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Newton’s Riverside Center Sold to Alexandria in $235-Million Deal

One of Boston’s most esteemed transit-oriented commercial real estate properties has changed hands once again. According to the Middlesex County Register of Deeds, Riverside Center in Newton was recently sold to Alexandria Real Estate Equities for $235 million. Although the sale has made a big splash across the world of Boston commercial real estate development, no immediate redevelopment plans are possible for the property, which is almost fully leased at this time.

Newton Photo Courtesy of Hines

The deal is just the latest in a revolving door of high-dollar transactions that have dominated the market for some time now. It’s also just a drop in the bucket for Hines, a privately owned global real estate investment firm that was founded during the late 1950s. The company currently has a presence in more than 200 cities across 23 countries around the world. At this time, Hines has approximately $124.3 billion in assets under management. On top of that, the firm has nearly 150 developments currently under way across the globe.

At the same time, Alexandria Real Estate Equities is further cementing its presence as a major force to be reckoned with in the Boston commercial real estate market through its acquisition of the high-end property. It is among the largest developers and property owners over in Cambridge’s lightning-hot Kendall Square, where it has been rapidly expanding its footprint for some time. The firm has been branching out even more of late too; late last year, it closed on a $525.5-million deal to acquire the athenahealth campus in Watertown. In that case, Alexandria believes that there is around 153,000 square feet of redevelopment potential at the 682,000-square-foot campus.

Without question, the acquisition of Riverside Center represents a major notch in Alexandria’s increasingly expanding belt. The 509,702-square foot office complex, which consists of three separate four-story buildings that are connected by a full-height glass-enclosed atrium, is located directly adjacent to the MBTA Green Line Riverside station in Newton. Situated at 275 Grove Street, it is also immediately off of the Route 128/Massachusetts Turnpike interchange, providing fast, easy access to downtown Boston and many nearby affluent communities. The property offers exceptional access to Boston’s urban core, making it a coveted location for companies across many industries, sizes and scopes.

Hines purchased Riverside Center, one of the city’s premier transit-oriented assets, in 2013 in a $197.23-million deal with Equity Office. The complex was designed by Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects, and construction was completed in 2000. It is regarded as one of the finest such properties in the city, offering exceptional physical infrastructure; flexible floorplates; and top-notch amenities. Those amenities include parking for around 1,100 vehicles; an ATM; a newly renovated café; and a fitness center with locker rooms and showers. Currently, the property is almost fully leased by tenants like Atrius Health and TechTarget.

The deal that just closed is merely the latest in a string of such transactions involving major commercial real estate players. In the city of Boston, Hines, the seller of Riverside Center, is the developer of the 2.75-million-square-foot air-rights tower that is currently being built over downtown’s South Station. That project is among the most complex that is underway in the city at this time, and it is not expected to be completed for another 4.5 years or so. To say that Hines is having a major impact on the state of the city’s commercial real estate landscape would be a major understatement.

What does all of this mean for real estate investors, landlords and tenants in the city of Boston? It’s just another sign of the major potential that is out there for those who are savvy enough to get in on such deals. A huge part of being able to do that is staying abreast of the latest developments in Boston commercial real estate, and Boston City Properties is the name to trust for up-to-the-second updates. Check back with us often to stay in the loop about the latest news regarding these and other crucial topics.