South End’s Design Center sold for $42 million. Look for developer to build on urban retail and walkability.

South End’s Design Center sold for $42 million. Look for developer to build on urban retail and walkability.
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RAM Realty has sold the Design Center in South End for a little north of $42 million.

The 4.5-acre plot is located on Camden between Worthington and Tremont.

The buyer, Asana Partners, specializes in acquiring walkable and urban retail assets. They are made up of a bunch of former Edens people and this bodes quite well for the future of the property. (Edens is the development brain behind the transformation of Atherton Mill and Park Road Shopping Center. Their M.O. is to save old buildings and reuse them and develop them into world class retail assets.)

Asana will NOT demolish the 3 buildings on the site (where Pike’s and such are), but will put the building through adaptive reuse rebranding. This saves and improves the buildings.

Currently the old buildings are mostly office space, but over the next few years Asana will retrofit the building to bring in a number of new restaurants and retailers to line the streetscape. This includes vastly improving the pedestrian corridor and experience, improving and utilizing the great courtyard spaces on site, and creating a welcoming space for the community.

There is about 165,000 square feet of usable space, which represents an incredible opportunity on Camden, the most walkable street in South End. There is also a 520-space parking deck under construction which will be utilized by this project.

camden-gallery-south-end-view

View of Camden from above

Eventually, there will be a great mix of office and retail tenants that will totally re-invent the Design Center, complementing existing progress on Camden and at Atherton Mill.

Camden is really going to be the retail artery of South End. Expect some tenant announcements early in 2017 that will continue as Asana builds up the property.

Bonus: Asana also bought the Off Broadway building and its land. It’s an important location on the rail trail and sandwiched between two new developments.

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