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Sam Park Spec

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Sam Park Spec
Sam Park & Co. shocked many June 4 when the development firm picked up a choice property on Rt. 128. Not only did the small company step into the giant shoes of Related Cos. after their multi-year effort wound up in foreclosure, Sam will soon start site work on a spec retail/office project. Yes, that's ?spec? as in no tenants yet.
Sam Park
We snapped Sam Park sizing up the 120-acre former Polaroid campus where he plans to start demolition this month. SPC bought it for $40M in cash after 30 days of due diligence with the backing of a private equity partner. Sam says Related Cos. had invested over $120M and several years in design to win approvals for nearly 2M SF. It also started demolition and site work before being caught in the downdraft. Sam?s group bought the site from Heleba Bank, which foreclosed in '09. SPC moved quickly. It knew the property after working on a 15-acre site across Rt. 128 and offered cash with no contingencies. ?Given our knowledge of the area, it made sense,? Sam says.
Bruce Harlamert
Sam?s partner, Bruce Harlamert, manages SPC?s marketing and leasing and he's confident that there will be great interest. Bruce says, ?Waltham, with its strong demographics, needs retail and is one of the strongest retail/office markets after Cambridge and Boston, packed with venture capital, technology, and life science companies.? The location on Rt. 128 puts it in an easy commute to much of the metro area. Rents should be competitive. Sam says land prices are at historic lows, $300k to $400k/acre compared to nearly $2M for some prime pieces during better times and construction costs down 20 to 25%. However, there is a sizeable price tag to the infrastructure required: new roads, ramps, and utilities.
Peter Kutrubes
We snapped Peter Kutrubes, who oversees the company's consultants and technical staff, on what will certainly be a complex project. By spring, Sam plans to start construction on Phase One of what eventually will be a $260M, 1.2M SF development. SPC will launch with 280k SF, probably 160k SF of retail and the rest office. Critical to the development?s success will be securing federal approval for an access ramp onto Rt. 128. Since Sam has expertise in transportation planning and permitting mixed-use, he expects to get it done. During the interim, which will amount to at least a few years, Sam says he'll have time to plan a ?thoughtful project and let the economy recover.?