Shawmut and Columbia Property Trust, Inc. completed a $10 million reimagining and modernization of 116 Huntington Avenue, a 271,000-square-foot Class-A office property that is located in Boston’s historic Back Bay district and currently 80% leased. The extensive renovation of the lobby, terraces, and exterior was led for Columbia by Shawmut, in partnership with architect and interior designer Dyer Brown and project manager Redgate.

Columbia has made dramatic upgrades to the top two penthouse floors of the 15-story building, which offer a total of 25,366 available square feet. The highlight of the renovation is the installation of two new outdoor terraces, exclusively for use by the future penthouse tenant, that provide a total of almost 1,500 square feet of private outdoor space and offer incredible city views, including the Charles River, Christian Science Center, and Boston’s South End.

In addition, Columbia has opened interior access to a large, distinctive oculus window that hallmarks the building. The window now provides abundant natural light to the penthouse floors, which offer endless customization options to allow future tenants a truly bespoke office environment, along with a dedicated elevator bank.

“When we acquired 116 Huntington in 2015, we were drawn to its location in Boston’s most vibrant neighborhood and to the opportunity to reimagine it as a best-in-class office destination,” stated Adam Popper, senior vice president, Eastern Region, for Columbia Property Trust. “We believe the penthouse space, with its wrap-around terraces, high ceilings, modern amenities and incredible views, will soon be recognized as one of Boston’s premier corporate environments, and we’re already seeing significant interest from prospects as we seek to fill the building’s remaining availability.”

Columbia also undertook extensive renovations to the main entrance, including an updated façade featuring a two-story curtain wall. Designed by Dyer Brown and fabricated by Pilkington Systems in Europe, the new glass entry allows natural light to flood the lobby, while bronze panels wrap the exterior of the building to give a bold look to the entrance. Columbia also added new sidewalks, installed an upgraded exterior lighting system, and modernized the common areas, including floor lobbies, corridors, and restrooms.

“Shawmut’s work with the reimagining of 116 Huntington Avenue highlights what differentiates us from other companies and what sets Columbia Property Trust apart from its competitors,” said Les Hiscoe, chief executive officer at Shawmut. “Our team is nimble and flexible enough to overcome the challenges of completing the project with as little disruption as possible to tenants, including the full-service restaurant, which remained open throughout the duration of the project.”

116 Huntington offers a convenient location in the heart of the Back Bay, surrounded by shopping, hotels, and world-class dining options, including the Lucca Back Bay Restaurant located within the building. Transportation is easily accessible, with the Back Bay subway and train stations just a short walk away, and the building also features efficient floorplates, 24-hour security, and on-site parking. Notable tenants include American Tower, GE Healthcare, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 

"The strategic redesign positions Columbia's asset at 116 Huntington to compete for the best possible tenants, thanks to our creative collaboration with Shawmut and Redgate on this complete building upgrade," says Deniz Ferendeci, Director of Building Services for Dyer Brown. "With elements like the frameless glass facade at the entrance, the redesign delivers on the promise of raising the property's prestige and, ultimately, its value."

Photo Credit: Columbia Property Trust