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FRANKLIN, MA-A portfolio of flex/industrial real estate offering the cache and heft to attract institutional capital has changed hands. Boston-based pension fund advisor Colony Realty Partners bought the half-dozen buildings in the Forge Park business complex from a client of UBS Global Asset Management, acquiring a block of 620,000 sf.

“We had a remarkable amount of interest,” Richards Barry Joyce & Partners EVP Richard Herlihy tells GlobeSt.com after the firm’s investment sales team orchestrated the transaction. The “hotly contested” product resulted in an expeditious marketing and due diligence phase, explains Herlihy, who was joined in brokering the sale by RBJ colleagues Richard Bradbury, John Lashar and Paul Leone. A Boston-based real estate services firm, RBJ represented the seller and procured the buyer.

Registry of deeds records put the price at just under $68 million, or about $110 per sf. “I think everyone was happy,” was all Herlihy would say on that aspect, declining to discuss financial details due to confidentiality agreements. The investment sales specialist did cite several factors that enhanced the competition, including a series of infrastructure improvements near Forge Park that have created wider roadways, turning lanes, a streamlined truck route and even a new overpass.

Forge Park “is much more accessible,” thanks to the upgrades, says Herlihy. The master-planned development impressed suitors as well, he says, given its stature as one of the premier business campuses in the Interstate 495 South market. The sale encompassed 8, 9, 10, 15, 20 and 22 Forge Park, which were constructed in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Three are flex buildings, and the remainder house distribution services. Credit tenants include Draka, General Cable, National Grid and Thermo Fisher Scientific. Occupancy of the portfolio is estimated at 75%.

The Forge Park disposition is just the latest commercial real estate sale tendered in recent months by RBJ’s investment team, which also traded two major industrial buildings at the former Fort Devens; 268 Summer St. in Boston’s Fort Point Channel; and 70 Innerbelt Rd. in Somerville, a hybrid of telecom and warehouse space. That $32-million sale to the Carlyle Group was reported by GlobeSt.com earlier this month.

The Interstate 495 South flex market has been relatively steady, according to Brendan Carroll, RBJ’s vice president of research. The vacancy rate at the end of the first quarter was 13.3%, Carroll reports, placing the mark up slightly from the 12.9% posted one year earlier.

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