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WESTBOROUGH, MA-A state-of-the-art building originally developed as the regional headquarters for General Electric Corp. has changed hands, with 1400 Computer Dr. selling for $13 million. The buyer is an institutional client of Boston-based Morris & Morse Co., a real estate investment advisory firm.

Efforts to contact officials at Morris & Morse to discuss the deal were unsuccessful, but the firm announced in a press release that Richards Barry Joyce & Partners has been retained as exclusive leasing agents for the 80,000-sf building. RBJ’s investment sales group also negotiated the purchase of 1400 Computer Dr. on behalf of the buyers. The RBJ brokerage team included Richard Bradbury, Richard Herlihy, John Lashar and Paul Leone, while the latter two brokers will handle the leasing assignment.

In announcing the deal, RBJ officials cited the building’s overall quality as a key selling point, with substantial technology incorporated when the structure was constructed in 1991 to be the northeast headquarters for General Electric. Besides the modern element to the building systems, RBJ lists a roster of on-site amenities expected to be attractive to prospective tenants, including a fitness center, and notes visibility along Route 9 and direct access to the Massachusetts Turnpike and Interstate 495 as other benefits.

“It’s a really nice play for them,” Bradbury says of the buyers. “They got a nice price per-sf that allows them entry into the Westborough market, and they also got a really nice building.” A measure of stability is included from the lease to 1400 Computer Dr.’s chief tenant, Carlin, Charron & Rosen, an established accounting firm that occupies the bulk of the space.

Westborough is one of the central communities in suburban Boston’s Interstate 495 West office market, using its close association to the state’s regional road network as an advantage in attracting commercial development. Besides a host of Class A office parks in the area, Westborough also features several ancillary uses, including daycare services, hotels, restaurant and retail.

Interstate 495 West was among the submarkets hardest hit by the Massachusetts recession, but RBJ research indicates a revival of the economy throughout the MetroWest, as tenants rattled by sharply rising prices in the core markets such as Waltham are considering fringe locations. As of mid-year, I-495 West still had a high vacancy level of 17.3%, but RBJ director of research Brendan Carroll says the 16.4 million-sf submarket has enjoyed five straight quarters of positive absorption.

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