SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to
Commission File Number: 1-13087 (Boston Properties, Inc.)
Commission File Number: 0-50209 (Boston Properties Limited Partnership)
BOSTON PROPERTIES, INC.
BOSTON PROPERTIES LIMITED PARTNERSHIP
(Exact name of Registrants as specified in its charter)
Boston Properties, Inc.
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number)
Boston Properties Limited Partnership
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number)
Prudential Center, 800 Boylston Street, Suite 1900, Boston, Massachusetts 02199-8103
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(Registrants’ telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Boston Properties, Inc.
Common Stock, par value $.01 per share
New York Stock Exchange
Boston Properties, Inc.
Depository Shares Each Representing 1/100th of a share
New York Stock Exchange
of 5.25% Series B Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per share
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Title of each class
Boston Properties Limited Partnership
Units of Limited Partnership
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Boston Properties, Inc.: Yes x No ☐ Boston Properties Limited Partnership: Yes x No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
Boston Properties, Inc.: Yes ☐ No x Boston Properties Limited Partnership: Yes ☐ No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Boston Properties, Inc.: Yes x No ☐ Boston Properties Limited Partnership: Yes x No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
Boston Properties, Inc.: Yes x No ☐ Boston Properties Limited Partnership: Yes x No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Boston Properties, Inc.:
Large Accelerated Filer x Accelerated Filer ☐ Non-accelerated Filer ☐ Smaller Reporting Company ☐
Emerging Growth Company ☐
Boston Properties Limited Partnership:
Large Accelerated Filer ☐ Accelerated Filer ☐ Non-accelerated Filer x Smaller Reporting Company ☐
Emerging Growth Company ☐
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
Boston Properties, Inc. ☐ Boston Properties Limited Partnership ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).
Boston Properties, Inc.: Yes ☐ No x Boston Properties Limited Partnership: Yes ☐ No x
As of June 30, 2019, the aggregate market value of the 154,282,006 shares of Common Stock held by non-affiliates of Boston Properties, Inc. was $19,902,378,774 based upon the last reported sale price of $129.00 per share on the New York Stock Exchange on June 28, 2019. (For this computation, Boston Properties, Inc. has excluded the market value of all shares of Common Stock reported as beneficially owned by executive officers and directors of Boston Properties, Inc.; such exclusion shall not be deemed to constitute an admission that any such person is an affiliate of Boston Properties, Inc.)
As of February 21, 2020, there were 155,121,560 shares of Common Stock of Boston Properties, Inc. outstanding.
Because no established market for common units of limited partnership of Boston Properties Limited Partnership exists, there is no market value for such units.
Certain information contained in Boston Properties Inc.’s Proxy Statement relating to its Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held May 20, 2020 is incorporated by reference in Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Part III. Boston Properties, Inc. intends to file such Proxy Statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission not later than 120 days after the end of its fiscal year ended December 31, 2019.
This report combines the Annual Reports on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 of Boston Properties, Inc. and Boston Properties Limited Partnership. Unless stated otherwise or the context otherwise requires, references to “BXP” mean Boston Properties, Inc., a Delaware corporation and real estate investment trust (“REIT”), and references to “BPLP” and the “Operating Partnership” mean Boston Properties Limited Partnership, a Delaware limited partnership. BPLP is the entity through which BXP conducts substantially all of its business and owns, either directly or through subsidiaries, substantially all of its assets. BXP is the sole general partner and also a limited partner of BPLP. As the sole general partner of BPLP, BXP has exclusive control of BPLP’s day-to-day management. Therefore, unless stated otherwise or the context requires, references to the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” mean collectively BXP, BPLP and those entities/subsidiaries consolidated by BXP.
As of December 31, 2019, BXP owned an approximate 89.6% ownership interest in BPLP. The remaining approximate 10.4% interest was owned by limited partners. The other limited partners of BPLP are (1) persons who contributed their direct or indirect interests in properties to BPLP in exchange for common units or preferred units of limited partnership interest in BPLP and/or (2) recipients of long-term incentive plan units of BPLP pursuant to BXP’s Stock Option and Incentive Plans. Under the limited partnership agreement of BPLP, unitholders may present their common units of BPLP for redemption at any time (subject to restrictions agreed upon at the time of issuance of the units that may restrict such right for a period of time, generally one year from issuance). Upon presentation of a common unit for redemption, BPLP must redeem the unit for cash equal to the then value of a share of BXP’s common stock. In lieu of a cash redemption by BPLP, however, BXP may elect to acquire any common units so tendered by issuing shares of BXP common stock in exchange for the common units. If BXP so elects, its common stock will be exchanged for common units on a one-for-one basis. This one-for-one exchange ratio is subject to specified adjustments to prevent dilution. BXP generally expects that it will elect to issue its common stock in connection with each such presentation for redemption rather than having BPLP pay cash. With each such exchange or redemption, BXP’s percentage ownership in BPLP will increase. In addition, whenever BXP issues shares of its common stock other than to acquire common units of BPLP, BXP must contribute any net proceeds it receives to BPLP and BPLP must issue to BXP an equivalent number of common units of BPLP. This structure is commonly referred to as an umbrella partnership REIT, or UPREIT.
The Company believes that combining the Annual Reports on Form 10-K of BXP and BPLP into this single report provides the following benefits:
enhances investors’ understanding of BXP and BPLP by enabling investors to view the business as a whole in the same manner as management views and operates the business;
eliminates duplicative disclosure and provides a more concise and readable presentation because a substantial portion of the disclosure applies to both BXP and BPLP; and
creates time and cost efficiencies through the preparation of one combined report instead of two separate reports.
The Company believes it is important to understand the few differences between BXP and BPLP in the context of how BXP and BPLP operate as a consolidated company. The financial results of BPLP are consolidated into the financial statements of BXP. BXP does not have any other significant assets, liabilities or operations, other than its investment in BPLP, nor does it have employees of its own. BPLP, not BXP, generally executes all significant business relationships other than transactions involving the securities of BXP. BPLP holds substantially all of the assets of BXP, including ownership interests in joint ventures. BPLP conducts the operations of the business and is structured as a partnership with no publicly traded equity. Except for the net proceeds from equity offerings by BXP, which are contributed to the capital of BPLP in exchange for common or preferred units of partnership in BPLP, as applicable, BPLP generates all remaining capital required by the Company’s business. These sources include working capital, net cash provided by operating activities, borrowings under its credit facilities, the issuance of secured and unsecured debt and equity securities and proceeds received from the disposition of certain properties and interests in joint ventures.
