Business & Tech

Seaport office tower sale breaks price-per-square-foot record

The office tower at 101 Seaport Blvd. fetched $452 million, or $1,027 per square foot.
The office tower at 101 Seaport Blvd. fetched $452 million, or $1,027 per square foot.

One of Boston’s newest office buildings is now one of its most expensive.

The glass tower at 101 Seaport Blvd., which opened last year and is the local home to the accounting giant PwC, sold Tuesday for the highest price per square foot ever fetched for a large office building in the city.

Skanska USA, which developed the 17-story tower, closed a deal with German real estate fund Union Investment for $452 million. That equates to $1,027 per square foot for the 440,000-square-foot building, or $3 a square foot more than Oxford Properties and JP Morgan Chase spent last year on 500 Boylston and 222 Berkeley in the Back Bay.

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The deal reflects the surging demand from foreign capital for trophy real estate in Boston. Roughly half of the major office towers in central Boston have changed hands in the past few years, many to international investors willing to pay top dollar and with plans to hold them long term. And while deals in Boston have typically topped out at around $700 per square foot, several sales lately have pushed that higher.

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The lofty price could also give confidence to other office developers in the booming Seaport neighborhood.

Skanska is building a second office building next door at 121 Seaport Blvd., this one launched without a tenant signed up. Across the street at the foot of Pier Four, Tishman Speyer is preparing to start work on a 350,000-square-foot building. And nearby at South Station, another big developer, Hines, is pushing ahead after a long delay with plans for a million-square-foot tower that would include many floors of office space.

At 101 Seaport, Skanska signed PwC to a long-term lease early in construction, and the accounting giant occupies about three-fourths of the building. The Swedish construction company, one of the world’s largest, often sells buildings in the United States after completing and filling them. Skanska spent $33 million in 2013 to buy the site for 101 Seaport, plus a reported $126 million on construction.

Its buyer, Union, has been on a shopping spree. Recently, it said it plans to invest $2 billion in real estate over the next three years in a handful of US cities, including Boston. In December, it spent $174 million to buy the new Godfrey Hotel in Downtown Crossing, and last month it closed a $150 million deal to buy Converse’s new headquarters on Lovejoy Wharf from the developer Related Beal.

Tim Logan can be reached at tim.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @bytimlogan.