Plans for move a company into the former Quebecor building have collapsed. Photo by Brian Dowlingfirstname.lastname@example.org
My colleague Brian Dowling reports:
The state’s plans to locate a building materials manufacturer in the old Quebecor complex in North Haven have collapsed, but the company still intends to establish operations in Connecticut under the state’s “First Five” program.
The partnership between Australia-based Weeks Group and Arizona-based Diverse Systems Group fizzled out sometime since July, according to Kevin Weeks, managing director of the Weeks Group. And while his Arizona partner has since moved onto other opportunities, Weeks said his company plans to piece together the details of the economic development deal that almost unraveled with the international partnership.
Read Brian’s story here.
A major chunk of Rocky Hill’s Corporate Ridge office park — three office buildings and five “flex” buildings — has been sold for $65 million, the largest Greater Hartford office portfolio to sell since the same properties sold a dozen years ago.
This building at 500 Enterprise Drive in Rocky Hill is part of an office portfolio sale that is the largest in Greater Hartford since 2000. Photo courtesy of CBRE/NE.
KS Partners purchased the 620,000-square-foot portfolio from New Boston Fund, which has owned it since 2000. The portfolio is the company’s first investment in Connecticut. KS owns and manages more than two million square feet of commercial real estate in the Northeast.
The deal signals that investor confidence in the Greater Hartford office market is increasing, especially for properties in the best condition, with high tenant occupancy and in ideal locations, according to John M. McCormick, executive vice president of CBRE/NE, which represented the sellers.
New Boston paid $58 million for the portfolio. That price and the one KS paid aren’t easily compared, however, because New Boston expanded one of the office buildings — 500 Enterprise Drive — was expanded by 55,000 square feet in 2003.
The office portfolio is 87 percent occupied with such tenants as Zurich Insurance, AT&T, United Healthcare and MetLife.
National Default Servicing, LLC has leased 25,000 square feet of office space in Meriden in the former International Silver Co. headquarters.
500 South Broad St., Meriden. Photo Courtesy of O,R&L Commercial.
The 430,000-square-foot building at 500 South Broad St. is on the Wallingford line and is about 90 percent occupied. Fosdick, which processes and warehouses merchandise, is one major tenant.
Frank Hird and Steve Foote of O,R&L Commercial represented the landlord, Meriden Business Park LLC, and Sean O’Neil of Jones Lang LaSalle, the tenant.
When CareCentrix accepted a state “First Five” incentive package in late June to move to downtown Hartford, there was the prospect for a good size chunk of office space opening up at the company’s current headquarters in the 111 Founders Plaza tower in East Hartford.
CareCentrix space at 111 Founders Plaza in East Hartford is leasing up. Photo Courtesy of Goman + York.
The company isn’t moving to Hartford until later this year, but a broker for the high-rise said the 32,000-square-feet now occupied by CareCentrix is already starting to lease up.
CDM Smith Inc., a Cambridge, Mass-based consulting, engineering and construction firm, has leased 13,200 square-feet of the CareCentrix space, according to Tom York, a broker at Goman + York Property Advisors, which oversees leasing in the tower.
In addition, two leases totaling 14,500-square-feet are likely to be signed in the near future, York told me.
York told me the activity is promising, especially considering CareCentrix, which manages patient home health care, hasn’t moved yet.
“And given the current activity, we expect to lease the balance in the very near term,” York said.
CareCentrix will move more than 200 jobs to the 20 Church St. tower in downtown Hartford by the end of the year and add 300 more in the next five years. The company could qualify for up to $24 million in grants for retaining and growing its job base in the city.
Lincoln Financial Group, a major employer in downtown Hartford, has signed a 5-year lease extension at its current headquarters, following a search of other potential locations in the city.
“Ultimately, we decided this was the best spot for Lincoln and its employees,” Jay Russo, a Lincoln spokesman in Hartford, said, citing the downtown location and the access to parking.
Lincoln Financial has extended its lease at downtown Hartford's Metro Center. Photo by Kenneth R. Gosselinemail@example.com
Russo said Lincoln, which has maintained a regional office at the Metro Center tower for 14 years, said the insurer had looked at other locations in the city, but was committed to remaining in Hartford.
The lease renewal covers 190,000 square feet of space in the Church Street tower. Russo declined to provide the size of its workforce at Metro Center, but as of last year, it was nearly 700. The lease runs through July, 2018.
Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra, who disclosed the renewal early today, praised Lincoln’s decision.
