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© Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company.

Boston Wharf Co. sells 10 buildings
Firm nets $92m for Fort Point Channel holdings

By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff
July 2, 2004

The Boston Wharf Co. this week sold 10 historic buildings in the Fort Point Channel area to an undisclosed client of HDG Mansur Investment Services Inc., an international real estate investment firm based in Indianapolis, for $92 million.

The 10 buildings, totaling 380,000 square feet, are leased to Toronto-based Thomson Financial through 2014, making the $242-per-square-foot purchase a good investment in today's weak leasing climate, said Kevin C. Phelan, executive vice president of Meredith & Grew Inc./Oncor, which represented Boston Wharf.

Thomson, with 1,500 employees in the Boston area, renewed its lease last December, reducing its space by about 100,000 square feet but increasing the market value of the fully rehabilitated buildings by extending its stay.

Boston Wharf negotiated last year with Tishman Speyer Properties of New York to sell its entire 50-plus building portfolio in the area, but the parties could not come to agreement on terms of the deal.

Phelan said yesterday that Robert N. Kenney, president of Boston Wharf, had informed Mayor Thomas M. Menino of the sale to HDG Mansur and assured him that Boston Wharf is ''very, very committed to Boston and the Fort Point Channel area."

''They're not selling land or other pieces that have developmental potential," Phelan said. The sale closed on Wednesday.

Susan C. Routh, senior vice president of HDG Mansur, said this was the company's first major purchase in the New England area and further diversifies the investments it makes on behalf of its clients. HDG Mansur has investments primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1982 and has about $1.5 billion in property under management.

''We thought this was a terrific location with a great upside potential," said Routh.

The 10 buildings are located adjacent to the new Courthouse Station on the MBTA's Silver Line, which is scheduled begin operating late this year, connecting South Station with the waterfront.

Congress Street is on one end of the 10 buildings, the new station on the other. ''There's a new front door to the property, 20 feet from the property line," said Thomas J. Hynes Jr., president of Meredith & Grew.

Phelan said the buildings are valuable while leased to a company like Thomson or could be converted to other uses, such as condominiums, in the future. Hynes said there were more than 10 bidders on the property, which was put on the market in March.

Kenney could not be reached for comment. The sale was handled by Lisa M. Campoli and David L. Pergola, both executive vice presidents at Meredith & Grew.

Thomas C. Palmer Jr. can be reached at tpalmer@globe.com.

© Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company.

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