Senior Housing Properties to Buy Boston Medical Offices

Senior Housing Properties Trust agreed to buy two 15-story medical-office buildings in downtown Boston’s Seaport District for about $1.13 billion.

The buildings comprise biomedical research facilities, corporate office space, a parking garage and retail space covering a total of 1.65 million square feet (153,300 square meters), the Newton, Massachusetts-based real estate investment trust said yesterday in a statement.

The properties were completed in December and are 96 percent occupied by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., which is relocating its headquarters from nearby Cambridge to the Seaport District complex. Boston’s real estate market is seeing a construction boom, driven in part by the strength of the city’s technology and life-sciences industries.

The Seaport District is “the hottest real estate market, probably in the nation right now,” David Hegarty, president of Senior Housing Properties, said in a telephone interview. The company, which doesn’t typically invest in offices, was drawn to the buildings because more than half the space is laboratories and research facilities, he said.

Vertex started moving its 1,300 Boston-area employees into the Seaport District buildings in December and will complete the relocation this month, Hegarty said. The company, with a market value of about $19.2 billion and 2,200 global employees, has 15 years remaining on its lease at the two-building complex, according to the statement.

The property has 50,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space that Senior Housing Properties is looking for tenants to fill, Hegarty said.

The REIT received a term-loan commitment for $800 million, according to the statement.

Senior Housing Properties, with a market value of about $4.14 billion, owns independent- and assisted-living communities, medical-office buildings, nursing homes and wellness centers in the U.S.

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