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NORTH ANDOVER, MA-Lucent Technologies sold its 169-acre Merrimack Valley property for $13.9 million to a group of local investors managed by Ozzy Properties. The property consists of over 1.5 million sf of space at 1600 Osgood St. and has served as a major employer within the research and manufacturing sector for several decades.

1600 Osgood Street LLC, the entity that bought the site, says it hopes to revitalize the facility, with new tenants, and take advantage of the modern office, manufacturing, research and development, and warehousing facilities. Michael Rosen, a partner at Devine, Millimet & Branch PA, the Andover-based law firm that represented the developer in the transaction, tells GlobeSt.com that the main building on the site is currently a single tenant space and the firm plans to convert that space to multi-tenant use. “That is the most significant change,” he says.

Rosen says that the deal that was worked out with Lucent allows the company to lease back the 1.5 million sf for nine months to give it time to figure out how much space it needs at this location. Rosen says that at one time there were about 12,000 people at this site and Lucent currently employs 950 people here.

The deal is being touted as an economic boon for the Merrimack Valley and Ozzy Properties notes that Robert Halpin, of the Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council, played an essential role in assisting with various state and local agencies to explore the adaptive re-uses of the property. Rosen points out that that the property’s potential could result in tremendous benefits for the region. “The highest and best use of this property is to redevelop it as a center for commercial and industrial manufacturing. This property has played an important historical role over several decades in driving the Merrimack Valley region’s economy,” he adds.

Gaylord Burke, executive director of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission writes that that if the facility, “…were able to employ even half of its previous levels, it would still have tremendous beneficial results for the region including direct and indirect job creation, increasing the local tax base, increasing the regional gross product, and helping to preserve open space.”

According to Orit Goldstein, president of Ozzy Properties, discussions are currently under way for the facilities re-use, and her company hopes to attract several major companies as tenants in the near future.

The property is located near Route 495 as well as the junction of Routes 93 and 95 and features 41 acres of parking with more than 6,000 parking spaces. Its 1.5 million sf of space includes 954,000 sf of manufacturing space, 301,000 sf of office space and 112,000 sf of warehouse space.

In addition to Rosen, 1600 Osgood Street LLC was assisted in acquiring the facility by Steven Druth of Druth Commercial Real Estate Inc. Financing for the project was made available by Banknorth, NA. The acquisition is the third major adaptive reuse project undertaken by Ozzy Properties. The company redeveloped Dundee Office Park in Andover and, most recently, Heritage Place in Lawrence.

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