PARSIPPANY, NJ-The recent acquisition of 6 Upper Pond Rd. inhere, while certainly a boon for acquirer Pond Partners LLC, couldmean something more to the real estate industry. The73,450-square-foot, class A office building located on 5.67 acrestraded for $5.25 million after seller EBI LLC reduced theprice.

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The deal may be a sign that buyers are becoming more realisticabout pricing--and that sellers are cautiously returning to themarket, says Scott Lippert, head of the real estate practice of lawfirm Pashman Stein LLC, which represented Pond Partners. “It’s niceto have a transaction,” Lippert told GlobeSt.com.

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Talks between the two parties began in June, and the sale closedin November. Two main points were critical: Pond Partners could payin cash, and EBI cut its price. The company acquired the buildingfor $9.9 million in 1995. After a tax appeal reduced the assessedvalue to $8 million, EBI accepted the $5.25 million offer. “Theseare smart people, who made a business decision to accept the bid,”Lippert says. “There weren’t a lot of buyers to begin with.”

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The deal helps to set a parameter for future deals, which couldencourage more transactions. Lippert says his sense is that themarket will pick up in next year. Still, everyone remains cautious.“It’s only one transaction,” he adds. “I don’t want to read toomuch into it.”

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Lippert notes that the last major downturn, from 1988 to 1994,required five to six years to turn around. “We’re only in the thirdyear of this debacle,” he warns, with a six-or seven-yearturnaround required.

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