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WALTHAM, MA-A high-flying medical devices company is about to give suburban Boston’s office market a welcomed shot in the arm, as Astra Tech Inc. is supposedly on the verge of signing an 85,000-sf lease to occupy 590 Lincoln St. for its regional headquarters. Part of the Hobbs Brook Office Park, the building is undergoing a complete renovation and upgrade to first class space by the landlord, HBM Management.

“Yes, we have,” an Astra Tech spokesman confirmed when asked by GlobeSt.com whether the firm has been pursuing 590 Lincoln St. as the answer for a space search to relocate from its present home at 890 Winter St. in Waltham. The spokesman declined to offer details, but did dispute industry reports that a letter of intent has been inked. One source close to the deal insists Astra Tech has committed to take all the space in the building for 10 years, and predicts a final lease could be in place as early as next week.

Most parties involved in the negotiations did not respond by press deadline, including brokers at NAI Hunneman Commercial Co. and Wyman Street Advisors. NAI Hunneman SVPs James Boudrot and Steven James are agents for the tenant, while Wyman Street principal Charles Batchelder is exclusive leasing agent for Hobbs Brook Office Park. HBM principal Donald Oldmixon also did not respond to press inquiries by deadline.

If Astra Tech does consummate its agreement, observers note that the deal would take away yet another option for tenants seeking more than 50,000 sf of contiguous space in the Route 128 Central submarket. A speculative office building overlooking Route 128 has also been eliminated after landlord Boston Properties found takers for all 200,000 sf, and National Grid is leasing 312,000 sf at the Reservoir Woods office park being developed by Davis Marcus Partners. The latter lease helped Route 128 Central 2007 with a flurry of activity enough to drop the direct vacancy rate to 8.6%, according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s year-end review.

Route 128 Central was the only suburban Boston submarket among seven tracked by JLL that is in single digits on vacancy rate, and is well below the next tightest, Interstate 495/Massachusetts Turnpike, which has a 14.4% mark. The overall suburban average is 14.8%. For the year, Route 128 Central registered 308,000 sf of positive net absorption, including 241,000 sf during the fourth quarter.

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