Monday November 12, 2012

LEE -- The owners of the Lee Corporate Center on Pleasant Street have put the 116,000-square-foot warehouse on the market.

CBRE of Albany, N.Y., is offering the cavernous structure for $1.5 million, according to the real estate listing. The building, which is owned by the Lee Industrial Realty Corp., is less than 70 percent occupied.

"We’re doing this because the building was mostly vacant," said John Toole, the president of the Lee Industrial Realty Corp.

"We saw that if we didn’t do something with it, what would happen to the building would be out of the town’s control, perhaps," he said. "It could sit there for years and years."

Toole said it also didn’t make sense for the corporation to hold on to the building if the monetary value it received from the structure had been reduced.

The warehouse was originally built by KB Toys in 1971 for use as company headquarters. A 38,400-square- foot addition to the original building was constructed in 1978, and the property underwent a major upgrade in 1994.

Located one mile west of Exit 2 of the Massachusetts Turnpike, the corporate center contains 81,240 square feet of warehouse space and 35,400 square feet of office space. Up to 49,000 square feet of warehouse space, and between 500 to 7,381 square feet of office space are currently available.


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"The ideal candidate would be someone who needs the building for their business, can bring jobs to Lee, and also has space open for rental," Toole said. "It’s a great spot, and the building’s in great shape. That’s two things that we have going for us."

The buyer would assume the leases of the building’s current tenants, which include Wave Systems Corp., which develops software for data protection programs, and purchased an Israeli company for $12.8 million in September 2011.

The Lee Industrial Realty Corp. is a subsidiary of the nonprofit Lee Community Develop ment Corp., which is currently seeking monetary support from the town to stay in operation. CDC Executive Director Richard Vinette was let go in June because the organization could no longer afford to pay his annual $70,000 salary.

The CDC is still located in the corporate center, Toole said, but in a smaller space than it had previously occupied. He said the CDC’s financial woes had no bearing on the organization’s decision to put the building on the market.

"Over the last two years two parties approached us to purchase the building," he said. "We went through the process with both, but it never worked out. So we hired a real estate firm to handle this.

"We’re serious at this point," Toole said. "We’re putting it all out there."

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:
TDobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com
(413) 496-6224