Reflecting continued difficulties in the commercial real estate market, Lend Lease Real Estate Investments has pulled back on its sale of Lincoln Plaza in downtown Boston, company officials have confirmed. The eight-story, 230,000-square-foot property is owned by a client of the real estate advisory firm.

We just didn’t get the pricing we wanted, Lend Lease principal Charles Burd told Banker & Tradesman last week. It’s as simple as that.

The retrenchment marks the latest instance where a commercial property has been taken off the market following a tepid response. While one source close to the situation said the marketing effort yielded a number of offers, none apparently were close enough to match the owner’s expectations.

It’s a whole new world out there, said the source, maintaining that the dour economy and Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have conspired to widen the chasm between buyers and sellers. The investment market was already on shaky ground prior to the September tragedies, the source said, and conditions have only worsened since the incidents took place.

People on both the buy side and the sell side aren’t certain about what proper pricing is right now, Burd agreed. There’s a much bigger gap than normal.

Brokers at CB Richard Ellis/Whittier Partners, the listing agent for the property, declined to discuss the status of the sale or the asking price. Lend Lease took control of the asset as part of its acquisition of Boston Financial Corp. in 1999. That firm had paid $37.6 million for the 81-year-old property in June 1999.

Other Boston properties that were on the sales block this year but have since been pulled include 343 Congress St. in Boston’s Fort Point Channel district and Lafayette Corporate Center, a former Downtown Crossing mall converted to Class A office space. Observers say sellers are less likely to take a bargain-basement price on a building than they might have in the last major downturn, with owners today in better fiscal shape and economic conditions nowhere near as disconcerting as they were a decade ago.

Lend Lease itself has capital available to buy properties, and Burd said the company is in the market looking for opportunities. At the same time, he said, the firm is a little more selective and not as willing to take a risk in the current environment.

Boston’s Lincoln Plaza Taken Off Sales Block by Lend Lease

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 2 min