Red Hat Commits to 100 KSF of Build-to-Suit Office Space in Boston Suburb
- Apr 12, 2012
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
Four years after moving into a build-to-suit facility at the 90-acre Westford Technology Park West in Westford, Mass., Red Hat Inc. has contracted the developer of the building, The Gutierrez Co., for another Class A build-to-suit office project. The new space will expand Red Hat’s occupancy in the suburban Boston office park by an additional 100,000 square feet.
Build-to-suit developments in Westford’s I-495 submarket, located about 35 miles outside of Boston, are hardly the norm. “It’s fairly rare,” James Lipscomb, a senior vice president with Richards Barry Joyce & Partners, the firm that represented Gutierrez in the lease transaction, told Commercial Property Executive. “This project is only the second build-to-suit on 495 in the last decade; the first would be for NetScout Systems, which was also built by the Gutierrez Companies.”
Gutierrez will kick off construction of the expansion of Red Hat’s existing home at 314 Littleton Rd. immediately. Upon completion of the project, scheduled for 12 months down the road, the open source solutions provider will occupy the space under a long-term lease agreement.
Red Hat, which was represented in the lease transaction by commercial real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle, did not have to stay put at Westford Tech, as the I-495 area is hardly without available space. The submarket’s vacancy rate in the first quarter of this year was 20 percent, with a modest 64,000 square feet having been absorbed.
Despite options, the tech company had good reason to forego a move and instead, expand at its current location. “The market, specifically in Westford, is fairly tight, and Red Hat had had a fair amount of infrastructure they’d put in their original building and they were on a site that can accommodate roughly 900,000 square feet of build-to-suit space,” Lipscomb explained. “And Westford has definitely become a tech-central area. There’s a lot of interest by the startup and the tech community to be in that area due to amenities and other tech users. You have Juniper Networks, you have IBM, you have Sonus Networks, you have Alcatel-Lucent. So there’s interest by a lot of these groups to be right there.”
And demand for such premier, state-of-the-art accommodations may very well result in additional new development in the submarket. “There is a trend of good-credit companies that are looking to have first-class facilities, and due to the nature of the aging inventory in the area, we might see more build-to-suits in the future.”