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TEWKSBURY, MA-Taking advantage of rampant interest in stabilized real estate, ECRM Inc. has negotiated a sale-leaseback of the firm’s 102,000-sf headquarters. The single-story property was acquired by Gladstone Commercial Corp., a real estate investment trust that paid $11 million after structuring an arrangement to keep ECRM as sole occupant of 554 Clark Rd.

“The timing was right,” CBRE/New England principal Mark Reardon explains to GlobeSt.com. Client ECRM “got an asset off the books that is not growing for them, and [sold into] a market flush with cash.” Joining Reardon in the marketing campaign were CBRE/New England colleagues Bruce Levine, Patrick Cavanagh and Jake Borden.

A producer of imaging equipment, ECRM’s lineage in Massachusetts dates to the 1970s. Reardon declined to discuss financial terms, but the leaseback portion is for 10 years. Not only does that mean a victory for the state’s beleaguered manufacturing sector, the new owners of the office/R&D building are expected to receive periodic rental increases in addition to the long-term commitment, according to data reviewed by GlobeSt.com. The buyers also secured a 10.5-acre parcel that offers quick access to interstates 495 and 93, adds Reardon. “It’s a quality building,” he says,” and is in a community 30 miles north of Boston finally emerging from a difficult start to the decade.

The anticipated recovery is leading to money pouring into suburban Boston from all arenas, as demonstrated in another sale Reardon just brokered north off Boston near Route 128 in Peabody. The $7.8-million transfer of that 134,000-sf building at One First Ave. to Paradigm Properties was made on behalf of a fund that will sell into the institutional market after assembling at least $100 million of industrial buildings. Detailed last week by GlobeSt.com, the Peabody sale completed a value-add strategy employed by Taurus Investments, which retained Reardon to reformat the leasing roster after buying the asset in 2005.

Prior to negotiating the sale to Paradigm, which he did with CBRE/New England principal Gary Lemire, Reardon helped fill One First Ave. with such tenants as Analog Devices, Christian Book Distribution and Schwartz & Benjamin. The increased occupancy attracted the buyers, says Reardon, given the institutional strategy embraced by Paradigm. “It was a good deal all around,” says Reardon.

In the Tewksbury transaction, Gladstone Commercial continued a practice of securing sale/leasebacks to buy into various markets. Based in McLean, VA, Gladstone has invested down into North Carolina and Texas since its founding in 2003, but has also been prevalent in the Northeast, having previously acquired the 71,000-sf headquarters/manufacturing plant for Homemade Brand Foods in Newburyport, MA, and last year buying into a 150,000-sf warehouse in Hadley, MA, occupied by Yankee Candle Co. Listed on Nasdaq under the symbol GOOD, Gladstone focuses on net-leased commercial and industrial opportunities.

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