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BILLERICA, MA-Commercial real estate sales may be slower to begin the year than in 2007, but the pace is decidedly different here on Manning Road where two more flex/office properties are reportedly under agreement just a few months after 47 Manning Rd. was acquired by KS Partners. According to GlobeSt.com sources, Farley White Interests has committed to 45 and 46 Manning Rd., a pair of flex/office buildings owned by Cargill Inc. of Minnesota. One source puts the sales price at close to $8 million total for the buildings, which are each about 40,000 sf.

“It’s them,” one source says of FWI, a notion supported by several other industry observers. Cargill paid $6.9 million for the assets in 2000, which are being marketed by Cushman & Wakefield of Massachusetts via its Middle Markets Group. Calls to Middle Markets team member David Pergola and Christopher Griffin were not returned by press deadline, while FWP principal John Power declined comment on the matter, citing confidentiality agreements.

“I love the location,” was all Power would offer to GlobeSt.com. The ardor is underlined by his firm’s substantial presence in the area. FWI also owns 33 and 39 Manning Rd. along with the nearby 26 Fortune Blvd. Known collectively as Manning Park, the complex overlooks Route 3, the roadway that has made Billerica an increasingly popular destination for a diversifying tenant base. Most of the Manning Road assets were constructed by the erstwhile Spaulding & Slye just as the north suburban office market was emerging in the 1980s.

C&W broker Richard Ruggiero is helping FWI lease up 39 Manning Rd. in the wake of tenant GSI Lumonics’ decision to relocate to 125 Middlesex Turnpike in Bedford. Ruggiero would not discuss the status of 45 and 46 Manning Rd., but says properties in Manning Park are gaining in popularity thanks to the overall strength of the Route 3 corridor. “We’ve had some good groups come through” 39 Manning Rd., says Ruggiero, who is handling that assignment with colleague Torin Taylor. Space in the area is being marketed at just under $10 per sf, Ruggiero estimates.

As for 45 and 46 Manning Rd., sources say they anticipate FWI will close on the deal within the next few weeks. The firm, founded by Power and Roger Altreuter in 2000, has acquired numerous commercial assets throughout suburban Boston since then, including 401 Griffin Brook Dr. in Methuen, 100 and 200 Ames Pond Dr. in Tewksbury and Kiln Brook Office Park in Woburn.

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