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WILMINGTON, MA-A commitment by Graybar Inc. is providing a bit of sunshine to the northern Massachusetts flex/office landscape, as the firm leases more than 35,000 sf at 265 Ballardvale St. The single-story, 74,000-sf structure is part of a three-building flex/office campus owned by KS Partners.

“It’s a nice deal for the market and we’re really happy with kind of tenant that it is bringing to the park,” says NAI Hunneman Commercial Co. SVP David Gilkie, who represented KS Partners in the lease negotiations. Graybar is a Fortune 500 company specializing in supply chain management services, and Gilkie says he believes the firm’s established name will further enhance the park as a viable business address. KS Partners was also represented in-house by EVP and COO Robert Macnamara and James Grady, while NAI Hunneman SVP Mark Gottesman was Graybar’s broker.

Gilkie says 265 Ballardvale St. offers such benefits as a flexible layout, quick access to Interstate 93 and the veteran stewardship of KS Partners, a real estate investment firm that has been active in southern New England for more than a decade. KS Partners acquired 255, 261 and 265 Ballardvale St. in March 2004 for $4.2 million. Totaling more than 160,000 sf, the park already houses such well-known firms as Charles River Laboratories, Mayo Medical Laboratories and Opti-Line Associates.

In serving as listing broker for 255 and 265 Ballardvale St. since last summer, Gilkie says he is impressed by the level of interest in the space, with several agreements pending. “We’ve got a lot we’re trying to nail down right now,” says Gilkie, who covers most of the northern tier of suburban Boston, including the Route 3 corridor, Interstate 93 and the Peabody region along I-95. The I-93 area has benefited from a diversifying tenant base, says Gilkie, as major players such as Wyeth Pharmaceuticals draw other life sciences firms into the area to bolster the technology businesses that have heretofore dominated the tenant base. Defense companies have also increased their presence.

According to Gilkie, I-93 North started off slowly in 2008, but as the first quarter winds to a close, velocity has ratcheted up substantially. “We’ve seen great activity in the last month,” he says. Financial terms for the Graybar lease were not divulged, but a market report by Jones Lang LaSalle puts the average asking rate for flex space in the Wilmington submarket at $9.37 per sf.

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