Shareholders’ equity, partners’ capital and noncontrolling interests are the main areas of difference between the consolidated financial statements of BXP and BPLP. The limited partners of BPLP are accounted for as partners’ capital in BPLP’s financial statements and as noncontrolling interests in BXP’s financial statements. The noncontrolling interests in BPLP’s financial statements include the interests of unaffiliated partners in various consolidated partnerships. The noncontrolling interests in BXP’s financial statements include the same
noncontrolling interests at BPLP’s level and limited partners of BPLP. The differences between shareholders’ equity and partners’ capital result from differences in the equity issued at BXP and BPLP levels.
In addition, the consolidated financial statements of BXP and BPLP differ in total real estate assets resulting from previously applied acquisition accounting by BXP for the issuance of common stock in connection with non-sponsor redemptions of common units of BPLP. This accounting resulted in a step-up of the real estate assets at BXP. This resulted in a difference between the net real estate of BXP as compared to BPLP of approximately $291.3 million, or 1.7% at December 31, 2019, and a corresponding difference in depreciation expense, impairment losses and gains on sales of real estate upon the sale of certain properties having an allocation of the real estate step-up. The acquisition accounting was nullified on a prospective basis beginning in 2009 as a result of the Company’s adoption of a new accounting standard requiring any future redemptions to be accounted for solely as an equity transaction.
To help investors better understand the key differences between BXP and BPLP, certain information for BXP and BPLP in this report has been separated, as set forth below:
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities;
Item 6. Selected Financial Data;
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations includes information specific to each entity, where applicable;
Item 7. Liquidity and Capital Resources includes separate reconciliations of amounts to each entity’s financial statements, where applicable;
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data which includes the following specific disclosures for BXP and BPLP:
•Note 2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies;
•Note 3. Real Estate;
•Note 11. Stockholders’ Equity / Partners’ Capital;
•Note 13. Segment Information;
•Note 14. Earnings Per Share / Per Common Unit;
•Note 18. Selected Interim Financial Information (unaudited); and
Item 15. Financial Statement Schedule—Schedule 3.
This report also includes the following separate items for each of BXP and BPLP: Part II, Item 9A. Controls and Procedures, consents of the independent registered public accounting firm (Exhibits 23.1 and 23.2), and certifications (Exhibits 31.1, 31.2, 31.3, 31.4, 32.1, 32.2, 32.3 and 32.4).
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Item 1. Business
BXP, a Delaware corporation organized in 1997, is a fully integrated, self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust, or “REIT,” and the largest publicly-traded office REIT (based on total market capitalization) as of December 31, 2019 in the United States that develops, owns and manages primarily Class A office properties.
Our properties are concentrated in five markets—Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC. At December 31, 2019, we owned or had interests in 196 commercial real estate properties, aggregating approximately 52.0 million net rentable square feet of primarily Class A office properties, including 11 properties under construction/redevelopment totaling approximately 5.5 million net rentable square feet. As of December 31, 2019 our properties consisted of:
177 office properties (including nine properties under construction/redevelopment);
twelve retail properties;
six residential properties (including two properties under construction); and
We consider Class A office properties to be well-located buildings that are professionally managed and maintained, attract high-quality tenants and command upper-tier rental rates, and that are modern structures or have been modernized to compete with newer buildings. Our definition of Class A office properties may be different than those used by other companies.
We are a full-service real estate company, with substantial in-house expertise and resources in acquisitions, development, financing, capital markets, construction management, property management, marketing, leasing, accounting, risk management, tax and legal services. BXP manages BPLP as its sole general partner. As of December 31, 2019, we had approximately 760 employees. Our 35 senior officers have an average of 32 years of experience in the real estate industry, including an average of 21 years of experience with us. Our principal executive office and Boston regional office are located at The Prudential Center, 800 Boylston Street, Suite 1900, Boston, Massachusetts 02199 and our telephone number is (617) 236-3300. In addition, we have regional offices at 2400 Broadway, Suite 510, Santa Monica, California 90404, 599 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022, Four Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, California 94111 and 2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037.
Our internet address is http://www.bxp.com. On our website, you can obtain free copies of our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC. You may also obtain BXP’s and BPLP’s reports by accessing the EDGAR database at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov, or we will furnish an electronic or paper copy of these reports free of charge upon written request to: Investor Relations, Boston Properties, Inc., Prudential Center, 800 Boylston Street, Suite 1900, Boston, Massachusetts 02199. “Boston Properties” is a registered trademark and the “bxp” logo is a trademark, in both cases, of BPLP.
Boston Properties Limited Partnership
BPLP is a Delaware limited partnership organized in 1997, and the entity through which BXP conducts substantially all of its business and owns, either directly or through subsidiaries, substantially all of its assets. BXP is the sole general partner of BPLP and, as of February 21, 2020, the owner of approximately 89.6% of the economic interests in BPLP. Economic interest was calculated as the number of common partnership units of BPLP owned by BXP as a percentage of the sum of (1) the actual aggregate number of outstanding common partnership units of BPLP, (2) the number of common units issuable upon conversion of all outstanding long term incentive plan units of BPLP, or LTIP Units, other than LTIP Units issued in the form of Multi-Year Long-Term Incentive Plan Awards (“MYLTIP Awards”) that remain subject to performance conditions, assuming all conditions have been met for the conversion of the LTIP Units, (3) the 2012 Outperformance Awards that were issued in the form of LTIP Units and earned as of February 6, 2015 (the “2012 OPP Units”), (4) the 2013 MYLTIP Units that were issued in the form of LTIP Units and earned as of February 4, 2016 (the “2013 MYLTIP Units”), (5) the 2014 MYLTIP Units that were issued in the form of LTIP Units and earned as of February 3, 2017 (the “2014 MYLTIP Units”), (6)
the 2015 MYLTIP Units that were issued in the form of LTIP Units and earned as of February 4, 2018 (the “2015 MYLTIP Units”), (7) the 2016 MYLTIP Units that were issued in the form of LTIP Units and earned as of February 9, 2019 (the “2016 MYLTIP Units”) and (8) the 2017 MYLTIP Units that were issued in the form of LTIP Units and earned as of February 6, 2020 (the “2017 MYLTIP Units”). An LTIP Unit is generally the economic equivalent of a share of BXP’s restricted common stock, although LTIP Units issued in the form of MYLTIP Awards are only entitled to receive one-tenth (1/10th) of the regular quarterly distributions (and no special distributions) prior to being earned. BXP’s general and limited partnership interests in BPLP entitles BXP to share in cash distributions from, and in the profits and losses of, BPLP in proportion to BXP’s percentage interest and entitles BXP to vote on all matters requiring a vote of the limited partners.
