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WALTHAM, MA-In a six-figure deal that will secure the remaining portion of 77 CityPoint prior to the office building’s completion here, medical software company Phase Forward has ended a space search throughout suburban Boston very close to where the quest began earlier this summer. According to industry sources, the company will take approximately 165,000 sf in the six-story, 200,000-sf building, which is being erected on a speculative basis by Boston Properties just two miles from Phase Forward’s current home at 880 Winter St.

The deal is said to be for at least 10 years, and reportedly averages in the low $40-per-sf range. Besides guidance from in-house staffers Jason Fivek and David Provost, the landlord is being represented by DTZ FHO Partners principal Brian Hines, while colleague John Boyle is advising Phase Forward in its regional search. Neither broker returned phone calls, nor did officials at Boston Properties and Phase Forward, making it unclear whether the lease has been finalized. Even if not, a multitude of sources insist Phase Forward has committed to take the remainder of the property and has been actively negotiating terms. “It’s over,” one says of the competition for the requirement, which was brisk and far-reaching.

Properties on Phase Forward’s radar screen reportedly included the Sun Microsystems campus north on Route 3 in Burlington, plus another speculative building being pursued along Route 128 in that same community by the Gutierrez Cos. Phase Forward also seriously considered 300 Baker Ave. in Concord, sources say, and various options in Waltham. In addition to a lack of disruption for employees, one observer tracking the action says 77 CityPoint’s combination of quality and visibility appeared to win out, calling the rental rate “reasonable” given those valued elements. Not only does the property offer immediate access and exposure to Route 128, 77 CityPoint will feature a café with outdoor seating, fitness facility and conference center. The 4.3-acre hillside site will also accommodate more than 700 parking spaces.

The deal with Phase Forward would seem to justify Boston Properties’ decision to launch 77 CityPoint sans tenant, putting the firm ahead of other proposed projects that have since begun construction or are on the planning boards. Waltham has rebounded strongly in the past three years after a difficult beginning to the decade, with the $40-per-sf rate already achieved at other high-end properties in that core market. The other tenant headed for 77 CityPoint, PRTM, also is paying above $40 per sf, sources report.

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