Barings Buys Boston-Area Apartments for $103M

Flats on First. Image courtesy of CBRE An affiliate of Barings has acquired Flats on…

Flats on First. Image courtesy of CBRE

An affiliate of Barings has acquired Flats on First, a newly constructed 136-unit, Class A multifamily property in Cambridge, Mass., from Urban Spaces for $103 million.

CBRE Capital Markets’ multifamily experts Simon Butler, Biria St. John and John McLaughlin exclusively represented the seller and procured the buyer. Barings is an international investment management firm owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.

Completed last month, Flats on First is located at 21 Charles St., which has 118 units, and 22 Hurley St., which has 22 units. People’s United Bank originated a $64 million construction loan in August 2019, Yardi Matrix reported.

The property includes 14,800 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and a two-level, 142-space underground parking garage. The multifamily community is comprised of two four- and six-story, wood-frame buildings. The buildings have studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging in size from 439 square feet to 1,355 square feet. Sixteen of the units are affordable for residents earning up to 80 percent of the area median income.

Property Details

The units all have washers and dryers. Other features include gourmet kitchens with stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, designer custom cabinetry with ceramic and glass tile backsplash, wood-grained vinyl flooring and digital locks. Community amenities include a large clubroom and fitness center, rooftop deck and landscaped courtyard.

Flats on First is situated in the Kendall Square neighborhood of Cambridge, considered the top life science cluster in world. Flats on First is expected to meet the housing demands and needs of residents working in the nearby life science businesses as well as employers in Boston and Somerville, Mass. It is located near the MBTA Red Line at Kendall Square and the MBTA Green Line at Lechmere.

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Paul Ognibene, CEO of Cambridge-based Urban Spaces, said completion of Flats on First marks the next milestone in the company’s ongoing efforts to continue transforming the First Street Corridor into a true mixed-use neighborhood.

St. John stated Flats on First is part of a larger mixed-use development plan assembled by Ognibene and Urban Spaces over the last six years. St. John noted other recently completed developments in the First Street Corridor from Urban Spaces includes The Axiom, a 115-unit apartment community at 159 First St., and an office building at 121 First St.

Barings Multifamily Deals

In October, Barings was a part of a joint venture led by Adler Group and 13th Floor Investments that sold Motion at Dadeland, a 294-unit high-rise community in Miami to Lerner Enterprises for $114 million. Also in Miami, Barings was part of the same joint venture that began leasing a new 22-story, 312-unit Miami property in May 2021. CORE Link at Douglas was the first residential tower to be completed at Link at Douglas, a mixed-use project under development next to the Metrorail and linear park called The Underline.

More recently, Barings provided a $67 million financing package to a joint venture between UrbanStreet Group and Atlas Residential for the recapitalization of The 450, a newly constructed 256-unit multifamily property in Lombard, Ill.