Preferred units of BPLP have the rights, preferences and other privileges set forth in an amendment to the limited partnership agreement of BPLP. As of December 31, 2019 and February 21, 2020, BPLP had one series of Preferred Units outstanding consisting of 80,000 Series B Preferred Units. The Series B Preferred Units have a liquidation preference of $2,500 per share (or an aggregate of approximately $193.6 million at December 31, 2019 and February 21, 2020, after deducting the underwriting discount and transaction expenses). The Series B Preferred Units were issued by BPLP on March 27, 2013 in connection with BXP’s issuance of 80,000 shares (8,000,000 depositary shares each representing 1/100th of a share) of 5.25% Series B Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock (the “Series B Preferred Stock”). BXP contributed the net proceeds from the offering to BPLP in exchange for Series B Preferred Units having rights, performance and privileges generally mirroring those of the Series B Preferred Stock. BXP will pay cumulative cash dividends on the Series B Preferred Stock at a rate of 5.25% per annum of the $2,500 liquidation preference per share. On and after March 27, 2018, BXP, at its option, may redeem the Series B Preferred Stock for a cash redemption price of $2,500 per share, plus all accrued and unpaid dividends. The Series B Preferred Stock is not redeemable by the holders, has no maturity date and is not convertible into any other security of the Company or its affiliates.
Transactions During 2019
For information explaining why BXP and BPLP may report different gains on sales of real estate or impairment losses, see the Explanatory Note that follows the cover page of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
On January 24, 2019, we completed the sale of our 2600 Tower Oaks Boulevard property located in Rockville, Maryland for a gross sale price of approximately $22.7 million. Net cash proceeds totaled approximately $21.4 million, resulting in a loss on sale of real estate totaling approximately $0.6 million. We recognized an impairment loss totaling approximately $3.1 million for BXP and approximately $1.5 million for BPLP during the year ended December 31, 2018. 2600 Tower Oaks Boulevard is an approximately 179,000 net rentable square foot Class A office property.
At March 31, 2019, we evaluated the expected hold period of our One Tower Center property located in East Brunswick, New Jersey and, based on a shorter-than-expected hold period, we reduced the carrying value of the property to its estimated fair value at March 31, 2019 and recognized an impairment loss totaling approximately $24.0 million for BXP and approximately $22.3 million for BPLP. Our estimated fair value was based on a pending offer from a third party to acquire the property and the subsequent execution of a purchase and sale agreement on April 18, 2019 for a gross sale price of $38.0 million. On June 3, 2019, we completed the sale of the property. Net cash proceeds totaled approximately $36.6 million, resulting in a loss on sale of real estate totaling approximately $0.8 million. One Tower Center is an approximately 410,000 net rentable square foot Class A office property.
On June 28, 2019, we completed the sale of our 164 Lexington Road property located in Billerica, Massachusetts for a gross sale price of $4.0 million. Net cash proceeds totaled approximately $3.8 million, resulting in a gain on sale of real estate totaling approximately $2.5 million for BXP and approximately $2.6 million for BPLP. 164 Lexington Road is an approximately 64,000 net rentable square foot Class A office property.
On September 20, 2019, we entered into a joint venture with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (“CPPIB”) to develop Platform 16 located in San Jose, California. Platform 16 consists of a 65-year ground lease for land totaling approximately 5.6 acres that will support the development of approximately 1.1 million square feet of commercial office space. During 2018, we entered into the ground lease, which provides for the right to purchase all of the land during a 12-month period commencing February 1, 2020 at a purchase price of approximately $134.8 million. We contributed the ground lease interest and improvements totaling approximately $28.2 million for our initial 55% interest in the joint venture. CPPIB contributed cash totaling approximately $23.1
million for its initial 45% interest in the joint venture. Upon the CPPIB contribution, we ceased accounting for the joint venture entity on a consolidated basis and are accounting for the joint venture entity on an unconsolidated basis using the equity method of accounting, as we have reduced our ownership interest and no longer have a controlling financial or operating interest in the joint venture entity. We did not recognize a gain on the retained or sold interest in the real estate contributed to the joint venture, as the fair value of the real estate approximated its carrying value (See “Ground Leases” and “Investments in Unconsolidated Joint Ventures” below as well as Note 19 to the Consolidated Financial Statements).
On December 20, 2019, we completed the sale of the remaining parcel of land at our Washingtonian North property located in Gaithersburg, Maryland for a gross sale price of approximately $7.8 million. Net cash proceeds totaled approximately $7.3 million, resulting in a loss on sale of real estate totaling approximately $0.1 million. We recognized an impairment loss totaling approximately $1.8 million during the year ended December 31, 2016.
As of December 31, 2019, we had 11 properties under construction/redevelopment comprised of nine office properties and two residential properties, which we expect will total approximately 5.5 million net rentable square feet. We estimate the total investment to complete these projects, in the aggregate, is approximately $3.1 billion, of which approximately $1.4 billion remains to be invested as of December 31, 2019. Approximately 76% of the commercial space in these development projects was pre-leased as of February 21, 2020. For a detailed list of the properties under construction/redevelopment see “Liquidity and Capital Resources” within “Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”
On May 9, 2019, we entered into a 15-year lease with Google, LLC for approximately 379,000 net rentable square feet of Class A office space in a build-to-suit development project located at our 325 Main Street property at Kendall Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 325 Main Street consisted of an approximately 115,000 net rentable square foot Class A office property that was demolished and is being developed into an approximately 420,000 net rentable square foot Class A office property, including approximately 41,000 net rentable square feet of retail space. On May 9, 2019, we commenced development of the project. BXP and BPLP recognized approximately $9.9 million and $9.5 million, respectively, of depreciation expense associated with the acceleration of depreciation on the assets being removed from service and demolished as part of the redevelopment of the property.
