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Normandy Plan For Needham


Now that suburban vacancy rates are approaching single digits, rents are passing $40/SF and absorption is strong, Normandy Real Estate Partners is planning a $300M expansion of its Center 128 office complex in Needham. It'll build on 28 adjacent acres it purchased from General Dynamics late last year (get the deal details), principal Mark Roopenian tells us. While there’s been new development on Rte 128 from Needham to Burlington, much of the office supply is at least 25 years old and functionally obsolete, he says.


Current plans call for 400 new apartments, 450k SF of renovated creative office space and retail at the site that was once the nation’s first master planned industrial park. Located just off Rte 128, the mixed-use complex will be served by a widened highway and a new exit ramp, Normandy VP Jamie Nicholson says. The low-rise buildings will have the high ceilings, exposed infrastructure and profusion of natural light that users want. (Once again, vampires don't get to enjoy the suburban revolution.) Mark expects construction to start on the expansion by mid-year ’16.

Center 128, anchored by a 290k SF HQ being built for TripAdvisor (we had the scoop on that one), will become one of the region’s largest suburban office parks. The best of them (including Center 128) are finally back to the heyday of $40/SF rents, says McCall & Almy’s Bill McCall.