Globe headquarters sold for $81 million to partner developers

Updated Dec. 21, 12:07 p.m. with completed sale price

Third time is apparently the charm.

The Boston Globe’s former headquarters on Morrissey Boulevard have been sold for $81 million to Burlington-based development company Nordblom Co., in partnership with Boston real estate private equity firm Alcion Ventures. Sources familiar with the negotiations shared the joint venture Wednesday morning, promising an “imminent” closing.

“We’re excited about our purchase of 135 Morrissey Boulevard, the latest addition to our Boston portfolio," said Og Hunnewell, Partner of Nordblom Company, in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “We look forward to working closely with our neighbors and the BPDA, to bring to life our vision of an urban innovation campus - where Boston’s businesses think bigger, act bolder, and move Boston’s ‘next’ economy forward.”

Though Nordblom did not disclose the sale price, filings with the Suffolk Registry of Deeds document an $81 million sale for the site from Boston Globe Properties LLC to a new 135 Morrissey Owner LLC.

Located alongside Interstate 93 and near the MBTA’s Red Line JFK/UMass station, the sprawling 16.5-acre parcel "is an enduring icon in this exciting neighborhood of Boston," the Nordblom release said.

Boston Globe owner John Henry, who also owns the Boston Red Sox, has tried for about three years to sell the site. It served as the Globe’s home since 1958, until it moved downtown this year in late spring. Nordblom was identified in August as the third bidder for the parcel, after two earlier offers fell apart for financing reasons, Globe officials have said previously.

The Real Reporter, a Boston based real estate newsletter, pegged an $82 million price point for the sale on Tuesday. That price is in the ballpark of the reported $80 million-plus tied to a 2016 deal with Center Court Properties, which was the second sale attempt in as many years to fall through.

Henry purchased the Globe and associated properties from the New York Times Co. for $70 million in 2013. The Center Court deal fell apart after a prior unsuccessful attempt to sell the headquarters to Concord-based Winstanley Enterprises in 2015.

The completed sale is slightly behind schedule. Nordblom officials told civic groups in early December that they expected to close on the site by mid-December, though Alcion’s involvement was not disclosed at the time.

As presented to neighborhood groups and the city, Nordblom plans to retain much of the old Dorchester building’s shell, retrofitting its spacious interior for a mix of industrial, technology, lab, and office uses. They also pitched a possible food or craft brewery component, as well as pledged improvements to the nearby Patten’s Cove.

Nordblom submitted a Letter of Intent to the Boston Planning and Development Agency in November.

An Impact Advisory Group is being formed through the agency now, and is expected to be finalized in the next few weeks, spokeswoman Bonnie McGilpin said Wednesday. Public meetings on the development will begin in early 2018.

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