On June 1, 2019, we partially placed in-service 20 CityPoint, a Class A office project with approximately 211,000 net rentable square feet located in Waltham, Massachusetts.
On September 30, 2019, we commenced the redevelopment of 200 West Street, a Class A office project with approximately 261,000 net rentable square feet located in Waltham, Massachusetts. The redevelopment is a conversion of a 126,000 square foot portion of the property to laboratory space.
On October 24, 2019, we completed and placed in-service 145 Broadway, a build-to-suit Class A office project with approximately 483,000 net rentable square feet located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
On January 24, 2019, the ground lessor under our 65-year ground lease for land totaling approximately 5.6 acres at Platform 16 located in San Jose, California made available for lease to us the remaining land parcels. As a result, we recognized the remaining portion of the right of use finance lease asset and finance lease liability. We entered into the ground lease in 2018, however, at the inception of the ground lease only a portion of the land was available for lease from the lessor, resulting in us recognizing only a portion of the ground lease. In the aggregate, the land will support the development of approximately 1.1 million square feet of commercial office space. The ground lease provides us with the right to purchase all of the land during a 12-month period commencing February 1, 2020 at a purchase price of approximately $134.8 million. We were reasonably certain we would exercise the option to purchase the land and as a result, we have concluded that the lease should be accounted for as a finance lease. As a result, we recorded an approximately $122.6 million right of use asset - finance lease and a lease liability - finance lease on our Consolidated Balance Sheets reflecting the remaining land parcels made available for lease to us (See “Dispositions/Impairments” above and “Investments in Unconsolidated Joint Ventures” below, as well as Note 19 to the Consolidated Financial Statements).
On July 16, 2019, we executed a 75-year ground lease with The George Washington University for land parcels at 2100 Pennsylvania Avenue located in Washington, DC and commenced development of an approximately 470,000 net rentable square foot Class A office property pursuant to a development agreement that we entered into with The George Washington University in 2016. The development agreement provided for the execution of the ground lease upon completion of the entitlement process and relocation of existing tenants. Also in 2016, we made a deposit of $15.0 million that, upon execution of the ground lease, is credited against ground rent payable under the ground lease. The present value of the lease payments exceeds substantially all of the fair value of the underlying asset and as a result, we have concluded that the ground lease should be accounted for as a finance lease. As a result, we recorded an approximately $185.1 million right of use asset - finance lease and an approximately $165.0 million lease liability - finance lease on our Consolidated Balance Sheets.
On January 10, 2019, we acquired land parcels at our Carnegie Center property located in Princeton, New Jersey for a gross purchase price of approximately $51.5 million, which includes an aggregate of approximately $8.6 million of additional amounts that are payable in the future to the seller upon the development or sale of each of the parcels. The land parcels could support approximately 1.7 million square feet of development.
On August 27, 2019, we acquired 880 and 890 Winter Street located in Waltham, Massachusetts for a gross purchase price of approximately $106.0 million in cash. 880 and 890 Winter Street consists of two Class A office properties aggregating approximately 392,000 net rentable square feet.
Mortgage Notes Payable
On December 19, 2019, we used available cash to repay the bond financing collateralized by our New Dominion Technology Park, Building One property totaling approximately $26.5 million. The bond financing bore interest at a weighted-average fixed rate of approximately 7.69% per annum and was scheduled to mature on January 15, 2021. We recognized a loss from early extinguishment of debt totaling approximately $1.5 million, which amount included the payment of a prepayment penalty totaling approximately $1.4 million. New Dominion Technology Park, Building One is an approximately 235,000 net rentable square foot Class A office property located in Herndon, Virginia (See Note 19 to the Consolidated Financial Statements).
Unsecured Debt Transactions
On June 21, 2019, BPLP completed a public offering of $850.0 million in aggregate principal amount of its 3.400% unsecured senior notes due 2029. The notes were priced at 99.815% of the principal amount to yield an effective rate (including financing fees) of approximately 3.505% per annum to maturity. The notes will mature on June 21, 2029, unless earlier redeemed. The aggregate net proceeds from the offering were approximately $841.4 million after deducting underwriting discounts and transaction expenses.
On September 3, 2019, BPLP completed a public offering of $700.0 million in aggregate principal amount of its 2.900% unsecured senior notes due 2030. The notes were priced at 99.954% of the principal amount to yield an effective rate (including financing fees) of approximately 2.984% per annum to maturity. The notes will mature on March 15, 2030, unless earlier redeemed. The aggregate net proceeds from the offering were approximately $693.8 million after deducting underwriting discounts and transaction expenses.
On September 18, 2019, BPLP completed the redemption of $700.0 million in aggregate principal amount of its 5.625% senior notes due November 15, 2020. The redemption price was approximately $740.7 million. The redemption price included approximately $13.5 million of accrued and unpaid interest to, but not including, the redemption date. Excluding the accrued and unpaid interest, the redemption price was approximately 103.90% of the principal amount being redeemed. We recognized a loss from early extinguishment of debt totaling approximately $28.0 million, which amount included the payment of the redemption premium totaling approximately $27.3 million.
During the year ended December 31, 2019, BXP acquired an aggregate of 144,481 common units of limited partnership interest, including 92,678 common units issued upon the conversion of LTIP Units, 2012 OPP Units, 2013 MYLTIP Units, 2014 MYLTIP Units and 2016 MYLTIP Units presented by the holders for redemption, in exchange for an equal number of shares of BXP common stock.
During the year ended December 31, 2019, BXP issued 145,088 shares of common stock upon the exercise of options to purchase common stock.
