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Fri, Jul 1
A Compendium of Property & Capital News
Jul 1
A Compendium of Property & Capital News

Fortis Buying Dock Square Garage from Sullivan Properties via Newmark for Near $170M

July 17, 2017 — By Joe Clements
Dock Square Garage, Boston MA

BOSTON—All of a sudden, structured parking has become a darling of CRE investors here, and sources are now detailing to Real Reporter a fresh nine-figure agreement for the Dock Square Garage involving Fortis Property Group, the Gotham-based firm whose winning bid is said to approach $170 million. If accurate, that will be substantially above unofficial prognostications made when the 698-stall listing at 20 Clinton St. was first launched this spring sans allocation guidance by Newmark’s Capital Markets group.

“It’s a real good number,” opines one CRE professional familiar with the six-story, 265,000-sf facility still owned by original developer Sullivan Properties. At an even $170.0 million, the result would equate to over $243,000 each on a per-slot calculation, whereas by square footage the metric would top $640 per sf. The Dock Square Garage footprint includes 16,000 sf of ground-level retail fully leased to a Hard Rock Cafe.

Among those pegging Fortis taking home the prize for a fast-moving campaign that reportedly attracted multiple suitors, a source knowledgeable of infrastructure capital explains Boston is deemed attractive for adherents thanks to mandated limits on parking spaces which keep inventory in check and cash flowing for operators, and for the specific offering, the CRE veteran maintains Dock Square Garage is tantalizing in its development potential, that realm conveniently among the real estate businesses in which Fortis is active on a national platform.

By one account, the 1.2-acre Dock Square site could support upwards of 125 feet of height above the existing structure, but precisely what might be in store for 20 Clinton St. is uncertain, with involved parties not responding to inquiries as of press deadline. Newmark Capital Markets is led by Robert E. Griffin Jr., Edward C. Maher Jr. and Matthew E. Pullen.

The Newmark contingent is active across virtually all product types but has ramped up its expertise in processing parking garage deals this decade, one of those the 965-stall facility next to State Street Financial’s new headquarters in the Seaport District which changed hands in late 2015 as part of a $317 million trade of the garage and office building, and further evidenced in a pair of high-profile transactions already consummated in 2017.

Those would be headlined by the $91 million exchange in late June involving 826 parking spaces and retail encompassing the Revere Hotel Garage at 200 Stuart Street in the Back Bay, a deal where CIM Group of Los Angeles emerged the victorious bidder. The firm put the asset under agreement last autumn fresh on the heels of separately purchasing the nearby MotorMart Garage, a landmark building whose $162.5 million acquisition was negotiated by Cushman & Wakefield advising both sides. CIM made its inaugural Beantown conquests on behalf of a dedicated fund targeting infrastructure assets including parking garages.

In another Newmark assignment wrapped up this spring, this one advising Intercontinental Real Estate Corp., a prominent parking garage at 125 Lincoln St. also on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway was bought by Canadian pension fund Oxford Properties, a major Boston landlord in the office sector. Oxford paid $40 million for that 150-space, 130,000-sf structure which is practically across the Greenway from One Lincoln St., the 36-story first-class office tower which is home to State Street Financial and owned by none other than Fortis Property Group. Whether that asset was ever considered by FPG—an investor supposedly new to the garage game—is unclear, but Newmark did peddle 125 Lincoln St. as “an exceptional redevelopment opportunity” when it was shopped to prospects.

Along with the One Channel Center outcome, Real Reporter was first to unveil the Revere Hotel Garage and 125 Lincoln St. agreements. Sources could not say how long it will take for FPG to complete its due diligence assessment on Dock Square Garage and move towards a final closing date, or whether it intends to finance the purchase.

Edward Maher Matthew Pullen Robert Griffin