MEDWAY, MA-Continuing the expansion of Greater Boston’s commercial market into the outlying suburbs, a local developer is proposing a 162,000 sf R&D building in this southeastern Massachusetts community. Conroy Development Corp. of Stoughton has filed a notification with state environmental officials of its plans for the single-story structure at 51 Alder Rd.

“I think they will do well with it,” says Hughes Property Corp. president Scott R. Hughes, a veteran real estate broker familiar with the project. “It’s a good location and [Conroy] does good work. If they can get it in the ground by spring, and as long as they price it competitively, they should see a lot of interest.”

Calls to Conroy founder Terry Conroy Sr. were not returned by press deadline, but the firm has told state officials that it hopes to begin work on the $8-million project later this fall. The company anticipates an opening sometime next summer, if successful. The building would reportedly feature about 30% office space, while the remainder would be a mix of light manufacturing and assembly space.

According to Hughes, the availability of modern flex space is becoming increasingly rare, with many office users taking over such buildings due to a lack of supply in that sector. Traditional R&D markets are being stretched ever outward, with Route 495 among the areas that are benefiting from the migration. Sources say that Conroy has several potential users, but is willing to develop the building on a speculative basis if no takers step forward prior to the ground-breaking. The firm must also first win local approvals.

From a supply standpoint, it would seem that Conroy’s development will attract interest, with the Route 495 South R&D market currently holding at a 3.1% vacancy rate compared to 4.4% for the suburbs overall. Much of the available supply is outmoded, Hughes adds. The rental rate at present is trailing the overall suburban average, however, with Route 495 South averaging $8.18 per sf for R&D space, compared to $10.20 per sf for the suburbs overall.

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