Congress Square Lands Anchor Office Tenant

Banker & Tradesman | By Steve Adams
October 5, 2016

congress-sqBoston ad agency DigitasLBi is departing its longtime home at 33 Arch St. in downtown Boston to become the anchor office tenant at Congress Square, a block of century-old financial offices that developer Related Beal is converting into a mixed-use development.

Digitas recently leased 200,000 square feet at Congress Square’s 40 Water St., the former original branch of Shawmut National Bank. It’s been shopping for office space for more than two years, with its 200,000-square-foot lease at 33 Arch St. set to expire in 2017. Related Beal is renovating 40 Water St. to make way for open-format offices topped with a 6-story glass addition and tree-lined roof deck overlooking Post Office Square.

TIAA-CREF, the owner of 33 Arch St., recently placed Digitas’ space there on the market, according to a real estate source. Digitas was a pioneer at that location as well, signing the first office lease when the 33-story tower was completed in 2004.

The lengthy lease negotiation prompted another 33 Arch St. another tenant, IT specialists TEKsystems, to look elsewhere for expansion. TEKsystems recently leased 15,000 square feet at Tishman Speyer’s One Federal St.

“It shows how interconnected tenants and decisions are within the market,” said Aaron Jodka, director of research for Colliers International in Boston. “While Digitas was going back and forth, TEKsystems had to make a decision and couldn’t want for someone else to make up their mind, so it forced them to relocate.”

A Digitas spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment. JLL, the office leasing agent for Congress Square, declined to comment.

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