NATICK, MA-A 21,000-sf flex/office building has been acquired by a Massachusetts real estate investment group, as 9 Tech Circle was purchased by Tech 9 RE LLC for $2.8 million. The seller was KAR Realty Corp.

Framingham-based New Dover Associates Inc. negotiated the transaction, led by the real estate services firm’s president, Scott Hughes, who represented the seller and procured the buyer. According to Hughes, the single-story, brick-and-block property provides a steady existing rental stream, and there is an opportunity to increase those rates over the near term. “I think [the buyer] was pleased,” says Hughes. “Natick is a very strong market.” Located in the East Natick Business Park on a 2.1-acre parcel, 9 Tech Circle also provides quick access to major roadways such as nearby Route 9 and the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Hughes had initially shown the buyer another asset KAR is shopping in Milford that did not fit the prospect’s profile, but when the broker mentioned KAR’s Natick asset, that did meet the criteria. To Hughes, a veteran CRE professional experienced in both investment sales and leasing, the moral is to “keep talking to your customer.”

Nine 9 Tech Circle received a range of interest from suitors, says Hughes, adding he believes the response reflects steady demand for investment sales at all end of the spectrum. Huge properties available in suburban Boston are luring pension funds and other domestic and foreign institutional capital sources from throughout the world, but small and mid-sized availabilities such as 9 Tech Circle are fulfilling demand from another category of buyers. They include local investors, users and 1031 Exchange funding sources who have become increasingly prevalent in New England during the ongoing sales cycle. Tech 9 RE LLC is a Wellesley-based firm controlled by investor Randy Goldberg.

The strength of the Framingham/Natick submarket and recent gains in the MetroWest as a whole have further sparked investor focus on the region, says Hughes. Not only have Framingham and Natick been among the state’s most consistent performers, but the improving economy is further tightening vacancy rates throughout the larger MetroWest region. “We’re busy,” says Hughes, who is preparing other properties to come to market on behalf of clients, and says he anticipates more buildings generally to be made available this summer, a season typically is among the slowest for CRE sales. “I think there is going to be a lot of activity over the next six weeks,” says Hughes, who declined to identify the assets New Dover is preparing to peddle.

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