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SalesPrices for CRE sold by major institutional investors fell by almost 5% in Q4 '09, the MIT commercial property price index confirmed on Friday. That reverses some positive movement in Q3, leaving prices for deals closed during all of 2009 down 22.5% compared to a year earlier. The transactions-based index published by the MIT Center for Real Estate tracks prices paid to or received by institutions such as pension funds when they buy or sell properties: shopping centers, apartment complexes, and office towers. MIT also measures prices owners are willing to accept and buyers are willing to pay. The supply side price index fell 5.3% in Q4, down 35.5% from the mid-2007 peak, the fifth consecutive negative quarter. Good news: The buy/sell gap is narrowing slightly, says MIT Professor David Geltner.***

Jones Lang LaSalle's Scott Jamieson, Michael Smith,and Rob Borden represented New Boston Fund in its sale of 10 Industrial Ave, Chelmsford and found the buyer, RAM Management. The 84k SF building, fully leased to the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, is just off Rt. 129 about 2 miles from Rt. 3 and I-95.


JLL?s Bradley McGill and William Collins negotiated a 24,597 SF lease with Advent Software at 40 Broad St. on behalf of the owner, Transwestern. CBRE's Christopher Cuddy represented Advent. The building, a block from Faneuil Hall and the waterfront, is now 85% leased after upgrades including: new entries, stone flooring, main lobby with original art, and a complete redesign of the elevator cabs. The tenant will occupy floor 6.


Bierbrier Development's Casey Piche, Atlantic Retail Properties Adam Cirel, and Strategic Retail Advisors? Jonathan Lapat leased 9,675 SF at Arlington Village Shops in the town of the same name.PETCO took 5k SF for an Unleashed pet boutique and Hair Cuttery took 1,375 SF in a new 9K SF building nearing completion. The Meat House took 3,300 SF in an existing building at the Village Shops.


JLL?s Tom O?Regan and Patrick Nugent leased 7,610 SF at 200 High St. for the owners, an affiliate of The Davis Companies, to Spagnolo/Gisness Architects. FHO Partners' Lauria Brennan and Peter Farnum repped the planning, architecture, and interior design firm. The six-story building at High and Broad streets overlooking the Greenway was built in 1860 to store tea and renovated in 1990.


Elkus Manfredi, Acentech, and BOND announced this week that construction is substantially completed on the 180K SF historic restoration and addition to the Paramount Theater on Washington Street, now Emerson College?s Paramount Center. The 1932 art deco theater was renovated and reconfigured into a 590-seat live performance venue for Emerson students, faculty, and outside groups. The Center also includes: a 170-seat screening room, a black box theater for 125, a sound stage, scene/prop shop, rehearsal studios, practice rooms, classrooms, faculty offices and housing for 260 students. The lower level will accommodate a 150-seat restaurant and student cafeteria.

On the Spooky Side …

Acentech, a 60-year-old acoustics, vibrations, and audio visual design firm joined in the new National Geographic series, American Paranormal, which aired last week. Acentech and other technical experts conducted scientific investigations into unexplained phenomena at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, the ?haunted prison.? Using instruments like geographical laser scanning and motion capture infrared cameras, they studied the ghostly spaces, capturing it with computer generated imagery. Psst … it was the wind.


Integrated Interiors at Work completed installation of the raised flooring for the Littleton Police Station?snew 911 call center. The center, in the town?s newly built police station, needed a floor that met its data and power distribution needs. Integrated worked with GNR Construction as construction manager.


Holliday Fenoglio Fowler?s Fred Whittmann and Janet Krolman arranged a $45M first mortgage for 10 Brookline Place West in Brookline Village, a 156k SF office building that is completely leased. Lenders People?s United Bank and Sovereign Bank would increase the loan to expand the property for existing tenants, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the New England Institute of Art. The property was purchased a year ago by National Development and Charles River Realty Investors.

Industrial Market Report

Colliers Meredith & Grew said that during '09 the North, South, and West industrial/R&D markets shrank by 5.9M SF, bringing the vacancy rate up to 22.4%. The Rt. 495 North submarket had the toughest time with vacancies, up to 30.7%, while Rt. 128 Mass Pike did best with 12.8% of its 109k SF vacant. Major transactions tended to be renewals, while new tenants were mostly small to mid-size. Transaction velocity is expected to be light during the first half of '10.