PEABODY, MA-Berwind Property Group, Ltd. Has sold Centennial Technology Center, a 330,000-sf office park located at 10 Centennial Dr. to an affiliate of Des Moines-based Principal Life Insurance Co. The selling price was $38 million or $115 per sf. Jim McCaffrey, senior vice president of Trammell Crow Co., represented Berwind Property in the transaction.

Berwind Property, a subsidiary of The Berwind Group, acquired the property two years ago for $19.2 million from Phoenix-based Avnet Co. Avnet developed the facility in 1985 and had occupied the entire building. As part of that deal, Avnet signed a long-term lease for approximately 120,000 sf of space. Berwind had purchased the site to accommodate Synventive Molding Solutions Inc., a Berwind Group subsidiary. Synventive presently occupies approximately 113,000 sf under a long-term lease agreement.

“The investment market for well-leased stabilized properties is very strong,” Arthur P. Pasquarella, COO of Berwind Property tells, explaining why the firm decided to sell the property now. “There is a flight to quality.” Over the past two years, Berwind completed a multi-million dollar renovation of the two-story building, which is located on a 25-acre parcel near Route 128 at the entrance to Centennial Park, a North Shore office park. Pasquarella emphasizes that the renovation was extensive and involved converting warehouse space into office space, putting in new elevators, new lobbies, a new roof and a new parking lot.

In addition to the leases with Avnet and Synventive, Berwind leased over 80,000 sf of space to a number of regional and national firms. The building is currently 95% leased. John L. Brogan, vice president of Berwind points out that the “quality” of the long-term leases “significantly enhanced the attractiveness of the property from an investment perspective.”

This deal comes on the heels of Berwind Property’s recent purchase of the 540,000-sf former 3Com campus in Marlborough, MA. Employing a similar strategy, the Philadelphia-based real estate investment firm is looking to put one of its affiliates, Zymark Corp., in that location. In the Greater Boston area, Berwind Property’s current holdings include 10 Maguire Rd. in Lexington, 181 and 187 Ballardvale St. in Wilmington, 8 Federal St. in Billerica and 100 Cambridge Park Dr. in Cambridge. The company has 24 million sf of office, residential, retail, hotel and industrial properties located throughout the country.

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