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SOMERVILLE, MA-When Cathartes Investments Inc. bought 150 to 200 Innerbelt Rd. here 14 months ago, the company fully intended to develop the properties. Instead, they sold the two 192,000 sf buildings to TrizecHan Corp. for $24 million. The offer was more than twice what Cathartes paid for the buildings a little over a year ago when this area began to position itself as an alternative to the Cambridge and downtown Boston markets.

“We were approached by a few folks interested in buying,” Bob Maloney, managing director at Cathartes, tells GlobeSt.com. “But we weren’t considering selling. Then TrizecHan made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.”

At the time Cathartes bought the property, officials at the company cited an existing fiber-optic line that fed directly into Cambridge and Downtown Boston as a major component for the undertaking. The buildings were to be designed as telecommunications centers and Cathartes spent the past year designing and permitting the project. The company invested $8 million in the project so far. Cathartes broke ground for the first of the two buildings in August and, says Maloney, “were in full swing when we sold.”

“There is still a lot of profit to be made in building up and leasing these buildings,” Maloney points out. “It is designed for telecommunication tenants and Somerville is on the loop as one of the largest fiber-optic cable build in Eastern, MA. I don’t know of any other area that has as many.” Somerville, a largely residential community, is slated to have 11 fiber-optic cable providers when all the work is completed.

Cathartes was actually marketing its building next door at 70 Innerbelt Rd., a two-story warehouse occupied almost entirely by telecom users, when developers became interested in these two buildings. Cathartes is under agreement to sell 70 Innerbelt Rd., a 280,000 sf building that is nearly fully leased. Maloney would not disclose the buyer but he expects the deal to close this week.

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