R.W. Holmes Realty Named Agent for 210 Littleton Road in Westford, MA
Just how DivcoWest found itself out here eight years ago acquiring a 52,000-sf office building tucked off Route 110 is unclear, but real estate investor George K. Tonna is certainly happy to see the prolific West Coast gone following a $2.29 million all-cash exchange for 210 Littleton Rd. in a deal negotiated by brokers David J. Pergola and Brian R. Doherty. The new steward who owns multiple commercial assets in central and eastern Massachusetts welcomes a changing of the guard in predicting the 31-year-old building will be well-received by firms seeking space in the improving climate.
“It is absolutely stunning,” Tonna tells Real Reporter of his latest conquest, for which James Bartholomew of R.W. Holmes has been engaged as exclusive leasing agent. The founder of Worcester-based K&L Realty LLC, Tonna cites a lush landscaping on 20 acres and a well-constructed, efficient layout as reasons for his optimism that comes despite unrequited efforts by DivcoWest to fill the space vacated when former tenant MatrixOne was bought out by Dassault Systemes just as the building was being acquired for $9.4 million in March 2007.
DivcoWest, which also was longtime owner of the far larger CrossPoint Towers in the Interstate 495 North submarket, has this decade concentrated on urban deals in Boston and Cambridge, an adroit platform that has led to multiple windfalls that have been poured into even larger assets. Presently, for example, the group founded by Stuart Shiff is putting together a deal for the NorthPoint development site in Cambridge that is expected to change hands for upwards of $300 million and yield five million sf of mixed-use construction.
Tonna, for his part, is more than eager to take the baton at 210 Littleton Rd., the property similar to other office buildings he owns some 25 miles south in Hudson where leasing activity has gotten healthier following a difficult recession. Making the switch was exceedingly easy, he recounts, praising Pergola and Doherty for being “extremely professional” and conducting a process that proceeded quickly and minus any roadblocks.
“These are the type of people you want to buy from,” Tonna says of DivcoWest, praising the firm for the smooth transition and in leaving the property well-maintained despite sitting vacant for several years. Having trolled the market over a long period, Tonna reports that many shuttered properties have daunting capital issues that need to be addressed. Not the case for 210 Littleton Rd., he says. “They have maintained it beautifully,” he says, both inside and out.
Tonna is also enthused by the asset’s campus feel which he maintains companies will be drawn to, with the property
first developed as the headquarters of Veryfine Juice Corp. until that occupant was also consumed in a merger. Things are even better now, argues Tonna, in that Route 110 in Westford is now home to a wide variety of commercial uses, including restaurant and retail options anchored by Westford Marketplace across the street from 210 Littleton Rd., with that shopping center featuring a new Market Basket and multiple ancillary tenants.
“Here you are in your own little world but you are only 30 seconds away from anything you want,” Tonna relays, adding, “We are very excited about it.” Midyear figures from DTZ would seem to support his optimism, with Westford alone record- ing an astounding 603,325 sf of positive net absorption through midyear, dropping the vacancy rate two full percentage points to a thin 8.7 percent.
Pergola declined to comment on the sale, citing confidentially agreements with DTZ’s client, but he does agree that Interstate 495 “is much improved” and enjoying steady activity on the leasing front YTD. The broker whose team includes Colleen V. Carey and Jenna J. Skaar also praised the parties involved, crediting Tonna for being “absolutely great to work with” and DivcoWest for offering a listing that stood out from alternatives. “It was a true pleasure all the way through,” he says.
The 210 Littleton Rd. purchase occurred close enough to Tonna’s sale of a Hudson building to facilitate a 1031 tax deferred exchange on the disposition of 6 Fox Rd. K&L had bought that 35,000-sf property in Dec. 2014 for $700,000, then leased it up to an expanding company which then opted to buy it in July. R.W. Holmes was broker in that transaction, and Bartholomew is also exclusive agent at Tonna’s other Hudson holdings at One and Two Cabot Rd. where the landlord says activity has improved.
Original article by Joe Clements, The Real Reporter