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BLACKSBURG, VA-New Boston Fund is getting ready to begin vertical construction of Phase 1 of First & Main Blacksburg, a $30 million, 375,000-sf-plus development located on nearly 40 acres within one mile of Virginia Tech University. The firm is building the project with minority partner Fairmount Properties, in a 90%-10% ownership structure. Dirt first shoveled a few months ago; now that the site work is nearly done the partners are prepping for vertical construction, Peter Barber, SVP of development for New Boston tells GlobeSt.com.

Barber says that the project is already 70% leased–an unusual development for this stage. “To be at this level of leases now is a delight,” he says. Phase 1 is a 202,000-sf lifestyle retail center that will deliver next year. Phase 11 includes a discount retailer, movie theater and four restaurant parcels. Asking rates are in accordance with the market, he says, at about low- to mid-$20s per sf on a triple net basis.

Phase II will hopefully begin in Q1 2008; the retailer has been identified already. “Right now we are going through the permitting process.”

First & Main Blacksburg is among the first wave of projects to be funded by New Boston Fund VII, a $350 million fund that, when leveraged with debt, gives New Boston close to $1 billion in purchasing power. The fund will focus on projects in New England, the Mid-Atlantic and Florida.

Elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic, New Boston Fund is also working on a value-add acquisition in Northern Virginia, a distressed land acquisition in Maryland, and an industrial development in Loudoun County, VA.

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