BILLERICA, MA-KBS REIT has completed its purchase of Rivertech Park here, with the firm paying $45.2 million for the two-building complex at 129 Concord Rd. The asset was sold by New Boston Fund, which had acquired Rivertech in 2002 for $23 million.

“Physically, it is in very good condition,” KBS SVP Shannon Hill tells in reviewing the firm’s willingness to see the Rivertech acquisition through despite the rocky sales climate that has enveloped commercial real estate since mid-summer 2007. Original owner Nortel Networks had infused the property with an exceptional level of technology, he notes, and New Boston Fund ensured the expanded park was equally endowed. “That’s by and large what attracted the tenants,” says Hill.

Hill also lauds the $385 million expansion of Route 3, the roadway that Rivertech is located along. “It has made the area much more accessible,” he says of the initiative earlier this decade that widened Route 3 to six lanes. The project has been propitious for the Interstate 495 North submarket, says Hill, because rising rental rates in Cambridge and along Route 128 are spurring many firms to consider alternate markets such as Billerica and abutting Chelmsford.

The I-495 North vacancy rate remains above 20%, but the stable tenant roster makes KBS feel “very comfortable” about holding Rivertech over the near term, says Hill. Observers say the sale is a coup for New Boston Fund, which acquired the development after owner Nortel Networks downsized in the wake of the 2001 technology crash that crippled suburban Boston. Eastdil Secured broker James McCaffrey acknowledges that NBF fared well, but says the property was acquired below replacement cost for KBS. “I think everyone was happy about it,” says McCaffrey, who negotiated the sale with colleagues Peter Joseph and Chris Phaneuf from Eastdil’s Boston office.

Hill praised the brokerage team and NBF for guiding the deal through the lengthy negotiations, which extended back to the fourth quarter as indicated by a article on the sale in its Nov. 21st edition. “The process was very smooth,” Hill says, adding that the effort survived the national debt crunch partly because KBS is not a highly leveraged investor, typically aiming in the 50% to 60% range. While more challenging and expensive to obtain, such debt is available, he says.

As for the coming year, Hill says KBS is “not sitting on the sidelines,” and has value-added funds to place, but stresses the firm will avoid unnecessary risks. “The next 18 months are going to be very unpredictable, and we have to be cautious in how we invest our funds,” he says. Core assets are a big focus for KBS, but quality offerings have been limited in the early going of 2008, says Hill, whose firm is targeting deals in the $20 million to $50 million range.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.



Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.