By Seth Daniel
One of the most iconic buildings on Beacon Hill’s Charles Street – well-known to residents and visitors alike – has passed ownership from one mutual insurance company to another, and the new owner says they’re in it for the long haul.
Within the last month, Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Company (QuincyMutual) purchased the building at 66 Beacon St. – which now features the Starbucks coffee house and the Cambridge Trust Company on the first floor – from Boston Mutual Life Company for $20.45 million.
A spokesman for the company that manages the real estate assets for QuincyMutual said they are an institutional investor whose business is property and casualty insurance, but a company that also has real estate investments.
The building was a great value to them, and he said they are in it for the long haul.
“They are long, long term investors,” said Rich Quincy Jr., the asset manager for the company that runs QuincyMutual’s real estate arm. “Up front, there are no real big changes in the plan for that building. They just plan to maintain it over time and collect from the existing revenue streams. You can’t beat a corner building like that on Beacon Hill. They are an institutional investor and real estate is part of their internal investments and they believe they’ve found a high-quality property they can hold onto for a long time.”
QuincyMutual is based in Quincy, and the company has been around for decades. They purchased it from Boston Mutual, which is a life insurance company with an existing familiarity with QuincyMutual.
Currently, and going forward, the building houses Starbuck’s and Cambridge Trust Company on the first floors.
On the second floor, Hammond Residential real estate will continue to occupy that space, but it is believed that they will be consolidating two downtown operations into the 66 Beacon St. second floor.
The remaining floors above will continue to be maintained with 15 luxury apartments.
Quincy Jr. said the company feels they paid a fair, but aggressive, price for the building, but he said there is no real way to tell the true value of a property that carries so much visibility.
He compared it to trying to equate the value of waterfront property.
“I think they feel like they paid an aggressive price, but how do you value waterfront property or a building like this?” he asked. “I think they feel like it is a marquee building.”
That, he said, holds unspoken value in the long term, and a reason why QuincyMutual has decided to invest in the Beacon Hill neighborhood for the long-term.