Alexandria to Purchase Landmark Center

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, a real investment trust company that focuses on life science and technology office space, is poised to purchase the Landmark Center, which includes 401 Park Drive and 201 Brookline Ave., from Samuels & Associates for $1.52 billion, according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“In January 2021, we entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 401 Park Drive, 201 Brookline Avenue, and one future development opportunity, located in the heart of our Greater Boston life science cluster market, for a purchase price of $1.52 billion,” Alexandria Real Estate said in the SEC report, which was dated January 5, 2021.

According to a recent Boston Globe article, Samuels & Associates bought the former Sears building in 2011 “with financial backing from an arm of JP Morgan, for $530 million.” The developer had promised various forms of programming for the community with the creation of a new lawn in front of the building by paving over a parking lot, and offered things like ice skating and workout classes in the new park prior to the pandemic.

The Rink at 401 Park had its grand opening in December of 2019, and Samuels & Associates touted the rink as one that is easily set up and removed due to piping connected to a chiller in the basement of 401 Park Drive, rather than having a large, external chiller.

The development also brought Time Out Market, a food hall with food from Boston’s top restaurateurs, to the building, as well as a Trillium Brewing Company location.

“During the past decade, Samuels & Associates has invested in the repositioning of 401 Park as a destination for the innovation economy, health and life sciences, and related companies, updated the ground floor experience to include a new public park and Time Out Market food hall, and expanded the available commercial spaces with the redevelopment of 201 Brookline,” a spokesperson for Samuels & Associates told the Sun.

“Our view is that the Fenway would continue to attract high quality life sciences firms, led to the design of 201 Brookline as a leading lab-ready building, which has proven its worth, both to tenants and investors. We will retain ownership of significant holdings in the neighborhood, including life science assets, residential, and retail.

In looking ahead to the future, we remain confident that this site, including the lab-ready 201 Brookline project, and additional commercial development, will continue to be a draw for the region’s growing life sciences community. We are pleased with Alexandria’s vote of confidence in the project and the Fenway neighborhood. We will remain a partner in the project and look forward to collaborating with Alexandria on the management, leasing, and future development of this site.”

Alexandria Real Estate Equities declined to comment on the sale.

On January 14, 2021, the Boston Planning and Development Agency recommended that the Board of Directors approve the sale of the building, citing that “The General Counsel has determined that the changes set forth in the Application do not collectively constitute a ‘fundamental change’…and a public hearing is therefore not required.” The Board of Directors is set to vote on this matter at its Jan.14 meeting.

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