BOSTON-ScanSoft Inc. signed on for 35,862 sf of first class office space at 695 Atlantic Ave. The company, a supplier of speech and imaging solutions used to automate manual processes, renewed its lease at this location.

Spaulding & Slye Colliers senior vice president William F. Collins and assistant vice president Jason R. Cameron represented property owner, 695 Atlantic Ave. Co. LLC. The company is a subsidiary of Plymouth Rock Assurance Corp. Richards Barry Joyce & Partners principals Michael J. Joyce and Jonathan Varholak represented ScanSoft. The company is leasing space on floors two, three and 10 for its headquarters office.

The 170,000-sf office building, which was formerly the Essex Hotel, is located immediately across from the South Station Intermodal Transportation Center adjacent to One Financial Center. It includes ground- and basement-level retail space. Built in the Beaux Art style of architecture in 1899, the 11-story building was renovated in 1987.

The building has about 53,000 sf unoccupied. Among its office tenants are Bunker Hill Insurance Co., Exchange Applications, Grant & Partners, Pilgrim Insurance Co., Plymouth Rock Assurance Corp. and Robert Thomas Securities. Lease rates for this deal were not available, but space in the building goes for about $28 per sf.

According to the most recent statistics by Grubb & Ellis, the city’s South Station market has a vacancy rate of about 9%, as compared with the city’s CBD as a whole, which has a vacancy rate of nearly 14%. The South Station market experienced a negative absorption of nearly 85,000 sf up to the second quarter of this year but the market has nothing currently under construction as compared with the city’s CBD as a whole which has nearly 1.5 million sf under construction.

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