…OneBeacon looks for tenants to fill roughly half of its Canton complex.

…OneBeacon looks for tenants to fill roughly half of its Canton complex.


When OneBeacon Insurance Group acquired the former EquiServe headquarters campus in 2005, OneBeacon executives had always envisioned the Canton building as a multi-tenant campus.

Finally, the insurance company is ready to share. OneBeacon hosted its first open house for commercial real estate brokers Wednesday as it looks to find tenants to fill as much as 125,000 square feet in the nearly 280,000-square-foot complex at 150 Royall St. CLW Real Estate Services Group is handling the leasing for OneBeacon.

OneBeacon renovated the building and consolidated most of its Boston area work force at the location in late 2006 and early 2007. After the move was completed, nearly 900 OneBeacon employees worked there.

Since that time, OneBeacon sold its personal insurance business to Tower Group and its non-specialty commercial insurance operations to The Hanover Insurance Group. The two transactions have left OneBeacon with roughly 460 employees in Canton, but Tower leases space in the building where it employs former OneBeacon workers.

The Canton operation is still OneBeacon’s largest office, although its headquarters is in Minnetonka, Minn.

John Ferrari, a vice president at OneBeacon, said the company had initially treated the building as a real estate investment and had planned to sell it after five years.

“But with the (market) condition the way it is, for us to get the value (we want), it’s going to take longer than five years,” Ferrari said. “We’re going to hold on to it for the foreseeable future.”

Ferrari said the building offers a number of amenities that make it stand out among the office buildings in the Route 128 South market. They include a fitness center, fully-staffed security post and a cafeteria whose baker takes personal requests for pizzas. The spacious central atrium features a veritable jungle of indoor plants.

“If you look at the 128 South market that we anchor the west corner of, the buildings tend not to be as new or as full of amenities,” Ferrari said.

Ferrari said the complex was first built in the 1970s, and was a home for the former Boston Envelope. He said Reebok had used it as its headquarters from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, when the sneaker company moved to Stoughton. Reebok returned in 2000 to a nearby site on Royall Street, where it built a new headquarters complex.

Jon Chesto may be reached at jchesto@ledger.com.

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