Clarion Partners has emerged as the winner in a heated bidding contest for a repositioned office/laboratory building in suburban Boston. The New York firm’s $170 million offer beat out a crowded pool of contenders for the 185,000-square-foot property, called LINX, in Watertown, Mass. The price indicates a 5.75% initial annual yield. HFF is brokering the sale for Boylston Properties of Boston. The $918/sf valuation is more in line with trades in Boston and Cambridge than in the suburbs.
Market pros said growing valuations are being driven by the soaring rents being paid by tenants pushed out of Boston and Cambridge, where lab space is nearly fully occupied. The two-story LINX, at 490 Arsenal Way, is a prime example of how suburbs — particularly close-in ones like Somerville and Watertown — have captured that spillover. Boylston over-hauled the former warehouse, converting it into labs and “creative” offices. By the time the repositioning was completed this year, the property was already fully leased to Aileron Therapeutics, Kala Pharmaceuticals and another tenant.
LINX includes a 33-foot-tall lobby, a cafe, bike storage with a shower and locker room, and outdoor and recreational areas. It is designated LEED gold. There is a shuttle bus to a stop on the MBTA Red Line.