"Because of the high quality and successful history of theproperty, as well as the strong and experienced ownership, thelender … responded to our request with a favorable loan structure,"Fantini & Gorga managing director Casimir Groblewski says ofthe financing source, Morgan Stanley Mortgage Capital Holdings. Thepact needed to survive the turmoil that hit the debt markets inmid-summer 2007, and Groblewski cites the diligence of all partiesinvolved for accomplishing that feat.

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The 15-acre park has been owned by Ledgemere LLC since beingacquired for $7.2 million in 2000 from Archon Group. It features245,000 sf of space in one- and two-story buildings mostlyconstructed between 1983 and 1986 and extensively renovated duringthe past five years. Groblewski lists the development'smaintenance, value and location as reasons Morgan Stanley wasattracted to the opportunity. Ledgemere Park also has an impressivetenant roster, he says, sporting such strong credit tenants as theHerb Chambers/Foreign Motors West auto dealer and Massachusetts BayCommunity College. The complex is situated just off Route 126 andis accessible from Exit 12 of the turnpike.

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Ashland is part of suburban Boston's MetroWest region, an areathat struggled on leasing of flex/industrial space in 2007.According to Cushman & Wakefield, the submarket of just overtwo million sf posted negative net absorption of 77,000 sf lastyear, the same figure recorded in the abutting Interstate 495 Westsubmarket. At 8%, vacancy remains relatively tight for theMetroWest, however, especially compared to the 21.5% levelcurrently in I-495 West. The average asking rate is $15.29 per sffor MetroWest flex/industrial, compared to $8.38 per sf for I-495West and $9.59 per sf for the 23 million sf tracked in the C&Wsurvey.

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An affiliate of Eastern Bank, Boston-based Fantini & Gorgaspecializes in securing traditional debt, mezzanine and equityfinancing for commercial properties throughout the US. The mortgagebanker has placed more than $100 million for flex/industrialproduct in the past three years alone.

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