For more than 130 years, A.W. Perry, Inc. has contributed to the fabric and economy of the city of Boston and the South Shore. Today under the management of the fourth and fifth generations of the Perry family, this privately held real estate development, investment and property management company maintains a reputation of strength, stability and integrity and abides by the same simple formula for success set forth by the company’s founder, Alonzo W. Perry: “Establish and maintain enduring business relationships by being personally involved in knowing and meeting the needs of each tenant.”
True To Our Roots The Legacy of Alonzo W. Perry by John J. Galluzzo
In 1884 Alonzo W. Perry, a successful shoe manufacturer from Rockland, MA, founded the company and entered the real estate business after closing his shoe factory at 125 Summer Street in Boston. It was here that he began subleasing space to other smaller businesses in need of office and manufacturing facilities. At the time, Boston’s commercial properties were largely owned by trusts representing wealthy families and institutions that did not want to deal with the day-to-day headaches of building management. A.W. saw this as an opportunity, and he continued to lease buildings in Boston and sublease them to tenants. He was instrumental in helping to rebuild Boston after the Great Fire and soon became one of Boston’s largest real estate operators with over 800 tenants under lease.
After World War I, Perry and his three sons, who were involved in the business, focused on real estate investment, acquiring a large number of commercial properties in Boston and Rockland. The firm was among the largest taxpayers in both communities. At the time of Alonzo’s death in 1928, his son H.G. Perry took control and saw the company through the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression. During the Great Depression and its subsequent years, the firm experienced its greatest growth as H.G. Perry boldly acquired properties in Boston and Rockland. H.G. became known as the “Dean of Boston Real Estate” and was recognized as Boston’s foremost authority on property values. Due to his stature in business, he was issued the real estate brokers license number “1” when the Commonwealth began licensing brokers in 1960.
In Boston, A.W. Perry has developed properties that add value to the framework of the city. In the 1980’s, the Company assembled the block around the site of its original 1884 company office and spearheaded the development of 125 Summer Street, a 23-story, 463,000 sf first-class office building. At 125 Summer Street, the original historic facades were retained and many elements from the historic neighborhood were incorporated as features in the new facade. The company has also restored and manages several historic buildings including three that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One of these properties, Twenty Winthrop Square, a 36,000-square foot office building is the Company’s headquarters. A.W. Perry is perhaps most noted for its landmark renovation of “The Berkeley at 420 Boylston Street”, a six-story, 114,000 sf terra-cotta faced building that was completely updated in 1989. Known as “Crowned Jewel of Back Bay”, it was the first building in Boston to be honored with all three of BOMA’s “Office Building of the Year” awards; Local, Regional and International. In 2006, A.W. Perry held an event celebrating its 100th Birthday.
Since the early 1970’s, A.W. Perry has been a leader in the economic development and re-development of commercial and residential property on the South Shore. Perry developed, owns and manages more than a dozen commercial properties in South Shore Park at Route 3 Exit 15 in Hingham and at Exit 14 of Route 3 and other locations on the South Shore. In 2001, the company completed One Technology Place, a 202,000 s.f. first-class office and research facility which is leased to EMD-Serono, Inc. and managed by A.W. Perry. In 2005, this property was honored by BOMA Boston as “Office Building of the Year”. In 2007, 25 Technology Place, a 327,000 sf LEED-Silver facility was completed for Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA. A.W. Perry managed the development process and sold the building to Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA. In 2010, A.W. Perry developed a 78,000 sf first class medical facility at the entrance of South Shore Park in Hingham which is leased to South Shore Hospital, South Shore Orthopedics and various other medical practices. In 2014, Perry developed a 58,000 sf state of the art auto dealership for South Shore BMW And South Shore Mini in Rockland. Currently the Perry team is actively pursuing build-to-suit opportunities for office, office/laboratory, medical, retail and R&D developments.
A.W. Perry has a proud history of residential development. A.W. Perry and J.P. Gallagher Construction have worked together to create first class residential neighborhoods which are home to more than 350 South Shore families. Currently the Perry/Gallagher team is offering home building opportunities in two open space subdivisions located in two of the South Shore’s most desirable communities. Wildcat Hill in Norwell and Horseshoe Farm in North Marshfield, MA. These “green” cluster developments are environmentally friendly, as they typically preserve 50% of the land for open space.
There is a bright future ahead with this history as its foundation and the Company is poised for continued success, building relationships in new fields and adding quality to its portfolio. The Perry team includes a group of young executives eager and proud to carry and build upon the legacy of Alonzo W. Perry.