BOSTON — It took a while—over 15 years—but Back Bay real estate institution C. Talanian Realty has added to its Boylston Street holdings, beating out a spirited competition to nail down a 7,475-sf mixed-use property across from the Prudential Center purchased for $8.8 million from an ownership group that had held 903 Boylston St. since the Disco Era. The Boston Realty Advisors exclusive provides a companion building to C. Talanian’s 907-909 Boylston St. right next door, that 7,925-sf structure having been in the landlord’s portfolio since May 1985 when it was had for only $1.1 million. The company’s only other asset on the boulevard is a 2,200-sf retail condo at 250 Boylston acquired in July 2001 for $1.9 million.

As to 903 Boylston St., “It went great; a very smooth transaction,” BRA senior partner and retail practice group leader Michael A. d’Hemecourt relays in confirming the closing of a listing first unveiled by Real Reporter this spring. “The seller was very happy, and I think the buyer is also very happy,” he adds. Multiple bids were conducted after five weeks of tours and property/market information provided by d’Hemecourt along with BRA principal Whitney E. Gallivan, Associate Director Christopher J. Donato and Associate Jaime A. Russell plus support from Capital Markets chief and founding principal Jason S. Weissman. BRA was advising King Liu Realty Inc., an entity that had owned 903 Boylston St. since paying a mere $135,000 in March 1978.

A company which has risen to the top of the heap for Newbury Street CRE through three generations, the globally recognized shopping Mecca where it is based, C. Talanian Realty is led by patriarch Charles M. Talanian and his son, Charles C. Talanian. Both were involved in the 903 Boylston St. negotiations along with Chief Operating Officer David Coughlin, according to d’Hemecourt.

A call to C. Talanian Realty regarding its latest investment was not returned by press deadline, while d’Hemecourt declined to speculate on what the buyer’s intentions might be for 903 Boylston St. In launching the listing, however, BRA pointed to near-term steady income from Irish bar Lir which occupies all of the leaseable area, but also detailed the prospect of a redevelopment play in the future enabled by transformational changes taking place on a retail corridor that has heretofore played second fiddle to Newbury Street.

All of that is changing, d’Hemecourt insists, largely crediting Boston Properties for fullfilling a longstanding strategy by its original developers to build out that side of the Prudential Center complex and enliven what could seem a bit barren beyond normal business hours. Besides arrival of the Pru’s posh Mandarin Hotel—a five-star gem designed by CBT architects—there is also new retail being created in BP’s 888 Boylston St., a mid-rise office building just steps from 903 Boylston St. Prime tenants expected to be open there in the ground floor retail by this holiday shopping season include Under Armour and a Tesla dealership.

“Everything going on across the street was a driver for investors, as was the timing of when the (903 Boylston St.) lease comes due,” explains d’Hemecourt, particularly those who might have a redevelopment strategy in mind since the pact only runs to 2018. “By then,” the broker says, “everything there will be completed and opened, and pedestrian traffic patterns will have changed.” An expert on the urban retail scene whose group has helped lease up many of the premier tenants coming to Boylston Street, d’Hemecourt deems the trend less as taking away from Newbury Street and more increasing the Back Bay’s overall allure for locals and visiting consumers alike.

Whatever the impetus, a venerable hometown investor deemed the property worthy of $1,178 per sf in securing 903 Boylston St. C. Talanian Realty Co. might very well have been in a stronger position by already owning 907-909 Boylston St., observes one market veteran who argues there may be an opportunity for combining the two structures and delivering a larger project should the group pursue that approach.

Founded in 1932 by Charles M. Talanian’s father, C.Talanian Realty is primarily focused on Newbury Street. Of 26 buildings posted on its website, 18 are on Newbury St., two are on Boylston Street (903 Boylston St. not yet listed), another four are on Clarendon Street, also in the Back Bay, and the firm has a pair of buildings across town on Cambridge Street near Government Center. Through its brokerage division, C. Talanian Realty has leased and sold more property on Newbury Street than any competitor, according to the website that also mentions unnamed company properties in the Hub’s Beacon Hill, Fenway and the South and West End neighborhoods as part of the company footprint.

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