Berkeley Investments announces plans for Exchange 200, retains Newmark Knight Frank

Exchange 200

Boston – Real estate developer Berkeley Investments announced plans for its latest commercial project, Exchange 200, a four-story, 315,000+ square-foot building in Malden, MA. Berkeley intends to turn the building into a vibrant mixed-use innovation center with street level retail, a state-of-the art data center, among others uses.

The developer intends to transform the building into a mixed-use innovation hub located in the heart of Malden Center in order to cater to a wide assortment of companies ranging from R&D and office tenants to data center and ground floor restaurant and retail uses.

Malden Center is a rapidly growing residential and commercial community six miles north of Boston and just steps from the MBTA Orange Line, providing direct access to Assembly Row, downtown Boston and beyond.

Originally constructed as a bank operations center and most recently occupied by Bank of America, Exchange 200 offers a number of unique assets for a building less than 15 minutes from downtown Boston: large, flexible floorplates, redundant high-capacity power infrastructure, high ceilings, and heavy floor loads.

Young K. Park

According to Young Park, President, Berkeley Investments, “the redevelopment of Exchange 200 will preserve this infrastructure while installing new, efficient building systems and incorporating modern design features to enhance the interior and exterior of the property.”

Improvements will include adding a two-story light well in the center of the building capped by a large skylight, as well as floor-to-ceiling glass on the exterior at key locations to increase natural daylighting to the interior spaces; a new two-story lobby to create a welcoming and dynamic entrance; and adding amenities that will appeal to today’s employers and employees including a fitness center, networking spaces and bike storage.

The masterplan is to turn the building into a vibrant mixed-use innovation center with street level retail, a state-of-the art data center, and more than 200,000 square feet of creative office, R&D, and flex space.

Carolyn Zern, Development Vice President, Berkeley Investments, adds, “we couldn’t ask for a better partner than the City of Malden.  The City has fully supported our efforts to create a transit-oriented development across the street from the Malden Center T stop targeting forward-thinking, creative tenants who crave the amenities and transportation options of an urban location at a great value.”

Exchange 200 rendering

Plans also include leveraging the building’s existing infrastructure by dedicating part of the space for data center usage.  Due to its original use, the building currently has the power and network redundancies necessary for data center tenants that are cost prohibitive to install on a speculative basis. JLL is marketing the new building’s 60,000 square feet of energy efficient data center availability including 25,000 square feet of critical operation space.

Gabe Cole, Managing Director, Data Center Solutions, JLL, says:  “Exchange 200 represents the future of data centers in New England.  Built when ‘banks were banks,’ it is one of a handful of buildings in Massachusetts that are truly served by two separate substations – Malden and Melrose in this case.  Its location adjacent to the MBTA easements and proximity to the GTT cable landing station in Lynn make it a fiber hub providing connectivity to all of New England, Eastern Canada, Western Europe, and beyond.”

Newmark Knight Frank (NKF) has been retained by Berkeley to lease and market the remainder of the building, some 200,000 square feet of flexible commercial space ideal for office and innovative tech tenants looking to capitalize on Exchange 200’s extensive infrastructure and convenient transit access, a rare combination in today’s competitive market.

“Berkeley’s intent is to create vibrant innovation space that will appeal to forward-thinking creative tenants who are price-sensitive but crave the amenities and direct-to transportation package of an urban location,” says Phil Giunta, Executive Managing Director, Corporate Advisory Group, NKF.

Giunta also points out that one of the many other attractors for this building is that it offers a built-in, millennial workforce; a talented employee pool who already lives nearby given the dynamic live-work-play environment and transit flexibility that Malden Center offers.  “When it comes to employee talent,” explains Giunta, “they’re already here.  That’s a huge plus for prospective tenants.”

Additionally, the redevelopment of Exchange 200 will transform the pedestrian experience of the building by replacing much of the ground floor with over 16,000 square feet of dynamic ground floor restaurant and retail space, using glass storefronts to create a vibrant, interactive experience at the street level.

NKF is also leasing the retail space and is targeting restaurant, café, and service retail users, amenities that will benefit the building’s other tenants and surrounding community.  “For those who presently work nearby, and for the many residents who now live in this area, the new building will add positive value for many reasons,” concludes Giunta.