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WALTHAM, MA-A 200,000-sf office building leading a charge of speculative construction here is about to sign its first tenant, with industry sources indicating that PRTM has agreed to take the fifth floor of 77 CityPoint. Rising on a hilltop overlooking Route 128, the elegant, six-story structure is slated for completion in the first quarter of 2008.

“That is true,” one source responded when asked if PRTM is signing on as the inaugural tenant, reportedly for 36,000 sf. The high-end building is being developed by Boston Properties, which has pegged greater Waltham as its focus in the region’s suburban market. A pioneer of Cambridge’s Kendall Square office market a quarter century ago and owner of the Prudential Center and other downtown Boston assets, Boston Properties now owns 1.57 million sf along the central Route 128 beltway and is pursuing construction of another 500,000 sf at 201 Jones Rd. in Waltham, aka the Waltham Weston Corporate Center.

PRTM’s lease will represent a cutback in space for the business-consulting firm, which has been in more than 50,000-sf at Bay Colony Corporate Center, another top Waltham office address. Bay Colony was taken over last month by Broadway Real Estate Partners, a New York firm that acquired the campus in a package from Beacon Capital Partners. One observer claims the efficiency of 77 CityPoint allows PRTM to take less space, opining that the cutback does not indicate that the firm is shrinking. “They are doing wonderfully,” offers the observer, a notion underscored by the 31-year-old company’s upscale choice of headquarters buildings.

Broadway officials have expressed a desire to push rental rates both in Boston and at their Waltham asset, and 77 CityPoint will apparently benefit from the rising tide by landing a deal said to be in the $40 per sf range. Some developers are even anticipating $50 per sf levels in Waltham over the near term, but sources say they do not believe the PRTM pact accelerates to that point. One broker familiar with the venture maintained that the lease will be a positive overall for the submarket, despite occurring at a rival property. “Good for them,” says the source. “Its great for them to get that done.”

Boston Properties has yet to acknowledge the agreement. Sources could not say whether the lease has been finalized, but one professional calls that step “imminent,” insisting, “it’s going to happen,” and giving a timetable of “days” if the deal is not already complete. PRTM’s broker, John Boyle, a principal at FHO Partners, did not go quite that far. While Boyle would neither confirm nor deny that his client is making the leap across Route 128 to the property, the company is “excited about the possibilities of relocating to 77 CityPoint,” he tells GlobeSt.com.

“It’s a fantastic building,” says Boyle, whose FHO colleague, principal Brian Hines, is acting on behalf of the landlord along with Boston Properties leasing manager Jason Fivek and SVP David Provost. Efforts to contact Hines and the in-house brokers by deadline were unsuccessful. Citing the significance of the lease, plus the re-branding of the building from the erstwhile 77 Fourth Ave., one source says Boston Properties wants to make the announcement in one fell swoop. “They are going to do a big [press] release,” says the source in giving a reason for the muted response to inquiries.

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