Investments in Unconsolidated Joint Ventures
On January 24, 2019, a joint venture in which we have a 50% interest extended the loan collateralized by its Annapolis Junction Building Six property. At the time of the extension, the outstanding balance of the loan totaled approximately $13.0 million and was scheduled to mature on November 17, 2019, with a one-year extension option, subject to certain conditions. The extended loan has a total commitment amount of approximately $14.3 million, bears interest at a variable rate equal to LIBOR plus 2.00% per annum and matures on November 17, 2020. Annapolis Junction Building Six is a Class A office property with approximately 119,000 net rentable square feet located in Annapolis, Maryland.
On April 26, 2019, a joint venture in which we have a 50% interest obtained construction financing with a total commitment of $255.0 million collateralized by its 7750 Wisconsin Avenue development project located in Bethesda, Maryland. The construction financing bears interest at a variable rate equal to LIBOR plus 1.25% per annum and matures on April 26, 2023, with two, one-year extension options, subject to certain conditions. As of December 31, 2019, approximately $64.5 million has been drawn under the loan. 7750 Wisconsin Avenue is a 734,000 net rentable square foot build-to-suit Class A office project and below-grade parking garage.
On May 28, 2019, joint ventures in which we have a 50% interest and that own The Hub on Causeway - Podium and 100 Causeway Street development projects entered into an infrastructure development assistance agreement (the “IDAA”) with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Boston. Per the IDAA, The Hub on Causeway - Podium development project would be reimbursed for certain costs of public infrastructure improvements using the proceeds of up to $30.0 million in aggregate principal amount of municipal bonds issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. On September 16, 2019, the joint venture received the full reimbursement of costs for the public infrastructure improvements totaling approximately $28.8 million, which has been reflected as a reduction to the carrying value of the real estate of The Hub on Causeway - Podium property. The construction loan agreement for The Hub on Causeway - Podium was modified to require the joint venture to pay down the construction loan principal balance using the proceeds received from the reimbursement of costs of the public infrastructure improvements and on September 16, 2019, the joint venture that owns The Hub on Causeway - Podium development project paid down the construction loan principal balance in the amount of approximately $28.8 million. On November 22, 2019, the joint venture that owns The Hub on Causeway - Podium development project completed and fully placed in-service The Hub on Causeway - Podium development project, an approximately 382,000 net rentable square foot project containing retail and office space located in Boston, Massachusetts.
On June 27, 2019, a joint venture in which we have a 60% interest completed the sale of 540 Madison Avenue in New York City for a gross sale price of approximately $310.3 million, including the assumption by the buyer of the mortgage loan collateralized by the property totaling $120.0 million. The mortgage loan bore interest at a variable rate equal to LIBOR plus 1.10% per annum and was scheduled to mature on June 5, 2023. Net cash proceeds totaled approximately $178.7 million, of which our share was approximately $107.1 million, after the payment of transaction costs. During 2008, we recognized an other-than-temporary impairment loss on our investment in the unconsolidated joint venture. As a result, we recognized a gain on sale of real estate totaling approximately $47.2 million, which is included in Income from Unconsolidated Joint Ventures in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Operations. 540 Madison Avenue is an approximately 284,000 net rentable square foot Class A office property.
On September 5, 2019, a joint venture in which we have a 50% interest obtained construction financing with a total commitment of $400.0 million collateralized by its 100 Causeway Street development project located in Boston, Massachusetts. The construction financing bears interest at a variable rate equal to LIBOR plus 1.50% per annum (LIBOR plus 1.375% per annum upon stabilization, as defined in the loan agreement) and matures on September 5, 2023, with two, one-year extension options, subject to certain conditions. As of December 31, 2019, approximately $81.1 million has been drawn under the loan. 100 Causeway Street is an approximately 632,000 net rentable square foot Class A office project.
On September 20, 2019, we entered into a joint venture with CPPIB to develop Platform 16 located in San Jose, California. Platform 16 consists of a 65-year ground lease for land totaling approximately 5.6 acres that will support the development of approximately 1.1 million square feet of commercial office space. We contributed the ground lease interest and improvements totaling approximately $28.2 million for our initial 55% interest in the joint
venture. CPPIB contributed cash totaling approximately $23.1 million for its initial 45% interest in the joint venture. We will provide customary development, property management and leasing services to the joint venture (See “Dispositions/Impairments” and “Ground Leases” above as well as Note 19 to the Consolidated Financial Statements).
On October 1, 2019, a joint venture in which we have a 50% interest partially placed in-service Dock 72, a Class A office project with approximately 670,000 net rentable square feet located in Brooklyn, New York.
On October 1, 2019, a joint venture in which we have a 50% interest partially placed in-service Hub50House, an approximately 320,000 square foot project comprised of 440 residential units located in Boston, Massachusetts.
On December 6, 2019, a joint venture in which we have a 50% interest extended the mortgage loan collateralized by Annapolis Junction Building Seven and Building Eight. At the time of the extension, the outstanding balance of the loan totaled approximately $34.8 million, bore interest at a variable rate equal to LIBOR plus 2.35% per annum and was scheduled to mature on December 7, 2019, with three, one-year extension options, subject to certain conditions. The extended loan matures on March 6, 2020. Annapolis Junction Building Seven and Building Eight are Class A office properties with approximately 127,000 and 126,000 net rentable square feet, respectively, located in Annapolis, Maryland.
On April 1, 2019, we completed the acquisition of our partner’s 5% ownership interest and promoted profits interest in the consolidated entity that owns Salesforce Tower for cash totaling approximately $210.9 million, which amount was reduced by approximately $24.1 million to $186.8 million to reflect the repayment of our preferred equity and preferred return in the venture (See Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements). Salesforce Tower is located in San Francisco, California. We now own 100% of Salesforce Tower. We have accounted for the transaction as an equity transaction for financial reporting purposes and have reflected the difference between the fair value of the total consideration paid and the related carrying value of the noncontrolling interest - property partnership totaling approximately $162.5 million as a decrease to Additional Paid-in Capital and Partners’ Capital in the Consolidated Balance Sheets of BXP and BPLP, respectively.
