Taj Boston Sale Officially Closes, Improvements to Come

Jul 14, 2016 [Boston Business Journal]

A consortium of real estate developers have closed a deal to acquire the Taj Boston hotel from Indian Hotels Co. Ltd., though the group did not specify a final purchase price.

Indian Hotels had first acquired the former Ritz-Carlton Boston Hotel at 15 Arlington St. in Boston’s Back Bay for $170 million in 2006. When the Mumbai-based firm put the hotel on the market this spring, it planned to sell the asset for at least $125 million — a full $45 million less than its last sale price.

The property’s new owner is a Massachusetts-based LLC affiliated with a handful of prominent real estate firms including New England Development, Eastern Real Estate, Rockpoint Group, Lubert-Adler and Highgate.

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Iconic Taj Boston Hotel Sold, Will Retain Name

May 31, 2016 [Boston Herald]

The Taj Boston will have a new owner, but keep the same name after a deal 
announced yesterday by New England Development and Eastern Real Estate, the real estate firms leading the investment group that is buying the 273-room luxury Arlington Street hotel.

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New England Development and Eastern Real Estate to Acquire Taj Boston in Partnership with Rockpoint Group and Lubert-Adler

May 30, 2016 (Boston, MA)

New England Development and Eastern Real Estate announced today that, along with their partners, Rockpoint Group, L.LC. and Lubert-Adler, they have reached agreement with the Taj Group to acquire the Taj Boston. The transaction is scheduled to close in July of 2016. Terms of the transaction are confidential at this time and are subject to final approvals. The hotel will remain a Taj branded property.

The Taj Boston, a 273-room luxury hotel on Arlington Street overlooking Commonwealth Avenue, the Public Garden and the first block of Newbury Street, has a storied history – opening in 1927 and operating as a Ritz Carlton before it was acquired by Taj in 2006. This is the latest among many real estate ventures that NED and Eastern have worked on together. They are developing one of the largest mixed-use developments in Massachusetts, the two million SF University Station in Westwood, MA, and also developed Palm Beach Outlets and Marketplace at the Outlets in West Palm Beach, FL.

Stephen R. Karp, Chairman of New England Development, expressed his enthusiasm about the planned acquisition. “We are thrilled to join with Eastern and our partners Rockpoint and Lubert-Adler to acquire this legendary hotel property – located in one of the country’s most famous shopping districts.”

Daniel J. Doherty, III, a Principal of Eastern Real Estate, commented, “Together our partnership looks forward to working with our new employees, the community and the City of Boston to redefine the vibrant and luxurious potential of this internationally acclaimed, iconic hotel.”

New England Development, one of the nation’s premier real estate development and management companies, is led by Chairman Stephen R. Karp, Vice Chairman Steven S. Fischman, and President Douglass E. Karp. As part of NED’s national portfolio that includes retail, mixed-use, and hospitality assets plus marinas and golf courses, the company operates luxury hotels on Nantucket, MA, including the White Elephant Hotel and The Wauwinet. Both hotels are on the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List and are recipients of the Forbes Travel Guide Four Star Award. NED was also a major part of the team that developed the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel adjacent to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Eastern Real Estate is a privately held commercial real estate firm with expertise in capital investment, real estate development, and asset management. Eastern specializes in adding value to complex real estate opportunities and has a long-standing track record of successful investing across multiple asset classes. Eastern was founded and is led by Principals Daniel J. Doherty III and Brian J. Kelly.

Lubert-Adler, which partnered with NED and Eastern on the acquisition and development of Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach, FL, focuses on acquiring and enhancing urban mixed use and business hospitality assets as well as mid-size, value-add rental assets .

Rockpoint Group, L.L.C. is a real estate private equity firm headquartered in Boston, with additional primary offices in Dallas and San Francisco. Since 1994, Rockpoint’s founding Managing Members with others have sponsored twelve commingled funds and related co-investment vehicles, raising approximately $17 billion in capital commitments and investing approximately $13 billion of equity in over 365 transactions with a total capitalization of approximately $48 billion. Rockpoint employs a fundamental value approach to investing in both its opportunistic and lower-risk strategies and focuses on select product types and geographic regions, with a primary emphasis on opportunities in major coastal markets in the United States.

Eastern Real Estate Acquires Powerhouse Plaza, West Lebanon, NH

Powerhouse Plaza, West Lebanon, NH

WOBURN, MA – May 11, 2015 – Eastern Real Estate LLC today announced the purchase of Powerhouse Plaza an 81,317 square foot Shaw’s Supermarket anchored shopping center located in West Lebanon, New Hampshire. Strategically located off Route 12A (South Main Street), at the intersection of Interstate 89 and Interstate 91, the site has strong demographics and is easily accessed from the surrounding communities. The center is fully leased.

