BEDFORD, MA-A provider of IT services to corporations has leased more than 17,000 sf at 22 Crosby Dr. In signing the deal, Data Intensity makes the move up Route 128 from Waltham to the 66,000-sf building, part of the Crosby Corporate Center park owned by the Rreef Funds. Details on pricing and length of term were not disclosed.

“Our company is very excited about our relocation to 22 Crosby Dr.,” says Data Intensity CEO Kevin Kennelick, who credited the competitive rental rate as a leading reason for the selection. The building, he says, “afforded us a cost-effective solution to still be in a class A office park with other similar technology focused tenants.” The company wanted to keep close to the Route 128 loop, he adds, and needed to expand from its footprint at 1601 Trapelo Rd. in Waltham. Citing industry sources, GlobeSt.com first reported the Data Intensity lease last week, but no official confirmation was made until after press deadline. Brokers for the landlord were Torin Taylor and Richard Ruggiero of Cushman & Wakefield.

An increasing number of tenants are looking to the Route 3 corridor as a way to find rental relief, according to GVA Williams principal John Hennessey, who joined colleague Steven Lombardi in negotiating the lease for Data Intensity. Rates in both Downtown Boston and core submarkets such as Waltham are again approaching record levels as new property owners such as the Blackstone Group seek to justify pricing paid for buildings acquired in the flood of office building sales flowing through Massachusetts in recent months. “Bedford is very well-positioned geographically for absorption activity,” says Richards Barry Joyce & Partners research director Brendan Carroll.

According to Carroll, adjacent Burlington and Woburn have seen sharp rent increases in the past year as firms move up Route 128 similarly to Data Intensity, and Bedford offers an escape route should the pricing become too over-heated for properties fronting that roadway. There is certainly plenty of space–Bedford has the second highest amount of office vacancy of any suburban community covered by the RBJ survey, with Carroll estimating the current mark at 38.1%, well above the 24.3% vacancy for the Route 128 North submarket, which has 24.1 million sf. The 3.2-million-sf Bedford office inventory is almost entirely class B, with just 508,000 sf of class A space, and vacancy in that category is a fraction of the overall amount, with just 5.3% unoccupied.

Bedford has been in a leasing slump for much of the decade, but Carroll explains the difficulties accelerated at the end of 2005 when two huge tenants, Raytheon Corp. and Abbott Laboratories, departed, leaving behind 355,000 sf of empty space. “It took a pounding,” Carroll recalls, and Bedford has struggled to recover since that point. The time of recovery could be near, says Carroll, who notes that Route 128 North had one of the best quarters in suburban Boston to open 2007, posting 108,000 sf of positive absorption.

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