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[IMGCAP(1)]WALPOLE, MA-A nine-building flex complex adjacent to Gillette Stadium has scored a pair of leases totaling just under 30,000 sf. The agreements bring vacancy into single digits for Walpole Park South, which is owned by John D. Murphy Co of Walpole.

“It’s a nice couple of deals for the property and the market,” says Cushman & Wakefield senior director J.P. Plunkett, who joined C&W senior director Catherine Minnerly and associate Jason Bryer as agents for the landlord on both leases. The largest is a 29,000-sf pact by Bridge Medical at Building Six, accompanied by a 9,000-sf commitment from the Music & Arts Center, which will occupy space in Building One. CB Richard Ellis principal Steve Clancy was Bridge Medical’s broker, while Auburndale Realty Corp. President Robert Nahigian orchestrated negotiations for Music & Arts Center.

[IMGCAP(2)]Walpole Park South is one of suburban Boston’s most established business addresses, having been founded in 1972 by company namesake John Murphy and continuing on as a family owned operation now led by son Donnell Murphy. The 54-acre complex abuts Route One near the intersection of Interstate 95. The property is also near Interstate 495 and roads leading into Connecticut and Rhode Island. The park has traditionally retained a low vacancy rate, but development of speculative product in the past few years did increase that level into double digits before being brought down again through the latest deals.

At three million sf, the South flex/R&D sector is second smallest among seven submarkets tracked by Jones Lang LaSalle, and is just barely ahead of the tiniest, the 2.9-million-sf Interstate 495 South region. It is also second tightest in vacancy rate at 13.5%, again trailing neighboring I-495 South’s 7.3%, the only flex/R&D submarket in single digits. The average suburban vacancy rate is 18%, according to JLL. The firm’s research estimates minus 37,000 sf of net absorption in the South flex submarket last year after a slightly negative fourth quarter.

Financial terms on the latest Walpole Park South leases were not provided. JLL puts the average asking rate in the South at $8.96 per sf, third lowest after the least expensive average of $8.51 per sf in I-495 South and an $8.68 per sf average in Interstate 495 North. The average asking rate for 40.7 million sf in the JLL review is $10.68 per sf.

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