From TheRealReporter.Com: Roll Play Fills 94,000 SF For Calare
January 27, 2012
BY JOE CLEMENTS
Calare Properties has finalized an impressive roll over plan of sorts after snagging fallow Building Four at 900 Middlesex Turnpike here last spring in a $1.7 million value-add acquisition. Lasermax Roll Systems has committed to occupy all 94,000 sf, wrapping up a 10-year lease that will commence in April when the digital printing supplier arrives from its current home on Third Avenue in Burlington’s Northwest Park.
“We saw this as a really unique building, and thought we were getting it at a very good basis,” principal Brian Poitras tells The Real Reporter this week in citing clear heights exceeding 30 feet and a solid constitution among the reasons Hudson-based Calare embraced the then-empty 33-year-old structure. “We didn’t see a lot like it around, and felt there could be a real need for this type of space,” says Poitras.
Besides the asset’s standout elements, Poitras says his firm and exclusive leasing broker Grubb & Ellis felt demand was improving between Burlington and New Hampshire. Indeed, a regional review this month put manufacturing among the unlikely bright spots driving the Bay State engine. Despite Building Four’s size, three viable options were pursuing the hulking facility, relays G&E Senior VP Thomas M. Aitken, who joined colleague Tyler Ewing as exclusive advisors to the landlord. “There has been some good absorption up here,” Aitken says, a notion underscored by year-end figures from G&E showing positive net absorption of 679,000 sf in the northern tier, including 287,000 sf in Q4. That has put vacancy at 13.1 percent for the submarket of 86.2 million sf, much improved following a torpid stretch during the national recession. The vacancy is slightly below the overall Greater Boston rate of 13.6 percent for 242.2 million sf tracked by G&E. According to G&E, all but 67,000 sf of the positive net absorption for industrial in 2011 was registered in the North submarket.
Equitable Real Estate Solutions President Mark Carangelo orchestrated the space search for Lasermax Roll Systems, a company uprooted from Northwest Park in Burlington due to the landlord’s construction of a Wegman’s Supermarket as the venerable flex development is converted to a multi-use facility. Lasermax was rumored to have been considering a CRE purchase in the area before leasing Building Four came into the picture.
The robust interest for Calare’s listing was generated partly by Building Four’s superior power exceeding 10,000 amps, observes Aitken, and features such as seven loading docks and an efficient layout. “You don’t have much over 80,000 sf like it off Route 3,” Aitken adds, maintaining that many firms prefer to be near Route 128 than in other large venues bordering New Hampshire.
Tenants also were enthused at the proven six-building business park that provides immediate access to Route 3 at Exit 26, notes Aitken, although he credits the building’s veteran sponsorship as the main key to success. “It was Calare being proactive by going in and doing selective demolition and fixing up the exterior to make the building attractive, and being aggressive (on pricing) that got this building leased,” says Aitken. “They were fantastic to work with.” A low basis of $18 per sf gave Calare the chance to finance upgrades, recounts Poitras, whose firm has embraced a willdo approach to filling space. That led to three million sf of 2011 commitments in the firm’s national portfolio of 13 million sf. “We’ve got some great traction right now,” Poitras reports, encouraging enough that Calare has two funds scouring the landscape for opportunities similar to 900 Middlesex Turnpike. Poitras voices optimism towards finding other diamonds- in-the-rough as banks and longsuffering owners move to disgorge underachieving assets, but he concurs Building Four’s rebirth went unusually smooth, especially in a difficult environment. “We are thrilled,” says Poitras. “It is going to be a very high return for our investors.”