Developers use crowdfunding, loans to buy Assembly site for $143M

Developers use crowdfunding, loans to buy Assembly site for $143M

Greg Ryan

By Greg Ryan

With the help of a crowdfunding platform, a Boston-based real estate development firm and its partner have acquired a nearly 12-acre commercial property in Somerville’s Assembly Square for $142.5 million.

A joint venture between Cabot Cabot & Forbes and a Cannon Hill Capital Partners fund bought 65-75 Mystic Ave., a site adjacent to the mixed-use Assembly Row development, from a Milstein Properties affiliate. The property is home to a 125,000-square-foot Home Depot store.

The duo financed the acquisition with loans from Centennial Commercial Finance Group and Lionheart Strategic Management as well as more than $68 million raised through the online investment platform CrowdStreet.

In a statement, CC&F and Cannon Hill executives did not share their plans for the site. CC&F CEO Jay Doherty called it an “exceptional property,” while Eric Rubin, the chief investment officer of New York-based Cannon Hill, said the pair “are excited to be a part of the continued growth of Assembly Square.”

Life sciences labs are going up in Assembly Square, though those projects started before the slowdown in the real estate market for that sector. 

Greystar and a partner are building a 17-story, 465,000-square-foot lab complex at 74 Middlesex Ave., while BioMed Realty is at work on a similarly sized building, the first phase of what the developer is calling Assembly Innovation Park. Federal Realty Investment Trust last year proposed a 382,000-square-foot lab project in Assembly Row itself.

CC&F is developing life sciences buildings in places like Cambridge and Woburn, though it also does multifamily and other types of development. Cannon Hill is one of the developers on the Boynton Gateway project near Somerville’s Union Square.

Atlantic Retail’s David Smookler and Peter Considine represented the seller in the transaction, while Atlantic Retail’s Tony Ciccolo represented the buyer.

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