"That deal did close," one source tells GlobeSt.com of theseven-year lease, that leaves just a 3,000-sf sliver stillavailable in the building, which is owned by Columbia ConstructionCo. The veteran contractor also occupies roughly 25,000 sf in thenine-year-old property, part of a multi-building business complexat the Concord St. exit of Interstate 93. CB Richard Ellis isexclusive leasing agent for 100 Riverpark Dr., with principals MarkReardon and Jason Levendusky said to have negotiated the Paychexlease on behalf of the landlord. Calls to CBRE to discuss the pactwere not returned by press deadline.

North Reading has emerged during the past 15 years as anestablished suburban Boston business address, a transformationfueled by development of the 800,000-sf Riverpark complex in theearly 1990s. The blockbuster move of Lotus Development Corp. fromCambridge to Riverpark in 1992 further legitimized North Reading,which has continued to lure cost-conscious tenants seeking relieffrom the hot Route 128 office sector. That migration has benefitedother communities along the I-93 North corridor such as Wilmingtonand Andover, bringing in a diverse mix of corporate, defense andlife sciences companies to the submarket.

The Paychex pact offers hope for a brisk second quarter afterthe I-93 North submarket opened 2008 with a solid opening frame.According to a Q1 survey by DTZ FHO Partners, the submarketincluding North Reading enjoyed 297,000 sf of positive netabsorption, helping to drop the vacancy rate from 22.2% at year end2007 to 19.2%. CBRE puts the vacancy for the Metro North region at18.1% and recorded Q1 net absorption of 78,000 sf in the firstthree months of the year. While lower than the DTZ FHO figure, CBREsays Metro North had 675,000 sf of positive net absorption in2007.

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