Federal Realty Investment Trust's $150 — million purchase of three Boston properties from Eastern Development announced in September bolsters the Rockville, Md. — based REIT presence in the region. And, as with its 2005 purchase of Assembly Square, Federal is looking to convert one of the properties into a mixed-use center.

At the heart of the deal is Linden Square. Federal plans to invest $50 million to redevelop the property to create a project with more than 200,000 square feet of retail, 17,000 square feet of office space, a spa and a health club. The first two phases of the redevelopment campaign will be completed in 2008.

“The bulk of the investment in this deal is in Linden Square, which is a fabulous opportunity,” according to Jeff Berkes, chief investment officer and executive vice president for Federal. “It's off the charts in income and spending potential and there is limited competition in terms of retail space.”

The company already has one large project in the pipeline in the area — Assembly Square in Somerville, Mass. Federal purchased the 45-acre parcel in early 2005 for $64 million and is redeveloping the site as a mixed-use project.