Abbey Group still faces uphill climb in Cambridge

Abbey Group still faces uphill climb in Cambridge

The Abbey Group’s challenges in filling 840 Memorial Drive in Cambridge appear to be as stubborn as ever, despite the firm’s recent lease extension with drug developer Bluebird Bio.

The BlueBird Bio deal’s terms were not disclosed. However an Abbey Group spokesman with Reagan Communications Group in Boston said new the agreement means Bluebird Bio “is not leaving the building.”

The drug developer occupies 10,500 square feet at 840 Memorial Drive, also known as Riverside Technology Center. It’s existing lease was set to expire in May. A call to a Bluebird Bio spokeswoman was not immediately returned Monday.

According to Moody’s Investors Services, 840 Memorial Drive was 71 percent occupied as of Sept. 30. The ratings firm said the property, a 129,000-square-foot office and laboratory facility that is backed by a $38.8 million mortgage, has been flagged as a heightened risk by its master servicer due to “high vacancy” concerns. In its Jan. 28 report, Moody’s said the property’s loan-to-value ratio is 125 percent, putting the site’s estimated valuation at around $31 million, according to the ratings firm.

According to filings by the loan’s master servicer, Wells Fargo Bank, 840 Memorial Drive was last appraised at $69.8 million in November 2003.

Alan Eisner, the president of Reagan Communications, declined to comment on whether the property’s occupancy rate has changed in the months since. He said Moody’s information is “incomplete and inaccurate,” but declined to offer additional detail.

Moody’s analysis of the 840 Memorial Drive loan was included in a review of a $604 million portfolio of commercial-mortgage backed securities arranged by a Bear Stearns affiliate in 2004. The ratings firm upgraded one slice of the portfolio’s securities and downgraded four others, citing higher-than expected losses from the pool’s mortgages. Moody’s said the 840 Memorial Drive loan is performing and did not project any related losses to investors.

The Bear Stearns pool, which originally collateralized 97 mortgages, has already absorbed $3.2 million in liquidation-related losses and is forecast to see another $5.5 million in losses from another six poorly-performing loans, according to Moody’s.

Read more: Abbey Group still faces uphill climb in Cambridge | Boston Business Journal

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