Fens Gems: Boston Realty Advisors Pitching 55 Market-Rate Apartments Near MFASeptember 05, 2019 — By Joe Clements
BOSTON—Extra traffic is expected this autumn near Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the catalyst being CRE prospectors touring 77 and 81 Park Dr., elegant apartment properties now available to investors for the first time in a half-century. Fifty five units in two buildings enjoying views of the MFA and Fenway’s famed public rose garden next door to that institution could deliver upwards of $30 million should Real Reporter sources familiar with the assets prove accurate.
“We are confident this will get lots of attention coming from many different directions,” BRA founding principal Jason S. Weissman says in acknowledging the exclusive assignment just launched minus any pricing guidance. While declining to discuss unofficial predictions on that aspect, Weissman fires off a litany of highlights regarding the conjoined four-story structures that are fully occupied, starting with a couple of big selling points. “They have been meticulously maintained and the apartments are 100 percent market rate,” Weissman explains, and further relays that “the bricks and mortar are in great shape,” calls market dynamics “unrivaled” and deems 77 and 81 Park Dr. “literally a generational opportunity in every sense of the term.”
Weissman is being joined on the campaign by Senior Partner Nicholas M. Herz, Associate Director Kevin R. Benzinger and Analyst Dominique Dubois. BRA has peddled dozens of high-profile assets and legacy multifamily properties in metropolitan Boston this decade, most recently The Emerson apartments in Cambridge’s Central Square that brought $11.5 million—$371,000 per unit—for that premier address, a trade detailed this past month at therealreporter.com.
Should 77 and 81 Park Dr. deliver $30 million as some maintain, that would equate to almost $550,000 per unit for the assemblage of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.
While not delving into money metrics, BRA has even more features about its latest listing in materials obtained by Real Reporter and now available at http://www.parkgallery.com. Among the aspects expected to draw interest is Fenway’s transit-oriented pedigree, with the surrounding area replete in public transportation choices, including all four MBTA Green Line systems connecting to downtown and Cambridge, a myriad of bus routes and even commuter rail.
On the flip side, 77 and 81 Park Dr. possess something exceedingly rare in the neighborhood—23 off-street parking spaces—a seemingly incalculable element in the formula and possibly providing a future opportunity for on-site development of the lot where they are located, according to some scenarios.
That prospect is not included in the BRA informational package but the document does indicate there is a value-add element in that a new owner could potentially increase those market-rate rents via unit improvements as a way to capitalize on the current steward’s own modernization efforts of properties dating to 1910. BRA does not identify the clients whose legal records are Seventy-7 Park Drive LLC for that 19,525-sf building located on a 7,425-sf lot and 81 Park Drive LLC. It has 17,375 sf of space set on a 5,825-sf parcel.
On-site amenities and spacious apartments are other strengths mentioned regarding the buildings, but BRA counts those aforementioned market dynamics as key to creating the expected crush of bidders, with two major drivers being the academic and healthcare engines. An estimated 80,000 college students are in the area thanks to major schools such as Boston University, Northeastern and the Wentworth Institute of Technology and an estimated 57,000 people work in the 213-acre Longwood Medical Area that is just a half-mile from the Park Drive buildings. “The Park Gallery is at the nucleus of a robust employment hub and student haven,” BRA observes, elements Weissman says should contribute to luring institutional capital along with private equity groups from near and far who pursue Middle Markets deals in the $25 million to $50 million range.
“The Park Gallery is truly an institutional-quality asset which offers investors size and scale in an unparalleled urban location,” the informational materials pronounce. A call for offers will be made following the property tours, which in the case of The Emerson resulted in some three-dozen tours prior to the winning bidder emerging. “We are excited and honored to be representing these buildings,” Weissman says regarding the 77 and 81 Park Dr. launch.Dominique Dubois Kevin Benzinger Nicholas Herz Jason Weissman