"We very much like the brick and mortar," Nardi tellsGlobeSt.com, explaining the initial focus will be to lease up theempty warehouse space. Over time, however, there may be theproverbial "higher and better use" for 58 Irving St., Nardiacknowledges. The property is situated a few blocks from one of theregion's busiest business districts, Watertown Square. TheMassachusetts Turnpike Extension is barely a mile away, and thesquare itself features the confluence of five major roadwaysincluding Routes 16 and 20 and Mount Auburn St., a directconnection to Harvard Square in Cambridge.

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Watertown has emerged this decade as one of Boston's leadingInner Suburbs, attracting both commercial real estate capital and acadre of tenants needing back office or laboratory space as closeas possible to Downtown Boston. Harvard University has a presencejust east of 58 Irving St., owning the sprawling Arsenal on theCharles complex that has more than 700,000 sf of first class officespace on a 37-acre campus. Nationally known developers includingAlexandria Real Estate Equities are also buying into Watertown,aiming to extend Cambridge's life sciences sector that is alreadyshifting to abutting communities such as Lexington and Waltham.

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Formed in 2000, the Cresset Group specializes in value-addedredevelopment, acquiring more than a dozen assets in Boston and thesuburbs and repositioning many through capital improvements andother strategies. Presently, for example, the company isoverhauling 201 Burlington Rd. in Bedford, a two-building,130,000-sf office property poised to take advantage of a surge ofleasing in the Route 3 corridor. Despite mounting recessionaryfears, Nardi says he is generally confident about Bedford and theregion in general. "Fundamentally, the market is still prettystrong," he says in reporting encouraging velocity at 201Burlington Rd., which is being marketed by Colliers Meredith &Grew SVP Matt Daniels.

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As for 58 Irving St., Nardi says Cresset has no set visionformulated of what the future might produce on the site. For now,Andrew Sacher of Parsons Commercial Group has been retained tolease the existing space after the sale of the property wasorchestrated by CB Richard Ellis principal Robert Fitzgerald.

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