December 24, 2009

The Real Reporter – By Joe Clements

WALTHAM—It might not be the most picturesque building adorning Route 128, but 219 Bear Hill Rd. is expected to provide plenty of welcomed exposure to new tenant EP Levine now that the photographic equipment supplier has signed a long-term lease for close to 20,000 sf at the single-story, 30-year-old flex/industrial property.“They are taking a big step forward in their business,” Stevens Group principal Debra L. Stevens says after helping her client in a relocation bid that comes following 20-plus years in Boston’s Marine Industrial Park. In a growth mode, EP

Deb's PhotoLevine was shooting for a new location to accommodate its loyal base of professional photographers and the region’s growing movie industry, plus consumers who might appreciate more than a half-century of expertise by the outfit now owned by Michael Bard and Jay Callum.

While not divulging specifics of the group’s business plan, Stevens says there are “exciting plans” for EP Levine’s new digs, which the firm is slated to occupy by spring following upgrades to the building. “This is a brilliant opportunity for them,” says Stevens, citing signage that can be seen from Route 128. Also, she says, “they will be close to their current customers and new people who will be able to easily find them.” A small ancillary retail component is anticipated to service the consumer trade.

EP Levine’s Waltham facility, which will include space for mini-studios that can be rented out for professional photo shoots, came about thanks to a cooperative effort, relays Stevens, praising Grubb & Ellis SVP Thomas M. Aitken for his role representing the landlord, and a commitment by the owner as well, local investor Milton Yanofsky. “Everybody worked together really hard to make it happen,” says Stevens, who declined to provide terms on length or rental rate but says there are options in place that could ultimately have EP Levine take the entire building.