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Culminating a very long search for space, Rizzo Associates has leased 70,000 sf at the former Dennison Mills. The engineering concern began looking at moving for new quarters seven years ago, hiring Rob Nahigian of Auburndale Realty and Chris Maietta of Combined Properties to search the MetroWest market in anticipation of the company’s growth.

Rizzo, which started with 90 employees in 24,000 sf in Natick, now has more than 200 people on staff. That growth is due in large part to the major assignments it has with the $14 billion Big Dig public construction project and a contract to engineer the 700,000-sf Massachusetts Convention Center. Over the years, Nahigian and Maietta surveyed more than 400 buildings and pursued several build-to-suit options before narrowing the possibilities down to two properties.

Nahigian says the length of the search was due to efforts to accommodate the tenant’s continually growing space requirements, and a tight labor market that forced Rizzo to weigh the potential consequences of each option. “If you moved three miles in the wrong direction, you could lose 30 employees,” Nahigian says. “We had to find a location that worked for everybody, and we were operating in a very tight box.”

Now known as Triangle Business Park, the 375,000-sf property is being restored by Rosewood Development Co. of Marlborough. The turn-of-the-century complex had been abandoned for years, its disrepair adding to a sense of blight in the community’s downtown area. Rizzo is Triangle’s first tenant.

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