Former Hancock Tower Adding Co-Working Space

120 St. James

The Yard, a New York-based co-working space provider, has leased a majority of the sixth floor at 120 St. James Ave. in Boston’s Back Bay for its first New England location.

Landlord Boston Properties rebranded the bottom six floors of the former Hancock Tower as 120 St. James Ave. and modernized the office space with a strategy of marketing it to tech and creative companies, which have tended to shun high-rises in favor of converted industrial buildings.

“The building was a little corporate, but Boston Properties stripped out the bottom section and created a hip building,” said Richard Beyda, co-founder of The Yard.

The 15-year lease is for 32,147 square feet with opening scheduled for this fall, Beyda said. After a year-long search throughout Boston and Cambridge, The Yard picked the Back Bay landmark because of the iconic tower design and proximity to a large residential population, he said. Transwestern represented The Yard in the lease negotiation.

“This opportunity came up and this was our first choice: to be in Back Bay. We really rely on that residential live-work-play environment where people don’t have to go too far for amenities and restaurants,” Beyda said.

The Yard opened its first location in 2011 in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York. It now operates seven facilities in New York City with plans for six additional locations on the East Coast, including the new Back Bay location. It’s looking for additional locations in Greater Boston including Cambridge, the Seaport District and residential neighborhoods outside of the urban core, Beyda said.

The Back Bay location will offer monthly memberships providing 24/7 access to private offices, dedicated desks and co-working space and conference rooms. Monthly memberships range from $275 for open co-working space to private offices starting at $525.

Approximately 290,000 square feet were available in the former Hancock Tower, the rest of which is now known as 200 Clarendon, as of Sept. 30.

“While the low-rise portion is attractive to non-financial tenants, as evidenced by recently signed leases for approximately 55,000 square feet with new tenants, the high-rise continues to be driven by traditional financial services tenants and activity has been slower,” Boston Properties stated in its third-quarter report.

First Marblehead Corp. recently announced that it will relocate from 1 Cabot Road in Medford to 200 Clarendon St. this summer after signing a long-term lease for 32,198 square feet.

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Former Hancock Tower Adding Co-Working Space

by Steve Adams time to read: 2 min