Stock Option and Incentive Plan
On February 5, 2019, BXP’s Compensation Committee approved a new equity-based, multi-year, long-term incentive program (the “2019 MYLTIP”) as a performance-based component of our overall compensation program. Under the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 718 “Compensation - Stock Compensation,” the 2019 MYLTIP has an aggregate value of approximately $13.5 million, which amount will generally be amortized into earnings over the four-year plan period under the graded vesting method (See Note 16 to the Consolidated Financial Statements).
On February 9, 2019, the measurement period for our 2016 MYLTIP awards ended and, based on BXP’s relative TSR performance, the final awards were determined to be 69.5% of target or an aggregate of approximately $13.6 million (after giving effect to employee separations). As a result, an aggregate of 364,980 2016 MYLTIP Units that had been previously granted were automatically forfeited.
Business and Growth Strategies
Our primary business objective is to maximize return on investment to provide our investors with the greatest possible total return in all points of the economic cycle. Our strategies to achieve this objective are:
to target a few carefully selected geographic markets—Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC—and to be one of the leading, if not the leading, developers, owners and managers in each of those markets with a full-service office in each market providing property management, leasing, development, construction and legal expertise. We select markets and submarkets with a diverse economic base and a deep pool of prospective tenants in various industries and where tenants have demonstrated a preference for high-quality office buildings and other facilities. Additionally, our markets have historically been able to recruit new talent to them and as such created job growth that results in growth in rental rates and occupancy over time. We have explored, and may continue to explore for future investment, select domestic and international markets that exhibit these same traits;
to emphasize markets and submarkets within those markets where the difficulty of receiving the necessary approvals for development and the necessary financing constitute high barriers to the creation of new supply, and where skill, financial strength and diligence are required to successfully develop, finance and manage high-quality office, research and development space, as well as selected retail and residential space;
to take on complex, technically challenging development projects, leveraging the skills of our management team to successfully develop, acquire or reposition properties that other organizations may not have the capacity or resources to pursue;
to own and develop high-quality real estate designed to meet the demands of today’s tenants who require sophisticated telecommunications and related infrastructure, support services, sustainable features and amenities, and to manage those facilities so as to become the landlord of choice for both existing and prospective clients;
to opportunistically acquire assets that increase our market share in the markets in which we have chosen to concentrate, as well as potential new markets, which exhibit an opportunity to improve returns through repositioning (through a combination of capital improvements and shift in marketing strategy), changes in management focus and leasing;
to explore joint venture opportunities with existing property owners located in desirable locations, who seek to benefit from the depth of development and management expertise we are able to provide and our access to capital, and/or to explore joint venture opportunities with strategic institutional partners, leveraging our skills as developers, owners and managers of Class A office space and mixed-use complexes;
to pursue on a selective basis the sale of properties or interests therein, including core properties, to either (1) take advantage of the demand for our premier properties and realize the value we have created or (2) pare from our portfolio properties that we believe have slower future growth potential;
to seek third-party development contracts to enable us to retain and utilize our existing development and construction management staff, especially when our internal development is less active or when new development is less-warranted due to market conditions; and
to enhance our capital structure through our access to a variety of sources of capital and proactively manage our debt expirations. In the current economic climate with relatively low interest rates we have and will continue to attempt to lower the cost of our debt capital and seek opportunities to lock in such low rates through early debt repayment, refinancings and interest rate hedges.
External Growth Strategies
We believe that our development experience, our organizational depth and our balance sheet position us to continue to selectively develop a range of property types, including high-rise urban developments, mixed-use developments (including office, residential and retail), low-rise suburban office properties and research and laboratory space, within budget and on schedule. We believe we are also well positioned to achieve external growth through acquisitions. Other factors that contribute to our competitive position include:
our control of sites (including sites under contract or option to acquire) in our markets that could support approximately 15.5 million additional square feet of new office, retail and residential development;
our reputation gained through 50 years of successful operations and the stability and strength of our existing portfolio of properties;
our relationships with leading national corporations, universities and public institutions, including government agencies, seeking new facilities and development services;
our relationships with nationally recognized financial institutions that provide capital to the real estate industry;
our track record and reputation for executing acquisitions efficiently provide comfort to domestic and foreign institutions, private investors and corporations who seek to sell commercial real estate in our market areas;
our ability to act quickly on due diligence and financing;
our relationships with institutional buyers and sellers of high-quality real estate assets;
our ability to procure entitlements from multiple municipalities to develop sites and attract land owners to sell or partner with us; and
our relationship with domestic and foreign investors who seek to partner with companies like ours.
Opportunities to execute our external growth strategy fall into three categories:
Development in selected submarkets. We believe the selected development of well-positioned office buildings, residential buildings and mixed-use complexes may be justified in our markets. We believe in acquiring land after taking into consideration timing factors relating to economic cycles and in response to market conditions that allow for its development at the appropriate time. While we purposely concentrate in markets with high barriers-to-entry, we have demonstrated throughout our 50-year history, an ability to make carefully timed land acquisitions in submarkets where we can become one of the market leaders in establishing rent and other business terms. We believe that there are opportunities at key locations in our existing and other markets for a well-capitalized developer to acquire land with development potential.
In the past, we have been particularly successful at acquiring sites or options to purchase sites that need governmental approvals for development. Because of our development expertise, knowledge of the governmental approval process and reputation for quality development with local government regulatory bodies, we generally have been able to secure the permits necessary to allow development and to profit from the resulting increase in land value. We seek complex projects where we can add value through the efforts of our experienced and skilled management team leading to attractive returns on investment.
Our strong regional relationships and recognized development expertise have enabled us to capitalize on unique build-to-suit opportunities. We intend to seek and expect to continue to be presented with such opportunities in the near term allowing us to earn relatively significant returns on these development opportunities through multiple business cycles.
Acquisition of assets and portfolios of assets from institutions or individuals. We believe that due to our size, management strength and reputation, we are well positioned to acquire portfolios of assets or individual properties from institutions or individuals if valuations meet our criteria. In addition, we believe that our market knowledge and our liquidity and access to capital may provide us with a competitive advantage when pursuing acquisitions. Opportunities to acquire properties may also come through the purchase of first mortgage or mezzanine debt. We are also able to appeal to sellers wishing to contribute on a tax-deferred basis their ownership of property for equity in a diversified real estate operating company that offers liquidity through access to the public equity markets in addition to a quarterly distribution. Our ability to offer common and preferred units of limited partnership in BPLP to sellers who would otherwise recognize a taxable gain upon a sale of assets for cash or BXP’s common stock may facilitate this type of transaction on a tax-efficient basis. Recent Treasury regulations may limit certain of the tax benefits previously available to sellers in these transactions.
