29 Harding Street Update 09/18/19

Somerville Property Acquired for $23 Million

DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners has acquired the office/industrial headquarters site of moving company Gentle Giant for the sum of $23 million. The three-acre parcel is adjacent to the 3.4-acre site DLJ acquired in a joint venture with Leggat McCall Properties (LMP) in November of 2018 from J.J. Vaccaro, where a 290,000 square foot Life Sciences building is now being constructed on spec. DLJ has not yet stated its development intentions for the newly acquired site, but the land is zoned as part of Somerville’s TOD 55 zoning overlay, which would allow for the potential development of a 600,000 square foot building.

The deal for the Gentle Giant headquarters, located at 29 Harding St. and comprised of administrative offices, storage space and parking lots, was brokered by Bernard Gibbons of the Cambridge-based Associated Brokerage Group (ABG), who represented the seller and procured the buyer. This is the third deal brokered by Gibbons and ABG Commercial Realty in Boynton Yards in the past 19 months, with sales totaling $56 million. Gibbons also brokered the sale of the J.J. Vaccaro property to DLJ/LMP for $13.5 million, and 561 Windsor Street, the 83,000 square foot building that is home to the Taza Chocolate Factory, to Riverside Properties for $20 million in February of 2018.

Situated adjacent to vibrant Union Square and within a mile of life science and technology hub Kendall Square, the site is part of the larger Boynton Yards redevelopment. The City of Somerville envisions the redevelopment as a vibrant, mixed-use district comprised of lab, office, multifamily, neighborhood retail, and community arts space. The neighborhood is expected to reap dividends from the new Green Line station adjacent to Union Square, which is scheduled to open in 2021.

“With the in-migration of tech and life science tenants to the Boston and Cambridge markets exerting upward pressure on rents, Somerville and Boynton Yards are poised to be viable alternatives for companies in the knowledge industries seeking well-amenitized space at a more reasonable price point,” said Gibbons. “With the Green Line extension scheduled to open in Union Square in 2021, Boynton Yards will be a huge draw for companies in the war for millennial tech talent, which they need to compete in today’s market.”

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