to $7.95 million - $1.71 million more than he paid for the entire building, according to public deed records.

The celebrity quarterback sold the condos for premium prices in the same league as Back Bay properties such as The Clarendon, a luxury high-rise under construction nearby. But he probably didn't make a profit - an $11.5 million mortgage he obtained in 2007 indicates he spent big money gut-renovating the building and outfitting his primary residence with triple-plated, sound-proof glass and an interior by Frank Nicholson, who also designed the posh hotel Mandarin Oriental, Boston, according to people close to Brady who did not want to discuss his personal matters publicly. (Brady has paid down an undisclosed portion of the loan, records show.)

In a sense, said Boston real estate agent John Keith, Brady "was able to break even on the sales and get a condo for free. He did pretty well."

Another millionaire sports celebrity might simply buy a condo, decorate it, and move in. But Brady, a three-time Super Bowl winner, went to a lot of trouble to put together a deal to his benefit. Sports experts and real estate agents said the deal smacks of what one might expect of a quarterback with a $22.5 million, three-year NFL contract and multimillion-dollar sponsorships with companies like Nike, Movado watches, and Stetson cologne.

"He's a smart businessman" with "real estate savvy and sophisticated tastes," said Tracy Campion, a Back Bay agent to the rich and famous who listed Brady's Beacon Street condos.

Brady's assistant, Will McDonough, declined to comment.

A Chicago sports marketer, Marc Ganis, said football players have short careers and must carefully manage their money so they aren't broke when they walk off the field for the final time. That might be particularly challenging for Brady, a "crossover celebrity" whose fans - and the general public - expect him to live an expensive lifestyle with his Brazilian supermodel girlfriend, Gisele Bundchen.

"He is one of the most visible off-the-field players in NFL history" and is "expected to have a certain lifestyle, a certain way of traveling, certain homes," said Ganis, president of SportsCorp. Ltd.

Brady's real estate deal, he said, indicates the quarterback "has taken control of his financial future."

Brady is in the midst of reshuffling his real estate portfolio. TMZ.com, a celebrity news website, reported the quarterback paid $11 million for an empty lot - "a plot of dirt" - near California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles; Brady may build a mansion there for Bundchen.

Meanwhile, the New York press is reporting that Brady and Bundchen are each trying to sell their Manhattan apartments. Brady's 3,000-square-foot unit in the Time Warner Center in Midtown is on the market for $19 million.

Brady also has invested in a New York hedge fund.

The buyer for all three of Brady's condos in Boston, according to public records, was Andronico Luksic, the vice chairman of Banco de Chile and a member of one of Argentina's wealthiest business families. Boston representatives for Luksic did not return calls seeking comment.

Agents say Luksic's decision to buy the properties probably had little to do with the fact they were being sold by a sports star and more to do with location and extensive renovations. The building also has eight parking spaces and a doorman.

For a buyer in that league, Keith said, living below Brady is not a big selling point. "There are negatives to being in a celebrity building," he said.
Link: Brady's Big Score - By Kimberly Blanton, The Boston Globe
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Old 12-18-2008, 05:48 PM   #59
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Re: Real Estate Deals

Banker & Tradesman Daily
Quote:
General Growth Puts Faneuil Hall Up For Sale

A portfolio of properties including Boston?s Faneuil Hall has been put up for sale by embattled REIT General Growth Properties, the nation?s second-largest mall owner.

The company is seeking buyers for its Festival Marketplace portfolio, according to an investment offering obtained and posted online by real estate Web site Citybizlist. In addition to Faneuil Hall, the portfolio also includes Harbor Place & The Gallery in Baltimore and South Street Seaport in New York City.

Faneuil Hall is a mixed-use facility with 350,980 total square feet, 155,333 of which is office, according to the listing. General Growth bills the shopping area as ?the number one visitor destination in New England.?

?Faneuil Hall?s office and retail occupancies are just short of 90 percent [occupied]. Located in the heart of downtown Boston, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a historic landmark and mixed-use project comprised of retail, office, dining and entertainment components. Home to the world-famous Quincy Market Colonnade, one of the largest and most heavily trafficked foothalls in the world, the property intersperses local boutique and well-known national retailers and over 50 dining venues. Faneuil Hall Marketplace generated more than $102 million in retail sales for the 12-month period ending Sept. 30. In total, the investment offering is for 1.181 million square feet,? according to the Citybizlist online listing.

DTZ Rockwood?s team of David Monahan, Thomas Dobrowski and John Coury will manage the investment sale for General Growth.

General Growth has been struggling to fight a stock price in freefall and a massive, maturing debt load. Since retaining bankruptcy advisors Sidley Austin, General Growth has placed $900 million in loans on Las Vegas shopping centers in forbearance. According to Bloomberg, as of Sept. 30, General Growth was carrying a debt load of $25 billion in mortgages, loans and notes.

Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2008 (Archive on Thursday, January 22, 2009)
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:40 PM   #60
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Re: Real Estate Deals

How can General Growth sell it when they don't own it? They lease it from the city of Boston.
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