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CHELMSFORD, MA-Boston-based Leggat McCall Properties has picked up its first Chelmsford property with the $12.1-million acquisition of the 105,934-sf, two-building office and R&D campus. The 105,934-sf building at 2 Elizabeth Dr. originally housed Sun Microsystems.

Bill Gause, senior vice president with Leggat McCall, tells GlobeSt.com that the acquisition caught the buyer’s eye because of the property’s quality and location in Boston’s tightening suburban submarket. “We liked the improving fundamentals of the Chelmsford, Old Route 3, corridor,” Gause says. “It’s a market that is experiencing some tightening and where large blocks of space are starting to disappear.”

The Chelmsford market has gone from 30% vacancy just three years ago to between 10% and 15% vacancy today with indications that the submarket is poised for further occupancy improvement, he says.

The property was acquired by Leggat McCall from KBS Realty Advisors, of Newport Beach, CA, at “substantially below replacement cost” Gause notes, and with a three-year lease in place.

The current tenant, Aspect Software, which provides products for the call center industry, occupies the entire property but will relocate its operation early next year to 300 Apollo Dr. in Chelmsford; this gave Leggat McCall the security of a fully leased building while allowing the buyer to take advantage of the increasing demand for large blocks of space in that market, he noted. “It was kind of a future play on the tightening Chelmsford market,” Gause says.

The two building property, which is connected by a three-story atrium, is located at the entrance to the 1.5-million-sf Altid Business Park, a master-planned corporate campus here.

The transaction was one of several Leggat McCall has been part of in the Boston area in the last year. Just last month, the firm received approval from the Boston Redevelopment Authority to build 100 new residential units costing $40 million on the site of five existing one-story garage buildings in Alston. The company also is in the midst of converting the former Haviland Candy factory in East Cambridge into 196 condos called One First.

Leggat McCall’s latest acquisition in Chelmsford was arranged by Robert Griffin, Marci Griffith Loeber, Richard Putprush and Christopher Griffin, of Cushman & Wakefield’s Capital Markets Group, represented the seller and procured the buyer in the transaction.

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