Seaport Office Building Sale – Price Nearly Doubled in Just Seven Years
If you aren’t convinced that the Seaport District boasts one of the hottest real estate submarkets in Boston, consider this: 51 Sleeper Street was recently acquired by a Chinese real estate investment firm for $115 million – nearly double the price that it sold for in 2013. In the space of just seven years, then, the property has skyrocketed in value, highlighting the meteoric growth of the city’s newest neighborhood over the last handful of years. The sale also highlights the ongoing push for the development of more life sciences space in the city.
On January 24, 2020, Nan Fung Life Sciences Real Estate, or NFLSRE, closed on the sale of 51 Sleeper Street for $115 million. The firm, a subsidiary of Nan Fung Group of Hong Kong, recently opened its first office in Boston – and it also recently acquired One Winthrop Square. NFLSRE plans to renovate both properties so that they can pivot from offering office space to offering innovative, scalable research and lab space. This move is sure to work out well for NFLSRE as life sciences space and lab space remain in ultra-high demand across the city.
Since 2010, the Seaport District has seen more than 4 million square feet of ground-up construction. Older buildings, like the one at 51 Sleeper Street, are increasingly being renovated to reflect the importance of the life sciences industry in Boston. These renovations are also being done so that developers can fetch top dollar from tenants. In a very brief period of time, commercial real estate space in the Seaport has become out of reach for all but the most lucrative tenants – and most of them happen to operate in the life sciences space. Foundation Medicine is currently building a property at 400 Summer Street, for example, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals recently announced plans to expand into Innovation Square.
The property at 51 Sleeper Street consists of an eight-story brick building offering 152,000 square feet of Class B office space. Built in 1929, it was about 70 percent occupied at the time of its last sale in February 2019, which is when Brookfield Properties acquired it from Nuveen for $91 million. Previously, Nuveen had acquired the property from DivcoWest in 2013 for $60 million. Its latest price tag, $115 million, demonstrates that the property has nearly doubled in price in the space of just seven years.
Brookfield had acquired the building with plans to renovate and rebrand it. However, the developer apparently changed their mind, opting instead to sell it to NFLSRE in January. The property offers a prime waterfront location along Fort Point Channel, and it is right across the street from the Children’s Museum and newly opened Martin’s Park. Stay tuned to Boston City Properties for more updates about the Seaport office buildings for sale in the future.