CHELMSFORD, MA-A community that soared and crashed on the wings of the technology sector is once again reaping the benefits of that improving industry, with new startups and maturing firms helping restock a commercial real estate inventory hit by the previous slide. Underscoring that progress, 100 Apollo Dr. in Chelmsford has beefed up its roster by 25,000 sf in two deals with tech tenants, putting occupancy for the three-story, 111,000-sf building at nearly 90%.

“The market is improving, and we’re crossing our fingers it is going to continue,” says DTZ FHO Partners principal Michael Dalton, who negotiated the pair of five-year leases on behalf of Rreef, owners of the eight-year-old building. In the larger of the transactions, Axis Communications more than doubled its occupancy to nearly 16,000 sf. The lease is a relocation from the ground floor to the second level in what Dalton tells was a nimble “tenant retention” move by Rreef made to accommodate the company’s recent growth. Also, recently launched software concern Desktone committed to 10,000 sf.

Dalton was joined by DTZ FHO Senior Associate Michael O’Leary as brokers for Rreef on both leases. Parsons Commercial Group VP Marci Alvarado was the agent for Axis Communications in its expansion, while Troy Cody negotiated for Desktone, a firm that is coming to the property from temporary quarters of just 3,000 sf.

Developed in the midst of Boston’s last great economic boom, 100 Apollo Dr. was designed with tech tenants in mind, providing both systems and flexibility required of such occupants, as well as amenities such as a two-story lobby and on-site showers and locker rooms. Those elements were cited as factors in securing the latest leases, as was a location along the recently widened Route 3. The building is one exit south of the major Lowell Connector interchange, and is in close proximity to various retail options, as well as restaurants and several hotels, including a Courtyard by Marriott.

The activity at 100 Apollo Dr. continues a plethora of leasing along the Route 3 corridor through the summer season. “There has been some very good organic growth,” says Dalton. Even so, the area remains bloated with excess real estate, as evidenced in a recent review of the submarket by Meredith & Grew. Suburban specialist and M&G EVP James Elcock outlined 62 options in the submarket for tenants needing 30,000 sf of space or less, and 19 for firms requiring 100,000 sf or less, both tops of any submarket tracked by Meredith & Grew. I-495 North also has the highest vacancy rate of any submarket reviewed at just over 25%.

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