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BURLINGTON, MA—Culminating a super-heated bidding war, a local real estate investor and Pennsylvania investment advisor have teamed up to buy a trio of buildings in the Burlington Woods Office Park. Boston-based Griffith Properties LLC and Urdang Capital Management paid $66.5 million for the package, which encompasses 289,000 sf.

GlobeSt.com first reported in mid-May that the partnership had beat out a bevy of nationally known real estate investors, but company officials declined to acknowledge as much until after last week’s closing. “We’re thrilled,” Griffith principal Tod Brainard tells GlobeSt.com in the aftermath. “We think it’s a fantastic asset and certainly a great location.”

Built between 1980 and 1984, One, Two and Three Burlington Woods are among the older buildings in the submarket, and Brainard says a renovation program is already in the works. The age did not seem to intimidate suitors for the three buildings, which are situated on a 17.3-acre parcel fronting Route 128. “It was a very aggressive bidding process,” concurs Brainard, with sources claiming others chasing the deal included AEW Capital Management, BPG Ltd. and Divco West. Jones Lang LaSalle, which negotiated for the sellers and procured the buyer, did not return calls to discuss the outcome or the sales campaign.

Brainard described the purchase as “fully priced,” a result necessary given the clamor of capital, but he also maintains rental rates in the complex have room for growth. The ownership is especially excited about an 80,000-sf block of space available immediately. “Having that much contiguous space is a rare commodity in Burlington right now,” says Brainard, with the recession that has lingered since the early part of the decade finally making way for a suddenly surging economy both in Boston and the suburbs. A lack of inventory, plus the limits on future supply due to higher construction costs, are leading developers to embrace existing buildings, especially those as well located as Burlington Woods Office Park.

Burlington Woods is better positioned than ever, says Brainard, thanks to roadway improvements to nearby Route 3 and a new lifestyle center called Wayside Commons that has attracted a number of high-end restaurants and stores. Wayside Commons “is a real plus,” says Brainard. “Even Waltham doesn’t have those kind of (retail) amenities.”

According to Middlesex Registry of Deeds records, the buyers paid $6.22 million for Two Burlington Woods, the smallest of the properties at 27,000 sf, and acquired the 114,000-sf One Burlington Woods for $26.3 million. The largest structure at 148,000 sf, Three Burlington Woods commanded the biggest price at $34.0 million. The complete sale equates to a price of $230 per sf.

Griffith is already restoring an office park on Interstate 93 in Andover into modern space, and made news last month when the firm teamed with Urdang to buy HarborSouth, a 200,000-sf office building in Quincy Center that traded for $17 million. Urdang, a subsidiary of the Bank of New York, did not respond to inquiries regarding either acquisition. JLL procured the buyers and represented the sellers, Finard Properties LLC.

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