Buildings Who's Who - Boston Properties, Boston

Aug. 7, 2001
According to Fortune magazine, one of the “highest valuations of any publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).”

Run by New York City media mogul Mort Zuckerman, this publicly traded company has, according to Fortune magazine, one of the "highest valuations of any publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)." Case in point: In September 2000, its stock hit a high of $43.25, according to the company's supplemental and operating financial data for third-quarter 2000. At press time, stock prices still hovered around $41 per share.

The company is one of the largest owners and developers of Class A office properties in the United States. It concentrates its business in four core markets _ Boston, Midtown Manhattan, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.
As of the quarter ending March 31, 2001, the firm's portfolio consisted of 146 properties comprising more than 39.2 million square feet, including 15 properties under construction totaling 5.4 million square feet. The overall occupancy rate for the properties in service as of March 31, 2001 was 98.4 percent.

In April, Boston Properties completed is $725 million acquisition of the 1.6-million-square-foot Citigroup Center in New York City from Dai-Ichi Life Investment Properties Inc. Boston Properties will manage and lease this new addition to its portfolio, bringing the total of Class A office space that the company owns and manages in Midtown Manhattan to 4.5 million square feet.

Its four in-service properties _ 599 Lexington Avenue, 875 Third Avenue, 280 Park Avenue, and Citigroup Center _ are all located within a five-block area bordered by 48th Street and 53rd Street, the heart of Midtown. Boston Properties is also constructing two towers in Times Square that will total 2.3 million square feet. Together these properties are 75-percent pre-leased to two of the "Big Five" accounting firms.

At one point in the race to purchase New York's Rockefeller Center, Boston Properties had pulled ahead, but in the end dark horse Tishman Speyer took home the spoils.

Other high-profile properties on the company's roster include San Francisco's Embarcadero Center and Boston's Prudential Center.
Zuckerman and partner Edward Linde have crafted a distinct growth strategy: They restrict their dealings to metro areas where "you can't stick a shovel in the ground without attracting a crowd of angry citizens." Why? According to a recent Fortune profile on Zuckerman, getting approval to build in such a market gives the company "built-in protection" from competitors, thanks to the "difficult civic atmosphere."

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