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LEOMINSTER, MA-Unlike the white hot office market, the industrial sector along Interstate 495 North faltered in 2007, but a lease at 46 Industrial Rd. here has added a bit of life to the region entering the new year. CPF Inc. is taking 40,000 sf in the 240,000-sf property, which has had its own ups and downs in recent years.

The Stubblebine Co. negotiated terms for both the tenant and lessor, the Paper Store, with the assignment handled by David and James Stubblebine and Al Ringuette. CPF Inc. manufactures and bottles soft drinks and other beverages, including energy drinks, mineral waters, frozen juices and chocolate drinks.

Constructed in the 1960s, 46 Industrial Rd. enjoyed a long period of prosperity during the days when Leominster was a booming manufacturing town focused on plastics production. As that arena moved offshore in the 1970s and 1980s, the region fell into an economic malaise that left many assets underutilized, including 46 Industrial Rd. Located on at the junction of Route 2 and Interstate 190, the building offers many features required of industrial tenants, including 16 loading docks and 18-foot ceilings. There is also direct rail service to the 10-acre parcel.

The demise of the state’s manufacturing sector has shifted the stock of commercial properties in I-495 to flex and office space, with just 7.7 million sf of industrial tracked in the market by Jones Lang LaSalle. JLL lists more than 20 million sf of flex and office space in the area.

According to year-end figures in the JLL industrial survey, I-495 North had negative net absorption of 115,000 sf in the fourth quarter and 154,000 for the year, pushing the direct vacancy rate for industrial to an alarming 30.5%. That is the highest among seven suburban Boston submarkets covered by JLL and nearly double the 16.7% for the overall market of 61.2 million sf. The average asking rental rate is lowest among the seven submarkets at $5.06 per sf, nearly a dollar less than the $6.02 per sf average for the entire market, JLL reports.

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