Powerhouse Plaza

Autism Speaks Co-Founder Bob Wright to Step Down as Chairman of the Board

Brian Kelly, Autism Speaks Board Member, elected Chairman

NEW YORK, N.Y. (May 1, 2015) – Bob Wright, Co-Founder of Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, will step down as Chairman of the Board of Directors on May 1st. Mr. Wright has served as Chairman since he and his wife, Suzanne, founded Autism Speaks in 2005 when their grandson was diagnosed with autism. Brian Kelly, an original member of the Autism Speaks Board of Directors and its Executive Committee, has been elected Autism Speaks Chairman of the Board. Mr. and Mrs. Wright will remain on the Board as Co-Founders.

“Ten years ago, we started Autism Speaks because we were shocked at the lack of research, awareness, and access to care for the fastest growing developmental condition in the world,” Mr. Wright said in making this announcement. “We set out to change that from the bottom up, by giving a voice to parents and families, and from the top down, by pressing the medical research community, policy makers, and corporate leaders for action. We have made progress, but there is still work to be done. Brian Kelly has been a big voice at the Autism Speaks table and, as the new Chairman, he is prepared to carry the torch forward on behalf of our families.”

“As a parent of a child on the spectrum, I joined Autism Speaks because I saw how underserved the autism community was and knew Bob was the right leader to change that. I am honored and humbled to have been elected Chairman of the Board as we embark on the next chapter of our mission,” said Brian Kelly. “We hear from families every day that they need supports and services more than ever. Autism Speaks will continue to drive a leadership agenda around the issues that matter most to parents. We will partner with community organizations, businesses, educators, and researchers across the country to foster innovation that will improve the lives and futures of people across the autism spectrum.”

“Bob Wright brought his decades of executive experience at GE and NBC Universal to change the world for people affected by autism,” said Liz Feld, President of Autism Speaks. “Because of Bob’s leadership, millions of families feel more accepted, empowered, and hopeful. He has been a tireless champion for better research, greater health care coverage, and access to affordable services that impact the daily lives of individuals living with autism. Bob’s legacy is set. He has built a foundation that is prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead for the autism community. Brian Kelly assumes his role as Chairman from a position of strength and we are poised for further success under his leadership.”

Mr. Kelly, 53, served as Chair of the Audit and Family Services Committees until his election as Chairman of the Board. In 2005, he and his wife, Tricia, donated $2.35 million dollars to The Autism Research and Training Center at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education that provided enhanced facilities for what is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading centers for the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of autism. In 2006, Mr. Kelly was a leader in the property acquisition and development of the Melmark New England campus in Andover, Massachusetts, a school that services individuals with autism and other disabilities. In 2013, the Kellys established the Brian & Patricia Kelly Postsecondary Scholarship Fund at Autism Speaks to support vocational and educational opportunities for young adults on the spectrum.

Mr. Kelly is co-founder of Eastern Real Estate LLC, a leading commercial real estate investment, development, and asset management firm. Mr. Kelly was raised in New York and then Boston, where he met his wife. They now reside in Santa Barbara, California with their six children. Their eldest child, Patrick, has autism.

Bob and Suzanne Wright will be honored for their decade of service with a celebrity Chef Gala in Los Angeles, California on October 8th and at The Winter Ball at the Metropolitan Museum in New York on December 8th.

About Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks was founded by Suzanne and Bob Wright in 2005. Mr. Wright is the former Vice Chairman of General Electric and Chief Executive Officer of NBC and NBC Universal. The organization is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has raised and invested more than $550 million, in science and medical research, advocacy, awareness and family service programs. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. Autism Speaks has helped to secure autism insurance coverage in 41 states and $3 billion dollars in federal autism research through congressional action. Autism Speaks is currently engaged in an historic whole genome sequencing project with Google. The organization has established partnerships in more than 60 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org.

First Phase of University Station Set to Open in Spring

October 9, 2014 [Canton Citizen]

After experiencing numerous delays, protracted negotiations with local and state officials, and a major downsizing and revival under a new team of owners, the long-awaited University Station development in Westwood is now officially back on track with the first major retail phase slated for an opening sometime in the spring of 2015.

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Nordstrom Rack, Other Stores, Opening at Palm Beach Outlets

October 7, 2014 [wptv.com]

WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Nordstrom Rack is opening at the Palm Beach Outlets Wednesday, and WPTV got an early look at the store. Nordstrom Rack says the new location was a good fit with a nice mix of retailers.

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