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Bain leases future Back Bay office, in one of the biggest deals since COVID

The nine-story office would replace the Shreve, Crump & Low building, which was built in 1904.

Developer Ron Druker intends to build a nine-story office at 350 Boylston St. in Boston's Back Bay.The Druker Co.

Boston-based consulting firm Bain & Co. has agreed to lease eight floors at a long-planned office building on a prominent Back Bay site.

The lease is a major win for developer Ron Druker, who has been planning a nine-story office building at 350 Boylston St. since 2007, and is among the largest office deals since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They’re a Boston-based, Boston-founded, Boston-bred company,” Druker said in an interview Monday. “To be at our location — which might be the quintessential Boston location — is just terrific.”

The future office would replace the existing historic Art Deco property, commonly known as the Shreve, Crump & Low building, which was built in 1904 and stands on the corner of Boylston and Arlington streets across from the Boston Public Garden and the Arlington Street Church.

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A look at the future lobby of 350 Boylston St. in Boston's Back Bay. The Druker Co.

In a notice of lease filed with Suffolk County, Bain & Co. said it would lease the office’s second through ninth floors for a 15-year term. The lease was first reported by the Boston Business Journal.

It’s unclear if the lease represents a headquarters move for the firm. Bain’s current headquarters is located at 131 Dartmouth St. adjacent to Back Bay Station, where Boston Properties has been approved to develop a 1.26 million-square-foot mixed-use project.

Representatives from Bain did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Druker had first been approved to develop 350 Boylston St. in October 2008, in the midst of the Great Recession, and later crafted an agreement that said 50 percent of the construction work hours on the project would come from Boston residents. But work never began. Druker re-approached the city more than a decade later, in the fall of 2019 — just before the pandemic — with plans to start construction in the third quarter of 2020.

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Construction was again delayed, and the city and Druker in mid-2020 dissolved the construction employment agreement.

There had been negotiations with a number of potential tenants through the years, Druker said, but he wasn’t going to move forward with construction without a lease in hand. While he didn’t think it would take quite this long to get started, the lease with Bain shows confidence in the office market post-pandemic, Druker said.

“There are companies that see strength in being in the office, and there are companies that see strength in being in the Back Bay in Boston,” he said.

Bain & Co. has agreed to lease eight floors at 350 Boylston St., an office that will be built at the corner of Boylston and Arlington streets in Back Bay. The Druker Co.

Bain has a 15-year lease term, which comes with two options to extend the lease for five years and one option to extend for six months, according to a Suffolk County filing.

The 350 Boylston St. building will also include ground-floor retail and restaurant space. Druker intends for the “high end” tenants to be similar to those at The Heritage on the Garden, the luxury condominium and retail building across Arlington Street that he developed in the late 1980s. Tenants at Heritage include luxury brands Hermès and Bottega Veneta and French restaurant Bistro du Midi.

Construction is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2025 or the beginning of 2026, Druker said.


Catherine Carlock can be reached at catherine.carlock@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @bycathcarlock.