Alexandria’s Southie site sells for 57% loss

Developer sold planned lab space for measly $13M

Alexandria Bites Bullet at Southie Site With Sale
Alexandria Real Estate Equities' Joel Marcus with rendering of 99 A Street (Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Boston Planning and Development Agency, Getty)

Alexandria Real Estate Equities is moving on from its hefty plans for a Boston life sciences property. 

Major life sciences player sold a block of parcels in South Boston, including 99 A Street, for $13.3 million, the Boston Business Journal reported. The buyers were executives of Verndale, a digital services company.

The sale price of the parcels marks a steep drop was from the $31.1 million California-based Alexandria paid for the land in 2018 — a 57 percent difference.

The discounted sale comes after Alexandria and its partner, Anchor Line Partners, failed to get a life sciences project off the ground. The partners proposed a 210,000-square-foot lab complex in 2019, a year after the purchase. But no formal filings emerged afterwards.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Alexandria bought out Anchor Line in 2021, according to the latter’s chief executive officer. Alexandria declined to comment to the publication.

In an effort to boost capital, Alexandria has shown a willingness to sell properties in the region at big losses. In December, it sold two industrial properties on South Boston’s E Street for barely half of the $168.5 million it paid for them three years prior. In June, Alexandria sold a three-building office complex in Newton for half of what it paid to acquire the complex in 2020.

The momentum that carried Boston’s life sciences market during the early days of the pandemic seems to have faded. In a fourth quarter report on the market, CBRE referred to it as being on “unsettled footing.” While asking rent in the market remained flat, quarterly leasing activity fell and the vacancy rate surged past 10 percent for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.

Holden Walter-Warner

Read more