WHEN 2011 BEGAN, Boston Properties was coming off a buying spree that turned heads in the slow-to-recover commercial real estate market.
Its biggest purchase was in Boston’s Back Bay, where it snapped up the John Hancock Tower for $930 million, taking ownership of the city’s most prized office property just as rents were beginning to rise - a perfect example of the company’s ability to seize an opportunity at a critical moment.
“A lot of people look at the Back Bay now and say, ‘Wow, it’s really heating up,’ ’’ said Greg Vasil, head of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board. “Well, Boston Properties saw the strength of that market a long time ago and made investments with a long-term vision.’’
That ability to catch a market on the way up helped make Boston Properties the best-performing real estate company in this year’s Globe 100 survey. Its 2011 revenue was up 16 percent from the previous year to $1.85 billion, and it showed a whopping 71 percent rise in net income to $273 million. As of Dec. 31, the company was building seven projects across the country.
Boston Properties was among the few real estate firms to move forward last year with construction of new office projects. As risky as that may have seemed, the company almost never builds on a speculative basis. Its practice is to sign up major tenants before construction begins.
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