In the News > Hot South End site gets a jolt

Hot South End site gets a jolt

6/7/2012

Electrical and communication product supplier Graybar’s South End property has fetched $14 million from a Burlington real estate company that’s eager to redevelop the warehouse.

Nordblom Co. snapped up 345 Harrison Ave. last week and has given Graybar time to move — a 12-month lease-back deal — while development plans are crafted.

“We never listed it for sale,” said Jeff Netherton, director of corporate real estate at Graybar’s St. Louis headquarters. “The buyer came in and made us an offer that we felt was advantageous for us to relocate (within Boston).”

Graybar has operated on Harrison Avenue since 1960. The low-slung brick warehouse sits in an industrial corner of the South End, bordered by the Massachusetts Turnpike and Interstate 93, that’s on track for widespread redevelopment.

Across Harrison Avenue stands the former Herald property, which Newton’s National Development is transforming into the $200 million Ink Block apartment and retail complex. Around the corner is an Albany Street parking lot where Normandy Real Estate Partners has been working on a hotel.

“It’s a fantastic transitional neighborhood,” said Ogden Hunnewell, a Nordblom executive vice president. “It will be really exciting to be part of the revitalization of this area that’s really been overlooked.”

Hunnewell said Nordblom is still figuring out what to build on the Graybar site, but it may be a residential building with ground-floor retail. He said it will likely be comparable in height to the Ink Block’s eight- and nine-story buildings.

Nordblom already owns the property next door at 1000 Washington St., an 11-story office building and parking garage that once housed Teradyne’s headquarters. Nordblom bought the site in 2006 for $34.8 million.

The developer teamed with Westbrook Partners, a New York-based real estate investor, on the Graybar deal. Hunnewell said Nordblom will be meeting with the Boston Redevelopment Authority soon.

-— gturner@bostonherald.com