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BILLERICA, MA-Real estate investment firm KS Partners continues to tweak its Massachusetts portfolio, with the firm acquiring two more properties in suburban Boston while divesting a pair of buildings in Hopkinton. KS traded 25 and 45 South St. for $10.9 million while buying 130 New Boston St. in Woburn for $6.3 million and 47 Manning Rd. in Billerica for $2 million.

“Boston is on strong footing,” KS founder Kambiz Shahbazi tells GlobeSt.com in explaining his continued interest in regional real estate. “I’m very encouraged by what I see on the leasing front.”

Shahbazi has been assembling the portfolio of approximately two million sf since 1997. Creation of KS Partners included shifting many of the holdings from the erstwhile Everest Partners LLC, and since the launch of KS Partners, Shahbazi secured additional assets in 2007, including a 10-building complex acquired on the South Shore from owner Thomas Flatley. KS Partners is now working to reposition those buildings and the other properties that fit the firm’s value-add approach.

The New Boston Street building is a three-story structure developed in a gritty industrial section. The 18-year-old asset has unique architectural features that Shahbazi predicts will help attract prospective tenants, adding he believes he was able to acquire the property at a low enough basis to be competitive on rental rates. “We think there is quite a bit of upside,” says Shahbazi, whose firm took control of the asset at 55% occupancy. Already, one tenant has committed to 4,500 sf and there are several parties vying for the 19,000 sf available on 130 New Boston St.’s top floor, Shahbazi reports.

KS Partners snagged 47 Manning Rd. for less than $45 per sf, and Shahbazi says there has also been immediate leasing action at that 45,000-sf building, with a 10,000-sf tenant already on board. KS has retained the Stubblebine Co. as leasing agents for that property and NAI Hunneman Commercial to fill 130 New Boston St.

On the disposition end, Shahbazi says the sale of 25 and 45 South St. was an off-market deal prompted by an unprovoked suitor, Parsons Commercial Group of Framingham. “We’re very happy with that transaction,” says Shahbazi, who purchased the buildings in 2003 as part of a four-building portfolio. The other two assets, 257 and 259 Cedar Hill St. in Marlborough, are still owned by KS Partners. Totaling nearly 120,000 sf, the space in 25 and 45 South St. is about 30% vacant, a factor which Shahbazi says should allow Parsons to draw its own measure of value in the improving MetroWest flex/office market.

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