KKR Closes $375M Refinance for Boston’s Iconic Center Plaza


KKR (KKR) has provided a $375 million refinance for Center Plaza, an iconic office and retail asset in Boston, sources familiar with the deal told Commercial Observer. 

The property, owned by BentallGreenOak and Synergy Investments, is a mixed-use complex totaling 741,237 square feet in Boston’s Financial District. It comprises three interconnected office buildings — One, Two and Three Center Plaza — which sit in a crescent shape, adjacent to Boston City Hall

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Eastdil Secured‘s Grant Frankel, James Cristofori and Collen Carey negotiated the debt.

Ownership was exploring a potential sale of the asset in early 2020, prior to COVID-19 hitting U.S. shores, according to Bloomberg

Sources close to the deal said the sale, like several others, was placed on pause due to the pandemic but the refinance gives ownership increased flexibility as we near a light at the end of the tunnel.  

Synergy and BentallGreenOak — then GreenOak Real Estateacquired the asset from Shorenstein Properties in 2016, paying $365 million. With occupancy around 60 percent at the time of the purchase, the new owners got to work, making significant capital improvements, renovating common spaces and upgrading amenities. 

Built between 1965 and 1969, the property was once the New England headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Today, the property’s diversified tenant roster includes Twitter, Spotify and Grubhub. Building amenities include a gym with golf simulators and Peloton bikes, plus a 575-space parking garage. 

KKR’s listed real estate investment trust, KKR Real Estate Finance Trust announced last month that it had closed seven floating-rate loans totaling $565 million during the fourth quarter of 2020. Additionally, KKR Real Estate Credit was the most active buyer of B-pieces from commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) conduit transactions in 2020, per Trepp data. 

A spokesperson for KKR declined to comment. BentallGreenOak officials did not immediately return a request for comment.