MetroWest warehouse market leads Boston area market

BY Grant Welker

The former Mount Royal Office Park in Marlborough sold last month for $8.5 million and is due for major renovations.

Growth in occupied warehouse space in MetroWest grew by 4 percent in the third quarter, leading the entire Greater Boston market, according to a new report Monday by Transwestern Consulting Group.
Manufacturing and flex space, which can be used for a wider variety of uses, both fell slightly in the region, each by 0.4 percent, according to Boston-based Transwestern.
Data for MetroWest, which includes Marlborough, Westborough, Holliston and other communities, was mostly positive news in the quarterly report.
Warehouse space had an vacancy rate of 9.2 percent, which exceeded the Boston area market's average of 5.8 percent, but warehouse-space growth in MetroWest was 4.7 percent in the 12 months ending at the end of September, besting the regional average of 3.7 percent.
Warehouse space in the Boroughs -- Marlborough, Northborough, Westborough and Southborough -- is extremely tight, Transwestern said, at just 1.8-percent vacancy. 
Vacancy rates for manufacturing space was 7.7 percent, better than the Boston area market's average of 12 percent. Manufacturing growth in the past 12 months grew by 9.1 percent, exceeding the regional average of 7.7 percent.
Flex space, which can include office or industrial use, has lagged slightly in MetroWest. The amount of occupied space shrunk slightly, while the total market was mostly flat at 0.5-percent growth. Vacancy was 11.5 percent, at about the same as the regional average, and 12-month growth was 2.3 percent, slightly worse than the area average of 3.7 percent.
MetroWest had among the largest new flex-space leases in the Boston area, Transwestern said. Astellas Pharma is expected to move into 35,000 square feet at 111 Locke Drive in Marlborough in the fourth quarter.