Jul 28, 2014
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Route 128 Office Market Continues to Improve, Tenants Cite Access and Affordability as Area Benefits

BOSTON – According to a new market report released by Cresa, the Route 128 commercial real estate market generally performed well in 2013, with an overall decline in office vacancy and an increase in asking rates for rents. In Burlington, vacancy fell to a 10-year low of 7.7%, and average rents climbed to $30 per SF for Class A space. In contrast, vacancy in Lexington and Waltham is about 13%, and rental rates average just over $30 per SF, remaining about the same since Q3.

In the report, Joe Doyle, a Cresa principal,  analyzed market conditions in Route 128 Northeast (Stoneham, Wakefield, Reading, Lynnfield, Peabody, Danvers, Salem, Middleton, and Beverly) and North (Bedford, Burlington, and Woburn), focusing on last quarter statistics and forecasting trends in 2014. Cresa Principal Shawn McDonough provided data and commentary for Route 128 West (Lexington, Waltham, Newton, Wellesley, Weston, and Lincoln). Both commentaries are part of Cresa’s launch of comprehensive Tenant Reports that will examine Boston submarkets twice a year. 

Report highlights include:

· Overall, the Route 128 market improved throughout 2013, with the charge being led by Burlington. Burlington’s success can be attributed to its access and affordability. Its proximity to major highways makes it attractive to employers looking to recruit and retain workers.

· Waltham, traditionally a strong Metrowest market, is maintaining its strength, with several tenants looking for large blocks of space.  At the same time, the desirability gap between Waltham and Burlington narrows.

· Vacancy for Class A office space in Burlington reached a 10-year peak in the 3rd Quarter of 2008 at 32.7%. Since then, vacancy has steadily decreased and ended 2013 at its 10-year low of 7.7%.

· Asking rents in Burlington have increased by more than 15% in the last 18 months. Tenants in Burlington that have leases expiring in the next 12-24 months will have to decide if they will pay increased rent or consider moving to another area.

· In 2014, Cresa predicts that tenants that do not need to be located along Route 128 will consider moving closer to Route 495 to avoid potential rent increases.

According to Cresa, what differentiates the firm’s 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 reach Shawn McDonough about 128 West, call 617-758-6092 or email smcdonough@cresa.com.  For more information about 128 North and Northeast, call Joe Doyle at 617-758-6018 or email jdoyle@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.

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