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FOXBOROUGH, MA-There wasn’t too much activity in the Interstate 495 South market in the opening days of 2007, but two deals aggregating 50,000 sf are getting the spring leasing season off on a positive note. The total was split evenly by Axeda Corp.’s commitment at 25 Forbes Blvd. in Foxborough and Columbia Electric Supply signing at 250 Revolutionary Way in Taunton.

“It’s a nice boost of momentum to jumpstart the second quarter,” says Cushman & Wakefield senior director J.P. Plunkett, who represented Axeda and the building owner in the Taunton lease in partnership with C&W senior director Cathy Minnerly and associate Jason Bryer. The Foxborough arrangement for office/flex space actually involved two deals, one a direct lease of nearly 15,000 sf and the other a sublease of an abutting block for another 10,000 sf. The latter was a fortuitous situation, says Plunkett, given that Axeda had been preparing to move to accommodate recent growth when the space occupied by MedQuist became available.

For the client, “The best solution became staying right where they were,” Plunkett tells GlobeSt.com, adding the strong ownership of AMB Property Corp. and National Development was another plus for the tenant, a security-focused technology company. CBRE/New England principals Steve Clancy and James Nicoletti represented the owner of the eight-year-old Forbes Boulevard building, in the Cabot Business Park.

Jones Lang LaSalle was agent for Columbia Electric Supply in the 250 Revolutionary Way lease, with the Brockton-based company relocating its Taunton operation to the just-completed 140,000-sf distribution/warehouse building. The C&W team is exclusive listing agent for the project, which was built on spec by Condyne LLC and Greenstreet Real Estate Partners LP. There is presently one other tenant committed to 250 Revolutionary Way, with more than 77,000 sf available, but Plunkett says activity is robust enough that occupancy could reach 90% by mid-year, citing both strong demand for modern product and a design that allows the building to be subdivided into 25,000-sf increments.

Plunkett says that space such as that available at 250 Revolutionary Way is particularly scarce in a market where the overall industrial vacancy was just 8.1% as of the end of the first quarter. “Not much compares” locally to the building, says Plunkett, while there is no new industrial construction underway in the submarket at present.

The two deals are also welcome given the tepid start to 2007 in the I-495 submarket, with industrial net absorption at just 28,000-sf, not much for a market sporting 4.6 million sf of inventory. The vacancy rate has trended downward during the past year, from 11.1% to 8.1%, giving it the tightest vacancy in the South industrial market of 13.1 million sf. The I-495 South office market was even slower, hitting negative absorption of 47,000-sf for the quarter in what is the tiniest suburban office submarket, with just 1.1 million sf. The next smallest is the MetroWest at 2.99 million sf. As a result, the vacancy rate surged in I-495 South, from 6.8% last year to 13.2% today.

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