Bain to expand Boston footprint

Bain Capital has taken out a 15-year lease in New England’s tallest tower, boosting its Boston office space by 154,000 square feet.

Bain Capital is swapping one Boston icon for another, having agreed a lease that will see it relocate its headquarters to the John Hancock Tower from its current location at The Prudential Center.

Normandy Real Estate Partners and Five Mile Capital Partners, the joint owners of Boston skyscraper John Hancock Tower, have signed a 15-year agreement with Bain for 270,000 square feet of space at the 62-storey, 1.8 million-square foot tower, bringing the occupancy rate of the building to about 95 percent. Bain plans to relocate in the autumn of 2011.

The firm's current Boston office comprises 116,000 square feet.

Normandy and Five Mile purchased the tower via an auction in April last year. The deal saw the partners pay $20.1 million in equity and assume the tower’s $640.5 million mortgage. It was marketed for sale after previous owner Broadway Partners defaulted on its debt obligation on the building. Broadway originally paid $1.3 billion for the building alongside two others in 2006.

The partners managed to be involved in the action process after purchasing mezzanine debt positions in the asset from a year earlier. Despite a bid from the parent company of the tower’s special servicer Green Loan Services, Normandy and Five Mile managed to emerge victorious, leading to them winning sister publication PERE’s North America deal of the year award in 2009.

The letting to Bain will come as positive news to the partners as it will help to diminish the risk of taking control of the asset.

Northeast and Mid-Atlantic focused Normandy Real Estate Partners manages a total of $1 billion in equity commitments across its real estate funds series while Five Mile Capital Partners currently manages approximately $2 billion of assets.