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LINCOLN, MA-A high-end office building here bordering Hancscom Airforce Base is being sold to a local partnership, industry sources are telling GlobeSt.com. The buyers include longtime partners Charles E. Floyd and Lawrence P. Smith, with their affiliate said to be paying owner Ibus Co. between $27 million and $29 million for the Lincoln North office building at 55 Old Bedford Rd.

“That is happening,” concurs one source. Smith has a close connection to the asset, originally developing Lincoln North in the 1980s with partner David Norton and now serving as property manager for Ibus, which acquired it in July 1994 for $12 million. Smith’s Cranberry Hill Associates is also headquartered in the building, whereas Floyd’s construction firm, CE Floyd Co., is located in abutting Bedford.

At this point, parties involved in the negotiations are keeping mum. Neither Floyd nor Smith returned calls from GlobeSt.com by press deadline on the pending sale of Lincoln North, which is being harvested for Ibus by the Capital Markets Group at CB Richard Ellis in Boston. Team member Gary Lemire is said to be orchestrating the effort, but the CBRE principal also did not respond to inquiries. Ibus officials were unavailable as well, although sources insist the property is under contract and moving towards a closing. The buyers are reportedly securing a loan to purchase Lincoln North through John Hancock Life Insurance Co.

Based in the Netherlands, Ibus has an international real estate footprint, owning commercial properties in such countries as France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Vietnam. US holdings include properties in Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The firm has already sold another Massachusetts property, trading the Davenport Building in Cambridge a year ago for $69 million after buying the 220,000-sf asset in 2002 for $53 million.

Lincoln is a predominantly residential community located just off Route 128 near Lexington and Waltham. The Route 128 Central office market is among the largest in suburban Boston and typically commands the highest rental rates. Jones Lang LaSalle puts the current vacancy rate for the submarket of 19.1 million sf at 8.8%, the tightest among seven submarkets tracked in the JLL review. It is the only submarket in single digits on vacancy, despite a difficult opening quarter that saw negative net absorption in excess of 215,000 sf.

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