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CHELMSFORD, MA-Sonus Networks Inc. is taking 133,000 sf at 250 Apollo Dr. in a sublease deal with Cisco Systems. The company, which provides packet voice infrastructure solutions for wireline and wireless service providers, is leasing nearly 90% of the 144,000-sf building.

The deal represents a relocation and consolidation for Sonus which will move two of its facilities–one in Littleton and one in Westford–into the new space. According to Neil Ross of the Staubach Co., which represented Sonus in the transaction, Sonus’s lease was due to expire early next year. Staubach has a national account with Cisco and Greg Zaif, also of Staubach, represented Cisco in the deal. The building is owned by a California pension fund.

Cisco leased the building, as well as the nearby 300 Apollo Dr., in the late 1990s until this past June when the Internet networking giant moved into the 430,000-sf campus it developed in Boxborough, MA.

Sonus is coming out of approximately 120,000 sf and Ross acknowledges that the transaction does not represent a lot of absorption for the market. But, he notes, “Any deals in the market are good. It shows people are active.” The Route 495 North market continues to struggle to fill its space. According to Grubb & Ellis’s third quarter statistics, the area had an overall vacancy rate of 32.1%. While year-to-date’s net absorption was a negative 390,350 sf, the absorption for that quarter was a positive 24,026 sf.Ross declined to reveal the lease rates on this deal, but emphasizes that Sonus “did very well.” He notes that the company was able to capitalize on market timing and structure a good deal. Lease rates for this area for class A office space are about $23 per sf, but sublease deals tend to command a lower rate. Sonus is leasing the space for the rest of Cisco’s term, through February of 2007 and Ross says that Sonus has an option to extend the lease.

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