Boston Properties knows more than beans about real estate. The self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT) buys, develops, and manages mostly Class-A office buildings in large US cities, with its core markets being in Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. As one of the nation's largest office owners and developers, Boston Properties owns around 160 office and office/technical properties with 46.5 million rentable square feet. Its largest tenants include the US government,
Bank of America
. The REIT also owns a handful of retail, hotel, residential properties, as well as land sites for development. The firm's chairman is media czar Mort Zuckerman (
U.S. News & World Report
Boston Properties leased 158 office properties with 46.5 million sq. ft. of rentable space during 2015. About 95% of the REIT's total revenue comes from its 127 Class A Office properties, which the REIT defines as centrally-located buildings that are professionally managed and maintained and command upper-tier rental rates. The firm also owned more than 30 office/technical properties that support office, research and development, laboratory, and other technical uses. Beyond offices, the REIT owns one hotel, five retail properties, and three residential buildings.
The REIT owns stakes in some rather iconic buildings. It has a 60% stake in New York's GM Building, which was acquired from the ailing Macklowe Properties for $2.8 billion, a record-setting price for a US office building. Boston Properties also owns Times Square Tower in New York, Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, and Metropolitan Square in Washington, DC.
Despite its name, firm's largest market is actually in New York City, where its properties generate more than 40% of its total revenue. Its Boston-based properties contribute more than 30% to its revenue, while its properties in Washington, DC, and San Francisco made up another roughly 15% and 10% of its revenue, respectively.
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The REIT's tenants come from a variety of sectors including the legal services, media & technology, financial services, retail, and public sectors. The US government is the REIT's largest tenant, occupying 4% of its rented space.
Bank of America
each occupy about 2% of space. Other high-profile tenants include
Boston Properties' annual revenues have risen 45% since 2011 thanks to rent-boosting property acquisitions and appreciating property valuations that have commanded higher rental rates.
The REIT's revenue climbed 4% to $2.5 billion during 2015 mostly as its average revenue per square foot increased by $1.42, and because its termination income grew with 36 tenant terminations, the bulk of which came from New York followed by San Francisco.
Revenue growth combined with higher gains on real estate sales and lower interest expenses on debt in 2015 drove the Boston Properties' net income up 31% to $583.1 million. The REIT's operating cash levels rose 15% to $799.4 million for the year thanks to a rise in cash-based earnings.
Boston Properties continues to focus on the Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. markets, where it aims to be among the leading -- and preferably
leading -- owners and developers of office properties.
Aside from acquiring new properties, the REIT also develops its own. At the end of 2014, Boston Properties had 10 projects under construction, including nine office properties and one residential building, which combined measure approximately 3.3 million square feet. The firm estimates that the total investment to complete these projects is approximately $2.1 billion, of which it had already invested about $0.9 million by the end of 2014.