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(Read more on the industrial market.)

SOMERVILLE, MA-Completing a deal broker Richard Bradbury terms “a perfect fit,” the Carlyle Group has paid $32.3 million for 70 Innerbelt Rd., a blend of telecom and warehouse space sited on the edge of Cambridge and Downtown Boston. While somewhat diverse, the mixed-use plays into two specialties Carlyle is adept at, according to Bradbury, a member of the Richards Barry Joyce & Partners investment team who represented seller ING Clarion and procured the buyer with colleagues Richard Herlihy and Steve Purpura.

A private equity firm based in Washington, DC, Carlyle “saw a recovering industrial market and a recovering telecom market, and they identified [70 Innerbelt] as a perfect fit to take advantage of both,” Bradbury tells GlobeSt.com. The chief tenant, Internap Network Services Corp., has fared well after a bumpy beginning, and Bradbury credits ING Clarion for sticking with the tenant early on and assisting in their build out, space now fetching $20 per sf. That investment provided an attractive element in marketing the asset, says Bradbury, who reports 10 final offers and a late-minute showdown between the victors and another firm whose focus is on telecom.

“That was a pretty fierce competition, but in the end, [Carlyle's industrial knowledge] made the difference that let them pay what they needed to get it done,” says Bradbury. The warehouse component is leased to a grocery chain that no longer needs the space but is nonetheless paying rent. That rate is in the $7-per-sf range, but Bradbury says analysis shows by being a product type in short supply close in to Boston could allow future deals to approach $10 per sf. The assistance of Purpura, a leasing specialist, allowed RBJ to provide bidders relevant market data to assess the potential, explains Bradbury. “We were very happy with the response,” says Bradbury, whose firm has negotiated several substantial sales to date in 2007.

“We’re getting our fair share,” acknowledged Bradbury, whose team orchestrated the $43.7-million sale of 734,000 sf of industrial space at the former Devens Industrial Park in central Massachusetts, and last month brokered the disposition of 268 Summer St. in Boston’s Fort Point Channel to Aegean Capital, a deal initially reported by GlobeSt.com. The RBJ sales team is about to take on several new assignments, says Bradbury.

As for 70 Innerbelt Rd., Bradbury says the telecom market has produced survivors such as Internap able to wait out the technology crash that began early in the decade. That demise came after a brief run-up of telecom real estate throughout Greater Boston that led to redevelopment of Innerbelt Road. Some ventures proved complete busts, most notably the Cabot, Cabot & Forbes warehouse-to-telecom conversion in Boston’s Allston district, and Innerbelt Road took its own hit prior to ING’s arrival. Besides deft management by that entity, Bradbury says 70 Innerbelt Rd. prevailed as a telecom project thanks to solid fundamentals such as heavy load bearing floors, multiple fiber optic feeds, extra electrical power and back-up generator capacity.

Presently, 70 Innerbelt Rd. is 80% leased, with tenants including the Museum of Fine Arts and Hannaford Brothers, the grocery chain. RBJ is also exclusive leasing agent for the building, which has about 50,000-sf available at present.

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