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METHUEN, MA—Responding to a perceived need for industrial goods, Tambone Corp. plans to develop a 235,000-sf distribution facility in this northern Massachusetts community. Principal Anthony Tambone said that his Reading, MA, firm hopes to begin construction within three weeks, pending final approvals from the city’s planning board.

“It’s a big one,” says Tambone, who plans to undertake to project on a speculative basis if a tenant is not found before groundbreaking. The company has successfully undertaken similar projects during the past two years, including the 120,000-sf Cedar Hill Industrial Center in Marlborough, which leased up in a few months after breaking ground last summer.

Designed by Vitols Associates of Boston, the Methuen building is one of a handful of projects being planned or underway in Massachusetts. The booming office market and a surge in telecommunications players looking for so-called switch hotels are grabbing up available sites along Routes 128 and 495. Spaulding & Slye Colliers places the state’s industrial vacancy rate at 5.5%, down 2% from the start of the year.

Ironically, the region with the biggest vacancy rate is the 495/North sector, which includes Methuen. The 5.2-million-sf market has a vacancy rate of 14.7% following negative absorption of 270,000 sf during the past six months. Tambone downplayed those numbers, however, maintaining that the bulk of the available supply is outmoded. His building will feature 30-ft-high ceilings, extensive loading areas and state-of-the-art mechanical systems.

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