MARLBOROUGH, MA-Its official. Berwind Property Group has purchased the 540,000-sf 3Com office campus on 3Com Drive near Route 495. The Philadelphia-based privately held real estate investment firm acquired the property for $57.8 million.

Kelly Cahill, a spokesperson for Berwind, confirms for that the firm closed on the deal, first reported on in late November. (Read earlier story.) The news is a bright light in an otherwise dismal market that has seen vacancy rates remain the mid 20% neighborhood.

The fact that some of the site was leased up before the sale made the property more attractive to Berwind. As part of the transaction, 3Com entered into a long-term lease to occupy one of the four buildings, which comprises 168,000 sf. An additional 30,000 sf is currently leased to one other tenant, National Grid.

But Berwind says that one of its motivations for the acquisition was to accommodate Zymark Corp., a Berwind-related company currently located in Hopkinton, MA. According to Berwind, Zymark is “evaluating the feasibility of relocating its operations to the facility, which would entail leasing approximately 130,000 sf.” This would bring the occupancy of the property up to 37%. Berwind points out that other leasing activity has been “strong” as it is currently negotiating leases for up to 100,000 sf of space.

Berwind says the property, situated on a 125-acre site, will be renamed the Campus at Marlborough. The complex consists of four buildings totaling 540,000 sf of office space. The project also includes the capacity to build up to another 700,000 sf.

3Com Corp. developed and fully occupied the property in 1999. The four buildings are interconnected by enclosed walkways that provide access to the amenities at the complex, which include a 15,000-sf cafeteria, 10,000 sf fitness facility, 300-person auditorium and training rooms.

John L. Brogan, vice president of Berwind, points out that this deal is similar to the company’s acquisition of a 320,000-sf office facility in Peabody, MA two years ago. Berwind leased one third of that space for its affiliate, Synventive and leased back one third of the space to the seller, Avnet Corporation and redeveloped and leased the balance of the property to what is now a 95% occupied building. “Given the quality of the Campus at Marlborough, we feel confident that we will enjoy similar success,” he says.

Kevin J. Hanna of Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller. Kevin Malloy, a senior vice president at Lincoln Property Co., represented Berwind and has been named as the leasing agent for the asset. Lincoln Property Co. has also been retained as property manager.

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