WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Multi-Employer Property Trust (MEPT) and its real estate advisor, Bentall Kennedy (U.S.) Limited Partnership (Bentall Kennedy), today announced $250 million of acquisitions in Boston's South End and Seaport District submarkets. In three separate transactions, the Fund acquired nine buildings totaling over 650,000 square feet with redevelopment and development opportunities. This investment reflects MEPT's strong interest and confidence in the Boston market.
One portfolio is adjacent to the Boston Medical Center and is comprised of two, fully-leased, medical office buildings, three properties intended for redevelopment and 2.0 acres of land for potential multi-family development. This portfolio was acquired as part of a joint venture with Boston-based Leggat McCall Properties. A second portfolio contains three well-leased, operating office buildings (313 Congress Street, 330 Congress Street and 300 A Street) totaling 220,993 square feet in Boston's Fort Point Channel submarket of the Seaport District. Additionally, in the Fort Point Channel submarket, MEPT acquired the Necco Garage, a six-level, 588 space parking facility.
"We have been actively pursuing investments in the Boston area for some time. Boston has very compelling market fundamentals as a result of its diverse workforce and strong economic growth, driven by the city's education, healthcare and technology sectors," stated David Antonelli, Executive Vice President and MEPT Portfolio Manager at Bentall Kennedy. "The assets acquired on behalf of MEPT provide a balance of both stabilized, cash-flowing components, and value-add development opportunities which position the Fund to benefit from further economic expansion."
Through the acquisition of the portfolio located near the Boston Medical Center, MEPT acquires high-quality existing medical office buildings and residential land for future development. The buildings are located at 660 and 720 Harrison Avenue, 575 Albany, 100 East Canton, and 123 East Dedham. Bentall Kennedy plans to vet several options for the Fund's development and redevelopment opportunities, including new apartment construction. Boston's South End submarket continues to evolve from its industrial roots to a more residential location and to demonstrate strong occupancy levels and healthy rental rates. Furthermore, the neighborhood offers excellent access to public transportation (Silver Line and bus), major thoroughfares (I-93 and I-90), restaurants, entertainment, and proximity to major employment centers in the city.
With the Fort Point Channel portfolio, MEPT acquires properties that are highly desirable to technology and creative tenants such as software, digital media, architecture and marketing firms. Furthermore, the brick-and-beam style of these early Boston buildings with timber beams, duct-work and exposed brick walls provides a loft-like work space which appeals to these target tenants. Additionally, the neighborhood is a vibrant mix of historic warehouse buildings renovated into office, residential, and hotel uses. A transformation of the submarket into a true "live/work/play" location is well underway, providing a unique alternative to both the traditional office space in the Financial District and the new office product scheduled to be delivered in the Seaport District.
In walking distance to the Fort Point Channel buildings, the Necco Garage at 10 Necco Street is located at the gateway to the Seaport District and is only a quarter mile from I-93 and I-95. The parking facility is located next to 300 A Street; one of the three buildings in the Fort Point Channel portfolio. The acquisition of the garage provides an ancillary benefit to the office portfolio through the ability to control parking for potential tenants. The parking structure serves both office tenants in the surrounding submarkets and visitors to the nearby cultural and entertainment sites. The garage is well-positioned to perform going forward as a result of the unique supply/demand fundamentals: new development in the Seaport District is driving demand, while a city-wide parking moratorium is restricting new supply.
"These acquisitions advance several aspects of the core strategy of the Fund," added Antonelli. "This strategy includes increasing investment in primary markets, acquiring office properties in urban locations within knowledge industries, and developing build-to-core projects in innovation-driven markets. Furthermore, the assets are a great fit with the MEPT portfolio and we are pleased that the Fund will significantly increase its investment in Boston."
For more information, please contact:
Director, Corporate Communications
Bentall Kennedy Group
416-681-2726 or [email protected]
Multi-Employer Property Trust (MEPT) is a $7.0 billion, open-end commingled real estate equity fund that invests in a diversified portfolio of institutional-quality real estate assets in 25 major metropolitan markets across the U.S. Founded in 1982, MEPT is owned by more than 320 institutional investors, including 14 multi-employer and public employee plans in the Boston area. Signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, MEPT is recognized as a pioneer in Responsible Property Investing (RPI) and has been consistently top-ranked in the U.S. by GRESB for its environmental performance. For more information, visit www.mept.com.
About Bentall Kennedy
Bentall Kennedy is one of North America's largest real estate investment advisors and one of its foremost providers of real estate services. Bentall Kennedy serves the interests of close to 500 investors and their 134 million square feet of office, retail, industrial, and multi-residential properties valued at over $32 billion throughout Canada and the U.S. Bentall Kennedy is a member of UN PRI and is a recognized global leader in Responsible Property Investing.
The Bentall Kennedy Group includes Bentall Kennedy (Canada) Limited Partnership and Bentall Kennedy (U.S.) Limited Partnership. For more information, visit www.bentallkennedy.com.
SOURCE Multi-Employer Property Trust