Normandy Real Estate Partners LLC and Five Mile Capital Partners LLC won an auction Tuesday for Boston's John Hancock Tower, the tallest skyscraper in New England, whose previous owner, Broadway Partners Fund Manager LLC, defaulted on a mortgage.

The buyers agreed to pay $20.1 million for the mezzanine debt on the 60-story building and assume the $640.5 million mortgage.

Broadway Partners, a firm founded by Scott Lawlor, paid $1.3 billion for the property in 2006.

The building has been the crown jewel in Broadway's $3.3 billion purchase of 10 buildings from Beacon Capital Partners LLC of Boston in December 2006.

The Hancock Tower is probably worth less than $750 million, according to Reis Inc., a real estate research firm in New York.

Occupancy and rents have fallen since Broadway bought the 1.76 million-square foot building, Reis said.

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