‘Half Off’ for Boston’s Most Famous Skyscraper

Boston’s John Hancock Tower, the tallest skyscraper in New England, may be sold to lenders led by Normandy Real Estate Partners for about half the $1.3 billion paid in December 2006 (much of it borrowed) by Broadway Partners, which defaulted on its loan.

The building will go on the auction block tomorrow in New York under state rules that govern mezzanine loan foreclosures.

The Hancock Tower, at 200 Clarendon St. in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, is probably worth less than $750 million, according to Reis Inc., a New York-based real estate research firm. [via Bloomberg]

Broadway Partners purchased the 60-story glass building in 2006 making a bold bet that its value would continue to rise as office rents in Boston escalated at the time to over $100 a square foot. But with the economy receding and office rents falling, the company’s owners could not generate enough income to meet its debt payments, and banks were not willing to refinance such a massive transaction.

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