It’s been a well-kept secret that Partners HealthCare has signed a deal for 136,000 square feet of office space at Lafayette City Center, formerly known as Lafayette Corporate Center, in Boston’s Downtown Crossing neighborhood.
Not just that, but industry executives close to the deal have told Banker & Tradesman that two high-tech companies currently based in Cambridge are taking a long, hard look at potentially leasing a total of 275,000 square feet of office space at the 2 Avenue de Lafayette property.
The Partners deal alone is a big win for landlord The Abbey Group. State Street Corp. is vacating a huge chunk of space at Lafayette next year to move into a 500,000-square-foot built-to-suit project in Boston’s Seaport district. All told, the building would have been left with about 435,000 square feet sitting empty if Partners hadn’t stepped to the plate.
That’s not the only Downtown Crossing property with promising activity. Just two weeks ago Banker & Tradesman reported first that Arnold Worldwide is considering relocating to the existing building at the Filene’s site at the corner of Summer and Washington streets. The firm would just about fill the 300,000-square-foot Burnham building and potentially be the anchor tenant needed for developer Millennium Partners to secure financing to start construction on the 625-foot residential tower the firm plans to build on the former Filene’s department store.
One downtown real estate executive familiar with the activity at both properties said Washington Street could be on its way to becoming the “inner belt” for high-tech companies wanting a downtown address, especially firms seeking more affordable space than the little that’s available in Cambridge. Couple that with sleek new condos, popular new restaurants and the bright lights and big marquees on the renovated historic theaters directly across the street from the Lafayette Center, it’s hard to think the area is undergoing anything short of a renaissance.