Acquisition of underperforming assets and portfolios of assets. We believe that because of our in-depth market knowledge and development experience in each of our markets, our national reputation with brokers, financial institutions, owners of real estate and others involved in the real estate market and our access to competitively-priced capital, we are well-positioned to identify and acquire existing, underperforming properties for competitive prices and to add significant additional value to such properties through our effective marketing strategies, repositioning/redevelopment expertise and a responsive property management program.
Internal Growth Strategies
We believe that opportunities will exist to increase cash flow from our existing properties through an increase in occupancy and rental rates because they are of high quality and in desirable locations. Additionally, our markets have diversified economies that have historically experienced job growth and increased use of office space, resulting in growth in rental rates and occupancy over time. Our strategy for maximizing the benefits from these opportunities is three-fold: (1) to provide high-quality property management services using our employees in order to encourage tenants to renew, expand and relocate in our properties, (2) to achieve speed and transaction cost efficiency in replacing departing tenants through the use of in-house services for marketing, lease negotiation and construction of tenant and capital improvements and (3) to work with new or existing tenants with space expansion or contraction needs, leveraging our expertise and clustering of assets to maximize the cash flow from our assets. We expect to continue our internal growth as a result of our ability to:
Cultivate existing submarkets and long-term relationships with credit tenants. In choosing locations for our properties, we have paid particular attention to transportation and commuting patterns, physical environment, adjacency to established business centers and amenities, proximity to sources of business growth and other local factors.
The weighted-average lease term of our in-place leases, including leases signed by our unconsolidated joint ventures, was approximately 8.4 years at December 31, 2019, and we continue to cultivate long-term leasing relationships with a diverse base of high-quality, financially stable tenants. Based on leases in place at December 31, 2019, leases with respect to approximately 7.0% of the total square feet in our portfolio, including unconsolidated joint ventures, will expire in calendar year 2020.
Directly manage our office properties to maximize the potential for tenant retention. We provide property management services ourselves, rather than contracting for this service, to maintain awareness of and responsiveness to tenant needs. We and our properties also benefit from cost efficiencies produced by an experienced work force attentive to preventive maintenance and energy management and from our continuing programs to assure that our property management personnel at all levels remain aware of their important role in tenant relations. In addition, we reinvest in our properties by adding new services and amenities that are desirable to our tenants.
Replace tenants quickly at best available market terms and lowest possible transaction costs. We believe that we are well-positioned to attract new tenants and achieve relatively high rental and occupancy rates as a result of our well-located, well-designed and well-maintained properties, our reputation for high-quality building services and responsiveness to tenants, and our ability to offer expansion and relocation alternatives within our submarkets.
Extend terms of existing leases to existing tenants prior to expiration. We have also successfully structured early tenant renewals, which have reduced the cost associated with lease downtime while securing the tenancy of our highest quality credit-worthy tenants on a long-term basis and enhancing relationships.
Re-development of existing assets. We believe the select re-development of assets within our portfolio, where through the ability to increase the building size and/or to increase cash flow and generate appropriate returns on incremental investment after consideration of the asset’s current and future cash flows, may be desirable. This generally occurs in situations in which we are able to increase the building’s size, improve building systems and sustainability features, and/or add tenant amenities, thereby increasing tenant demand, generating acceptable returns on incremental investment and enhancing the long-term value of the property and the company. In the past, we have been particularly successful at gaining local government approval for increased density at several of our assets, providing the opportunity to enhance value at a particular location. Our strong regional relationships and recognized re-development expertise have enabled us to capitalize on unique build-to-suit opportunities. We intend to seek and expect to continue to be presented with such opportunities in the near term allowing us to earn attractive returns on these development opportunities through multiple business cycles.
Policies with Respect to Certain Activities
The discussion below sets forth certain additional information regarding our investment, financing and other policies. These policies have been determined by BXP’s Board of Directors and, in general, may be amended or revised from time to time by the Board of Directors.
Investments in Real Estate or Interests in Real Estate
Our investment objectives are to provide quarterly cash dividends/distributions to our securityholders and to achieve long-term capital appreciation through increases in our value. We have not established a specific policy regarding the relative priority of these investment objectives.
We expect to continue to pursue our investment objectives primarily through the ownership of our current properties, development projects and other acquired properties. We currently intend to continue to invest primarily in developments of properties and acquisitions of existing improved properties or properties in need of redevelopment, and acquisitions of land that we believe have development potential, primarily in our existing markets of Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC. We have explored and may continue to explore for future investment select domestic and international markets that exhibit these same traits. Future investment or development activities will not be limited to a specified percentage of our assets. We intend to engage in such future investment or development activities in a manner that is consistent with the maintenance of BXP’s status as a REIT for federal income tax purposes. In addition, we may purchase or lease income-producing commercial and other types of properties for long-term investment, expand and improve the real estate presently owned or other properties purchased, or sell such real estate properties, in whole or in part, when circumstances warrant. We do not have a policy that restricts the amount or percentage of assets that will be invested in any specific property, however, our investments may be restricted by our debt covenants.
We may also continue to participate with third parties in property ownership, through joint ventures or other types of co-ownership. These investments may permit us to own interests in larger assets without unduly restricting diversification and, therefore, add flexibility in structuring our portfolio.
Equity investments may be subject to existing mortgage financing and other indebtedness or such financing or indebtedness as may be incurred in connection with acquiring or refinancing these investments. Debt service on such financing or indebtedness will have a priority over any distributions with respect to BXP’s common stock. Investments are also subject to our policy not to be treated as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”).
Investments in Real Estate Mortgages
While our current portfolio consists primarily of, and our business objectives emphasize, equity investments in commercial real estate, we may, at the discretion of the Board of Directors of BXP, invest in mortgages and other types of real estate interests consistent with BXP’s qualification as a REIT. Investments in real estate mortgages run the risk that one or more borrowers may default under such mortgages and that the collateral securing such mortgages may not be sufficient to enable us to recoup our full investment. We may invest in participating, convertible or traditional mortgages if we conclude that we may benefit from the cash flow, or any appreciation in value of the property or as an entrance to the fee ownership. As of December 31, 2019, we had two note receivables outstanding, which aggregated approximately $95.9 million.
