SOURCE: American Realty Advisors

May 01, 2014 14:04 ET

Samuels & Associates and American Realty Advisors Announcing Closing on Key Barry's Corner Parcel; HFF Arranges Financing

Development Project Slated to Include Residential and Commercial Space

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - May 1, 2014) - Samuels & Associates, a Boston-based real estate development and management firm, its investment partner, Weiner Ventures, and American Realty Advisors, a leading provider of commercial real estate investment management services for institutional investors, today announced the completion of project financing for the Barry's Corner Residential and Retail Commons. HFF worked on behalf of Samuels & Associates to secure joint venture equity with American and a construction loan through Northwestern Mutual for the project.

The Barry's Corner development is situated at the intersection of North Harvard Street and Western Avenue, less than five miles west of downtown Boston. The site will be redeveloped as a LEED Gold Certified mixed-use project for non-academic uses. The project, adjacent to Harvard University's Allston campus, is the first private development undertaken on Harvard University land in Boston and is subject to a long term ground lease.

The completed project will include 325 rental apartment units, 35,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, approximately 180 below grade parking spaces and 40 on-street parking spaces on two new streets created within the project site. It will also include three open spaces within the project and a new park entrance to Smith Field. The new development reflects comprehensive input received during a nearly 18-month process of working collaboratively with the community to identify the best uses, size and scope for the parcel. 

American's EVP/Executive Managing Director, Kirk Helgeson, stated, "We are pleased to inaugurate our partnership with Samuels & Associates on this high profile project. This is a terrific opportunity to invest in a residential and commercial development in a market with strong demand for housing. The proximity to Harvard University and easy access to technology, healthcare and financial services jobs in Cambridge and Boston will mean strong demand for the residential product. Barry's Corner represents the opportunity to develop a quality asset in an outstanding location and create value for our clients over the long term."

"Our partnership with American Realty Advisors and the closing on this parcel is the culmination of more than 2 years of collaboration with Harvard University and local residents to create a successful project design," said Joel Sklar, president and principal of Samuels. "We are excited to move forward and appreciate this opportunity to work with American on such a transformational project."

"The capital sources got comfortable with the vision Samuels has with the Barry's Corner site as it mirrors the successful Trilogy project Samuels developed in the Fenway area a few years back," said Greg LaBine, HFF managing director and lead on the team representing Samuels. "Samuels has a proven track record in creating developments that greatly enhance the neighborhoods in which they are situated. Both American Realty Advisors and Northwestern Mutual worked well together to ensure a smooth closing process in order to expeditiously commence development at the site." 

Site preparation and demolition work is complete and project construction is underway. Residential units will be available August 2015 and the ground floor commercial space is already being actively marketed to potential tenants. 

Samuels & Associates
Samuels & Associates is a Boston-based development and property management firm with more than three decades of experience in creating distinct, mixed-use properties in urban settings. A strong commitment to place making, vibrant street level experiences and community building define Samuels & Associates projects. The firm has been responsible for significant new development in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston -- including Fenway Triangle Trilogy, 1330 Boylston Street and the Van Ness Building. They will launch construction on a residential and retail project adjacent to Harvard University's Allston Campus in spring 2014 and served as the master planner and developer of the Launch and the Moorings at Hingham Shipyard. More information regarding Samuels can be found at www.samuelsre.com.

American Realty Advisors
American is an investment manager to institutional investors and with approximately $6 billion in assets under management, has provided real estate investment management services for over 25 years utilizing core and value-added commingled funds and separate accounts. American acquires assets directly or provides equity, preferred equity, mezzanine debt, debt and hybrid debt to primary investors and developers operating throughout the United States for office, industrial, multi-family, and retail properties. More information regarding American can be found at www.americanreal.com.

Weiner Ventures
Weiner Ventures is a real estate investment and development firm with a notable portfolio of large mixed-use projects in the Boston area, including being the owner and developer of the Mandarin Oriental Boston and The Street in Chestnut Hill. Weiner Ventures owns the former Museum of Natural History, now the new Boston home of Restoration Hardware, and has been designated by MassDOT to develop Turnpike Air Rights Parcels 12 and 15 in Boston's Back Bay, along with Samuels & Associates. Weiner Ventures is also a strategic investment partner with Samuels in multiple mixed-use projects in the Fenway.

Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual has helped clients achieve financial security for 157 years. As a mutual company with $1.5 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual has no shareholders. The company focuses solely and directly on its clients and seeks to deliver consistent and dependable value to them over time. Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI, and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services.

HFF
HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) and HFFS (HFF Securities L.P.) are owned by HFF, Inc. (NYSE: HF). HFF operates out of 22 offices nationwide and is a leading provider of commercial real estate and capital markets services to the U.S. commercial real estate industry. HFF together with its affiliate HFFS offer clients a fully integrated national capital markets platform including debt placement, investment sales, equity placement, advisory services, loan sales and commercial loan servicing. More information regarding HFF can be found at www.hfflp.com