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Jan. 4, 2013

Converse to Relocate HQs on Boston’s Lovejoy Wharf

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

North Andover, MA-based sneaker giant Converse wrapped up 2012 with a deal for 186,525 square feet of space in the Hoffman Building, one of the structures on Boston’s Lovejoy Wharf.

The Nike subsidiary has officially closed the transaction less than a month since developers Beal Cos. and Real Cos. unveiled plans to redevelop the area along the Charlestown Bridge in the city’s historic Bullfinch Triangle. As previously reported here, the development team will upgrade and expand the existing 11-story Hoffman Building located at 160 North Washington Street into a 241,000-square-foot office structure. A second facility located at 131 Beverly Street will also be redeveloped into a 14-story residential building with 104 condo units.

Converse will occupy all but one floor in the Hoffman Building but, according to the Boston Herald, the deal comes with a restriction that bans more than 45 shoe and clothing brands, such as Nike’s direct competitors Adidas, Reebok and New Balance, from opening stores in Lovejoy Wharf’s retail spaces.

Robert Sheehan, research vice president at commercial real estate firm KeyPoint Partners of Burlington, told the Herald that while it is very unusual that an office lease has an exclusion including retail space, the restriction can easily be explained by the fact that Converse is a retail company and the measure is only meant to protect its territory.

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