Developer buys Neiman Marcus building at Natick Mall for $12.6 million

NATICK — With the high-end Neiman Marcus store at the Natick Mall closing later this year, the shell of its massive, two-story space will transform into a completely different use now that a developer has bought the property for $12.6 million.

NM Redevelopment, a subsidiary of Boston real estate firm Bulfinch Companies Inc., partnered with Chicago-based investment management firm Harrison Street to buy the 94,000-square-foot space last month, according to records at the Middlesex County Registry of Deeds.

The building, which features 18-foot-high ceilings and about 450 garaged parking spaces, is currently assessed at $9.6 million, according to Natick property records.

The Neiman Marcus "wave" storefront at the Natick Mall.
The Neiman Marcus "wave" storefront at the Natick Mall.

Developers are mum on what they plan to do with the property, but they say its new use will cater to current market needs, said Bulfinch Companies CEO Eric Schlager in a Dec. 17 press release.

“Bulfinch is excited to partner with Harrison Street and Brookfield Properties as we reposition this irreplaceable property to meet current market requirements,” said Schlager. “This transaction is consistent with our mission to “Discover + Deliver” and we look forward to activating this unique asset and to further developing our strong partnership with the MetroWest community while creating value for our stakeholders.”

The sale closed on Dec. 16 in a deal brokered by Scott Black of Atlantic Retail after working through various issues, including the building's change of use, Black told the Daily News.

A spokesperson for Bulfinch said the company could not yet comment on what type of property is being developed at the location because it still needs to receive its special permit.

In May 2020, department store chain Neiman Marcus, based in Dallas, filed for bankruptcy. Though its Natick location was originally slated to close last year, it will instead remain open through September. Bulfinch will serve as developer and property manager.

More: Second anchor closing at Natick Mall

Bulfinch owns and manages about 3 million square feet of medical, biotech and office assets, according to its website. Some of its projects include:

  • Transforming a 25,000-square-foot Allen Furniture Warehouse in Needham into a 75,000-square-foot office building

  • Redeveloping a corporate building in Lexington into a 162,119-square-foot office and lab building

  • Turning a four-story office building in Cambridge into a 63,200-square-foot space to host office, education and technology companies (the property is currently leased by Harvard University’s Information Technology Services Department)

Bulfinch and Harrison Street have partnered for several other projects, including remaking the Atrium Mall in Chestnut Hill into the Life Time Center in 2012, a 286,000- square-foot wellness and medical destination.

New York-based Brookfield Properties owns the Natick Mall, which is the largest mall in New England by tenants and occupied square footage. But Neiman Marcus had owned its own building.

Aerial view of the Neiman Marcus building at Natick Mall.
Aerial view of the Neiman Marcus building at Natick Mall.

Neiman Marcus is one of several retailers to exit the mall over the last few years, including Sears, the American Girl store, Brookstone, Gymboree, Lord & Taylor and Wayfair.

In 2018, Wegmans replaced the former J.C. Penney department store and Dave & Buster’s took over a portion of the former Sears store a year later. Level 99 took over another portion of Sears last year.

More: A Wonderland for adults: Natick entertainment complex a sprawling game world

Lauren Young writes about business and pop culture. Reach her at 774-804-1499 or Follow her on Twitter @laurenwhy__.

This article originally appeared on MetroWest Daily News: Neiman Marcus building at Natick Mall bought, to be redeveloped