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WALTHAM, MA-R/D Tech Instruments is leasing 56,826 sf at 48 Woerd Ave. The Quebec City-based company, which develops eddy current and ultrasound test systems for manual and automated inspections, is taking the space for its new subsidiary, Panametrics NDT, which was acquired in January 2004 from General Electric.

Jonathan M. Varholak, partner, and Ron Friedman, associate, of Richards Barry Joyce & Partners represented R/D Tech in the transaction. The company is subleasing the space from Cisco Systems, which was represented in the transaction by Jeff Walker of the Staubach Cos. The building is owned by Intercontinental Real Estate Corp.

The Panametrics division is moving down the block from 221 Crescent St. After the sale, General Electric, which was leasing nearly 250,000 sf in that building, moved the rest of the company up to Billerica. First Republic Corp of NY owns the building, a former mill, and is currently looking into redeveloping the site. John Martin, real estate portfolio manager for First Republic, tells GlobeSt.com that plans for the redevelopment have not yet been finalized but the building will most likely not be converted into residential use.

With the deal with R/D Tech, the 125,000-sf building on Woerd is currently approximately 80% occupied. Cisco still has about 10,000 sf of vacant space remaining in the building.

Varholak says that the deal is indicative of the Route 128/West market where most of what he calls the “attractive” sublease space is slowly being absorbed. He notes that this area–the epicenter of Greater Boston’s suburban market–is seeing a market recovery as excess space is being taken by growing companies. In the first quarter of 2004, the area experienced 160,000 sf of positive absorption. “We’re seeing a stabilization,” Varholak adds.

Lease rates, says Varholak are currently all over the place with class A office space in Waltham going for the mid $20s per sf to the low $30s per sf. Class B and sublease space goes from the high teens per sf to the low $20s per sf.

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