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Boston Globe considers a commercial real estate sale

The Boston Globe recently announced that it is exploring sale options for its 16.5-acre headquarters on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Not surprisingly, the newspaper has wisely enlisted the assistance of a commercial real estate firm.

In this case, the property’s value is estimated by conservative standards to be at least $21 million. More generous estimates have valued it up to $75 million. The city seems to have spilt the difference, coming up with a $40.3 million assessment for the property. The land alone is assessed at around $21.4 million, with the 815,000-square-foot building making up the balance of the city’s total assessment, estimated at around $18.8 million.

In addition to the high price tag, another factor could make this potential real estate transaction complicated: It is listed under a separate company. John Henry, the owner of the Boston Globe Newspaper Co., put the property under a separate company in January 2014. According to the Registry of Deeds, the property is listed under Boston Globe Properties LLC. 

An attorney that focuses on commercial real estate matters knows that many factors may impact an assessment. The age of a building often impacts classifications, but improvements such as state-of-the-art HVAC systems, elevators and other modernization upgrades and amenities can go a long way towards increasing the value of older buildings.

Location is another big criteria in assessing the value and class of commercial real estate. In this case, the Globe’s building is not directly downtown, but still considered by many to be a part of the greater Boston area. According to one real estate commentator, the building’s location shows great potential for development because it’s in an area with good transportation access. 

Source: Boston Herald, “The Boston Globe hires firm to find buyers for its HQ,” Donna Goodison, April 23, 2014

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