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AYER, MA-Breathing welcomed life into suburban Boston’s industrial market, Cains Foods LP is extending its lease at 3 Nemco Way in the Interstate 495 North region. The 70,000-sf commitment will keep Cains Foods at the property for another five years.

David Stubblebine of the Stubblebine Co. represented both parties in the lease negotiations. The single-story building is a first class, institutional grade facility, according to the broker; and is owned by Principal Financial Group, one of the nation’s leading commercial real estate investors with $44.8 billion of assets under management. According to Stubblebine, 3 Nemco Way is “ideally suited” for distribution and warehouse uses, offering such features as 20 loading docks, 10,000 sf of mezzanine office space and “excellent highway access” to both I-495 and Route 2.

Nemco Way has already seen one substantial industrial lease signed this year, when L3 Communications took down 216,000 sf at 2 Nemco Way, as reported by GlobeSt.com. Despite a tough Q1 in most industrial market reports, some sector veterans, such as CB Richard Ellis principal Mark Reardon, insist the start to 2008 has been better than the surveys indicate.

Data released for Q1 included an estimate of negative net absorption of 269,000 sf by Jones Lang LaSalle for three northern submarkets. The survey covers 21.1 million sf in the north, including 7.8 million sf in I-495 North, a submarket sporting the highest vacancy rate among seven reviewed. I-495 North has a 29.7% vacancy rate, says JLL, well above the 17.8% posted for the overall suburban Boston market of 61 million sf. JLL puts the overall market net absorption at minus 1.3 million sf.

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