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Route 495 Office Market Improves but Remains Bifurcated

BOSTON – According to a market report released by Cresa, the Route 495 market remained relatively stable during 2013, with many companies opting to remain in the area or relocate in hopes of attracting and retaining top talent.  The area, however, is highly bifurcated.  Framingham and Natick in Metrowest (which also includes Wayland, Southborough, Marlborough, Northborough, Westborough, and Hopkinton) continued to outpace the rest of the suburban market with a vacancy rate of only 7.2%) and rents ranging from $19-$25 per square foot for Class A space.  In contrast, cities and towns in 495 Central (including Boxborough, Concord, Acton, Littleton, Carlisle, Stow, Maynard, Sudbury, and Bolton) have a vacancy rate approaching 25%, with asking price for rents about $15 per SF.

David Ross, a Cresa principal, analyzed the office and flex/industrial markets on Route 495, looking at the last quarter of 2013 and forecasting trends in 2014.  The Route 495 report is part of Cresa’s launch of comprehensive Tenant Reports that will focus on Boston submarkets twice a year.   

Report highlights include:

· Framingham and Natick are the tightest markets in the area—and all of the suburbs—with single-digit vacancy rates.

· In the last two years, many large companies have moved out of the suburbs and into Boston's core urban districts. However, towns in the Metrowest marketplace, especially Marlborough, are doing a very good job retaining larger companies, and landlords are  redeveloping buildings and campuses

· Boston Scientific and Mathworks are among some of the larger companies expanding their Marlborough operations.  Atlantic Management purchased old HP campus and is redeveloping.

· While availability remained relatively stable throughout the area during 2013, asking rent increased slightly for office and flex products.

· As the growth continues in the outer boroughs and Metrowest, developers and investors are taking notice and starting to replicate the “work, live, play, stay” campus that the urban centers have been pushing for the last few years.

· In 2014, Cresa predicts that industrial landlords will consider “spec” building of new warehouses along I-495, and office investors will continue to “circle” the Framingham/Natick marketplace to take advantage of the low vacancy rates and redevelopment opportunities.

According to Cresa, what differentiates the Tenant Reports with most other market outlooks is that Cresa focuses on the tenant’s point of view, and the firm’s commentary often runs counter to that of traditional firms that represent the tenant and the landlord.

To view the full 495 reports, click here.  To contact Dave Ross, call 617-758-6088 or email dross@cresa.com.

Cresa LLC, North America’s largest corporate real estate advisory firm exclusively representing tenants, is headquartered in Boston.

Cresa is an international corporate real estate advisory firm that exclusively represents tenants and specializes in the delivery of fully integrated real estate services, including: Transaction Management, Project Management, Strategic Planning, Workforce and Location Planning, Subleases and Dispositions, Portfolio / Lease Administration, Capital Markets, Sustainability, Industrial / Supply Chain, and Facilities Management. With almost 60 offices, Cresa is the largest tenant representation firm in North America.

Karin Theodoros Zaroulis January 29, 2014 at 01:49 PM
One thing that off sets incentives is that many companies willing to pay $15.00 per hour and up will come into a community and do that. I remember back in the 80's when WANG moved to Lowell, ( from Tewksbury, btw), it was because the city offered it free land which the city had taken for taxes. Wang built huge buildings and brought it's high tech jobs. People were being paid 60 k plus a year, even back then. Meanwhile the City was being paid it's real estate taxes on this huge buildings. Free land or temporary low tax rates go a long way to lure companies offering high paying jobs into a community
Donna Marie Robitaille January 29, 2014 at 02:34 PM
I do not agree Karin. What parts do you agree with..the post from a resident with different views than I...or the not voting for donna shoutout. I plan to respond to mike when sitting down later. It is important to me to respond to his post with hopes he or others will hear me in the case anything makes sense to change their mind or at the least consider trying to understand the logic of what I say. PS doesn't sound like you got that open mind as you labeled yourself yesterday when addressing me. Geez and I took your advise deleted my anti vote casino posts to cease any more talk there. I made that decision and one to not speak of the issue if possible. NEWSFLASH! I am re posting and will use the topic of the casino vote anytime I feel it is warranted. I regret paying attention to what you to said regarding this. Not voting for a candidate is one thing, posting against my efforts to bring comments ideas and opinions to Patch seems all you will do for me. Closed minded unfair and unable to accept my campaign is how I feel about you and others in your gang. I as a candidate for Planning Board or as a member of this community will and have listened to other views. My decisions to maintain most of the positions I take for future development is based on a thorough thought process of others opinions comments and ideas. Too bad you guys do not live by the Golden Rule just because your preference is against a candidate. PS many people voted no for the CASINO VOTE! and not all of them are still part of the organized group. Sad to see people have formed a ghost group with attempts to gather the anti get back at anyone who is or ever was a town official mentality and prevent candidates from getting a fair shake. I love and care deeply about this community. I am asking VOTERS from both sides of the CASINO proposal to PLEASE consider giving me a chance to do the job. Looking Forward to answering MIKE'S post as it is filled with substance of comments ideas and opinions, worth responding to.
Bob January 29, 2014 at 04:29 PM
@Mike & Karin - 100% right! You sometimes need to spend $10 to make $1,000 or more.

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