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[IMGCAP(1)]WILMINGTON, MA-An 88,000-sf commitment here is keeping industrial leasing activity in the Interstate 93 North corridor brisk, as the second quarter commences, with Wetmore Co. slated to move in early next month to 326 Ballardvale St. The three-building park is owned by RREEF.

“Wetmore selected the property because it offers excellent flow for their manufacturing and close proximity to many of their top vendors,” explains James Stubblebine of the Stubblebine Co., who joined David Stubblebine in representing Wetmore in lease negotiations. NAI Hunneman Commercial Co. represented the landlord, an assignment handled by principal Steve James and Tom Aitken, who recently joined Grubb & Ellis.

[IMGCAP(2)]Aitken and James also brokered a 57,000-sf lease in the Q1 to Colonial Systems, a firm consolidating at the property from several nearby facilities. Colliers Meredith & Grew assistant vice president Christopher Lawrence was broker for Colonial Systems in that lease, which, combined with the Wetmore deal, brings occupancy at 326 Ballardvale St. to 100%. The property contains more than 300,000 sf of space.

“The asset is now performing,” relays Aitken, who was charged along with James to fill a 145,000-sf hole that opened up when a prior tenant left the market in late 2006. The complex has typically fared well, says Aitken, who has a relationship with this property dating back to the 1990s. Among the attributes cited for its popularity, are substantial clear heights, modern safety and security systems, and a location at the junction of Intestates 93 and 495.

Wetmore will be occupying a mix of assembly, office and warehouse space in Building Three of the complex, whereas Colonial Systems is leasing a portion of Building Two. Both deals involve expansion, says Aitken. Colonial Systems has been in about 18,000 sf, whereas Wetmore is in about 57,000 sf at its Woburn facility. Aitken says he is encouraged by the pace of growth among firms in the Interstate 93 corridor, thus far in 2008. “The industrial market is chugging right along,” he tells GlobeSt.com. G&E tracks 22.9 million sf of flex and industrial space in the north region and puts vacancy at 11% after an opening quarter that registered positive net absorption of 254,000 sf. The Wetmore lease terms were not provided, but G&E puts the average rental rate for the north region at $8.75 per sf.

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