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TEWKSBURY, MA-Proving more resilient than its one-time owner, the original corporate headquarters of Wang Laboratories has been purchased by Berkeley Investments, which plans to redevelop the existing eight buildings in the complex and add 300,000 sf of space. Berkeley paid Cornerstone Corp. $30 million for the 85-acre property, which is located at the junction of North Street and Route 495.

An Wang, founder of the now-defunct computer maker, selected the Tewksbury site in the early 1960s, when Route 495 was still in its planning stages. Between 1963 and 1980, Wang developed 755,000 sf of office and research space in the property before moving to a 1.2 million sf headquarters in nearby Lowell. Wang Laboratories was ultimately reduced to rubble when the computer hardware industry crashed in the late 1980s, with the last vestiges of the one-time giant finally disappearing earlier this year after being bought by Getronics, a Dutch high-tech company.

Paul Johnson of Boston Real Estate Partners says he believes the complex should do well under Berkeley’s stewardship. Not only have the existing buildings been continuously upgraded and modernized over the years, Johnson notes that the property has 3,150 linear feet of frontage along Route 495, giving any new tenants good highway visibility. BREP Principal Kevin J. Barry, who brokered the sale along with Johnson, says 250,000 sf of contiguous office/flex space is available immediately, while an additional 180,000 sf could be delivered over the short term.

Aiding Berkeley’s plan is the strength of the suburban north office market, which has rebounded in the past three years after a difficult beginning to the 1990s. Johnson says the vacancy rate in the market is at 4%, down from 7% a year ago. High-tech and fiber-optic companies have fueled much of the demand in the region.

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