You’re listening to Ciminelli Chats, where we aim to share the latest Ciminelli company news, real estate industry insights, and announcements. Recently, we sat down with Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation’s CEO, Paul Ciminelli, to discuss the company’s recent investment activity in Boston, Massachusetts.
Why has this bustling Northeastern city proven to be a hotbed for Ciminelli’s investment team, and what does the future hold for us in the Greater Boston area?
What I like about Boston, is that it’s an hour flight away. I do know my way around the city; I’ve been going to Boston for a long time. Ciminelli has an excellent market leader there, who is someone I have known for over 15 years. Another appealing part about Boston is it’s a pretty tight-knit real estate community. As big and dynamic as it is, I was very surprised at just how relationship-based the community is. Other markets typically tend to be transaction-based, whereas Boston is driven by relationships. That is difficult to duplicate in other areas. We obviously have strong relationships in Florida, but other cities would need similar ingredients for us to do that. And again, I like the fact you can get a direct flight there. That makes it easier for us to continue to grow and invest in the community.
The 495 corridor is a little farther out, and because of that, the real estate is a more manageable. It’s drawing interest from a lot of the tenants in companies that would have been in the 128 corridor to evaluate the 495 because it is a lower cost alternative and there’s significant inventory. These buildings have good bones and the ability to be repositioned into lab, life science, or R&D buildings. There are not a lot of new buildings currently under construction, meaning the market is somewhat supply constrained, which is an excellent opportunity for us.
The Greater Boston metropolitan area is a little more unique than other metropolitan areas in the Northeast, and to some extent, the Midwest. A number of those unique factors always intrigued us, and coupled with the right team and joint venture partner, created the opportune environment for us to invest.
In the second half of our conversation, we took a deeper dive into the company’s most recent investment acquisition, 181 & 187 Ballardvale. This acquisition brought Ciminelli’s Massachusetts portfolio to approximately 500,000 SF.
Ballardvale is a two building complex, totaling about 230,000 SF. We looked at it about a year ago, but there were a few factors leading us to pass on the opportunity at the time. We always kept an eye on it because we like the 193 corridor, which is north of the city. It is extremely dynamic and there is a significant amount of corporate campuses in those submarkets. So, we continued to keep an eye on that asset. When the opportunity was presented to us a second time around, we were able to strike a deal and pull the trigger, making it our largest investment to date at a total of approximately $35 million. We continue to grow in a very strategic and focused way. We have a joint venture partner, who is also very bullish on Boston, named Gordon Brothers. We have a high quality team there, and have started to develop some momentum. We have positive credibility when it comes to acquiring buildings, closing, and bringing our management platform and expertise there to help reposition these buildings. Because of that, the brokerage and investment community are bringing us more opportunities.
We are really starting to show up, which is nice to watch unfold. I’ve had a couple people who work in Boston with Buffalo roots reach out to me and say “Welcome to Boston, is there anything we can do to help?”
Thank you to Paul for inviting us into his office for our inaugural podcast, and thank you for listening to our first Ciminelli Chats episode. Stay tuned for more Ciminelli company news, real estate industry insights, and announcements.