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DEDHAM, MA-Leasing activity at the Dedham Executive Center is giving the Route 128 South office market a late season boost, as nearly 40,000 sf is being filled thanks to eight transactions. The three-story, 178,000-sf asset is owned by an affiliate of KS Partners, one of suburban Boston’s largest landlords.

“The Dedham Executive Center is a great building in a great location that offers terrific exposure for our tenants,” says Robert Macnamara, COO for KS Partners. Macnamara says a $2 million upgrade of the facility has helped reposition the property and made it attractive to the newest occupants, adding that the firm is negotiating on a number of fresh deals and renewals that he expects to be finalized in the coming weeks.

The largest of the recent slew of lease agreements is Hilco Appraisal Co.’s commitment for 9,000 sf. Countrywide Bank secured just over 8,000 sf, GE Capital is leasing slightly less than that in a renewal and Dedham Opthalmic Consultants & Surgeons PC is taking 6,000 sf. Corporate Incentive Solutions is leasing 5,000 sf, while other firms joining the tenant roster are NCH Corp. and Boston Medtech Advisors. Also, James Bonaccorsi LLC renewed his lease at the property at 980/990 Washington St.

The renovations to Dedham Executive Center include a new roof, elevator upgrades and installation of modern mechanical systems. KS Partners is also providing a fitness center and is restoring the property’s cafeteria and signage. Besides the capital improvements, KS Partners VP of leasing James Grady maintains the firm was able to secure a majority of the companies who were seeking space because of flexibility and response to tenant needs. Assisting the KS leasing professionals in the Dedham Executive Center negotiations was the Meredith & Grew team of James Elcock, David Goodhue and William Lynch.

The leases are a continuation of a brisk year for the Route 128 office belt and the suburbs overall, with a 2007 review issued today by DTZ FHO Partners showing the north, central and southern tiers of Route 128 registered positive absorption, while the suburbs as a whole exceeded 2.5 million sf of net absorption for the year. That performance puts the suburban office market vacancy rate at 16.7%.

While far less than the remarkable 1.5 million sf of positive absorption registered in Route 128 Central, the southern stretch that includes such communities as Canton, Dedham, Norwood and Westwood had just under 200,000 sf of positive absorption for the year, says the DTZ FHO research. The review covers 153 buildings and 14.1 million sf of space in the southern sector, which is close to the suburban average vacancy rate, coming in at 16.8%.

KS Partners is a commercial real estate owner and property management company that targets undervalued assets and seeks to improve cash flow through a value-added approach. The ownership has been investing in Greater Boston for a decade, with current Massachusetts holdings stretching from Andover to Quincy.

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