Securities of or Interests in Entities Primarily Engaged in Real Estate Activities
Subject to the percentage of ownership limitations and gross income and asset tests necessary for BXP’s REIT qualification, we also may invest in securities of other REITs, other entities engaged in real estate activities or securities of other issuers, including for the purpose of exercising control over such entities.
Our decision to dispose or partially dispose of properties is based upon the periodic review of our portfolio and the determination by the Board of Directors of BXP that such action would be in our best interests. Any decision to dispose of a property will be authorized by the Board of Directors of BXP or a committee thereof. Some holders of limited partnership interests in BPLP could incur adverse tax consequences upon the sale of certain of our properties that differ from the tax consequences to BXP. Consequently, holders of limited partnership interests in BPLP may have different objectives regarding the appropriate pricing and timing of any such sale. Such different tax treatment derives in most cases from the fact that we acquired these properties in exchange for partnership interests in contribution transactions structured to allow the prior owners to defer taxable gain. Generally, this deferral continues so long as we do not dispose of the properties in a taxable transaction. Unless a sale by us of these properties is structured as a like-kind exchange under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) or in a manner that otherwise allows deferral to continue, recognition of the deferred tax gain
allocable to these prior owners is generally triggered by a sale. As of December 31, 2019, we have no properties that are subject to a tax protection agreement.
The agreement of limited partnership of BPLP and BXP’s certificate of incorporation and bylaws do not limit the amount or percentage of indebtedness that we may incur. Further, we do not have a policy limiting the amount of indebtedness that we may incur, nor have we established any limit on the number or amount of mortgages that may be placed on any single property or on our portfolio as a whole. However, our mortgages, credit facilities, joint venture agreements and unsecured debt securities contain customary restrictions, requirements and other limitations on our ability to incur indebtedness. In addition, we evaluate the impact of incremental leverage on our debt metrics and the credit ratings of BPLP’s publicly traded debt. A reduction in BPLP’s credit ratings could result in us borrowing money at higher interest rates.
The Board of Directors of BXP will consider a number of factors when evaluating our level of indebtedness and when making decisions regarding the incurrence of indebtedness, including the purchase price of properties to be acquired with debt financing, the estimated market value of our properties upon refinancing, the entering into agreements such as interest rate swaps, caps, floors and other interest rate hedging contracts and the ability of particular properties and us as a whole to generate cash flow to cover expected debt service.
Policies with Respect to Other Activities
As the sole general partner of BPLP, BXP has the authority to issue additional common and preferred units of limited partnership interest of BPLP. BXP has issued, and may in the future issue, common or preferred units of limited partnership interest to persons who contribute their direct or indirect interests in properties to us in exchange for such common or preferred units. We have not engaged in trading, underwriting or agency distribution or sale of securities of issuers other than BXP and BPLP does not intend to do so. At all times, we intend to make investments in such a manner as to enable BXP to maintain its qualification as a REIT, unless, due to changes in circumstances or to the tax code, the Board of Directors of BXP determines that it is no longer in the best interest of BXP to qualify as a REIT. We may make loans to third parties, including, without limitation, to joint ventures in which we participate or in connection with the disposition of a property. We intend to make investments in such a way that we will not be treated as an investment company under the 1940 Act. Our policies with respect to these and other activities may be reviewed and modified or amended from time to time by the Board of Directors of BXP.
Our Sustainability Strategy
As the largest publicly-traded office REIT (based on total market capitalization) as of December 31, 2019 in the United States that develops, owns and manages primarily Class A office properties, we actively work to promote our growth and operations in a sustainable and responsible manner across our five regions. The BXP sustainability strategy is to conduct our business, the development and operation of new and existing buildings, in a manner that contributes to positive economic, social and environmental outcomes for our customers, shareholders, employees and the communities we serve. Our investment philosophy is shaped by our core strategy of long-term ownership and our commitment to our communities and the centers of commerce and civic life that make them thrive. We are focused on developing and maintaining healthy, high-performance buildings, while simultaneously mitigating operational costs and the potential external impacts of energy, water, waste, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. To that end, we have publicly adopted long-term energy, emissions, water and waste goals that establish aggressive reduction targets and have been aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. BXP is a corporate member of the U.S. Green Building Council® (“USGBC”) and has a long history of owning, developing and operating properties that are certified under USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design™ (LEED®) rating system. In addition, we have been an active participant in the green bond market since 2018, which provides access to sustainability-focused investors interested in the positive environmental externalities of our business activities. BXP and its employees also make a social impact through charitable giving, volunteerism, public realm investments and diversity and inclusion. Through these efforts, we demonstrate that operating and developing commercial real estate can be conducted with a conscious regard for the environment and wider society while mutually benefiting our stakeholders.
Industry Leadership in Sustainability
We have been recognized as an industry leader in sustainability. In 2019, BXP ranked among the top 4% of all real estate companies in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (“GRESB”) assessment. 2019 was the eighth consecutive year that BXP has ranked in the top quartile of GRESB assessment participants, earning another “Green Star” recognition and the highest GRESB 5-star Rating. We have widely adopted green building practices and have LEED certified over 26 million square feet of our portfolio, of which 93% is certified at the highest Gold and Platinum levels. In 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019, BXP was selected by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (“Nareit”) as a Leader in the Light Award winner. In 2019, BXP earned the “Most Innovative” Leader in the Light Award. This award is given to only one company and is the highest achievement in sustainability innovation for all REITs and real estate companies.
BXP was also named one of America’s Most Responsible Companies by Newsweek magazine in 2019. BXP ranked 122nd on Newsweek’s 2020 list of America’s 300 Most Responsible Companies, the second highest ranking given to a public REIT and the highest ranking of any office company. We recognize and have taken steps to address the role of our tenants in supporting the execution of our sustainability strategy through our leasing activity. BXP has been named a Green Lease Leader by the Institute for Market T