“I am thrilled that Lincoln has decided to stay in Hartford,” Segarra said. “A 20-year commitment to our wonderful city is something we value and treasure — it shows a willingness on their part to continue being a critical stakeholder in the ongoing renaissance of Connecticut’s Capital City.”
Broadcasting is returning to Constitution Plaza and downtown Hartford.
Back 9 Network, the start-up golf lifestyle network, is finalizing a 10-year lease for 10 Constitution Plaza, and it will invest nearly $8 million to outfit the former restaurant space in studio for its debut broadcast early next year, James Bosworth, the network’s founder and chief executive, told me today.
Back 9 Network is finalizing a 10-year lease in former restaurant space on Constitution Plaza. Photo by Kenneth R. Gosselinfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Downtown Hartford hasn’t had a broadcast operation since late 2009 when FOXCT moved out of the 20 Church St. tower to consolidate operations at The Courant on Broad Street.
WFSB-TV, Channel 3 moved from Constitution Plaza to Rocky Hill in 2007.
The nearly 7,000-square-foot, one-story space at 10 Constitution Plaza was the longtime location of Spris restaurant. Recent plans by Braza to open there did not materialize when the local eatery closed abruptly early this year.
The space has been used as a studio in the past. Gayle King broadcast a short-lived, nationally syndicated daytime talk show from 10 Constitution Plaza in the late 1990s.
Read more about Back 9 here.
Back 9 has been in development for about two years. The company did look elsewhere including Scottsdale, Ariz., northern California and Detroit, according to Bosworth.
Miss Porter’s School has closed on the purchase of Farmington’s first grist mill, most recently the location of a long-operating restaurant, according to brokers involved in the transaction.
The purchase price for the property at 44 Mill Lane was $810,000.
Miss Porter's has finalized the purchase of grist mill property in Farmington. Photo Courtesy of Press/Cuozzo.
Miss Porter’s issued this statement in response to an inquiry for comment: “We look forward to the careful consideration of the best use of the space in support of our mission to educate young women to become informed, bold, resourceful and ethical global citizens who will shape a changing world.”
The mill dates back to the 1640s and is located on 1.7 acres on the Farmington River. For more than two decades, the 5,600-square-foot structure was largely occupied by the Grist Mill Restaurant, first operated by Mario Zacco. The restaurant business was later sold to Anthony and Kristine Giraulo, who operated the restaurant until the restaurant moved to Avon.
The Giraulos told The Courant’s Hillary Federico in May that they could not reach acceptable terms on a renewal of their lease. The establishment — still named the Grist Mill Restaurant — has since moved to the former Carmen Anthony Fishhouse space.
An investor has picked-off two, fully-occupied commercial buildings on Meriden’s Research Parkway at below the asking price.
Office Building at 355 Research Parkway in Meriden. Photo Credit: Colliers International.
The buildings — 355 and 367 Research Parkway — sold for $6.3 million. The original asking price was $7.3 million.
The sale is another sign of growing investor interest in commercial buildings that are nearly fully occupied with longer-term leases.
The three-story, 37,500-square-foot office building at 355 Research Parkway is leased by BL Cos., the architecture and engineering firm.
Office and manufacturing facility at 367 Research Parkway in Meriden. Photo Credit: Colliers International.
The single-story, 23,575-square-foot office and manufacturing building at 367 Research Parkway is leased by Tucker Mechanical, a subsidiary of EMCOR Group Inc. Tucker performs new construction, renovations and upgrades and maintenance for commercial clients in the region.
The seller was Sleeping Giant Research Parkway, LLC and the buyer, SYI, LLC. John J. Cafasso and Nicholas R. Morizio of Colliers International were the sole brokers in the deal.
mk North America's expansion plans in Bloomfield include the purchase of 125 Highland Park Drive. Photo Credit: Sentry Commercial.
A German company that designs and manufacturers framing, conveyor, guarding and linear motion systems, is expanding its North American headquarters and plant in Bloomfield and plans to add jobs.
mk North America, Inc., a unit of mk Technology Group, has purchased 125 Highland Park Drive in Bloomfield — a 15,000-square-foot industrial building — for $625,000. The asking price for the property had been reduced from $790,000 to $749,000. The sellers were the Gordon and Susan Gregoretti Living Trust.
mk North America Inc.'s facility at 105 Highland Park Drive in Bloomfield. Photo Courtesy of mk North America.
The building is located next to mk North America existing, 22,000-square-foot facility at 105 Highland Park Drive.
The company now employs 35 and expects to expand to 50 over the next two years. It received a $1.1 million loan from the Connecticut Development Authority and a $100,000 manufacturing grant from the state Department of Economic and Community Development.
“At mk we are eager to create new manufacturing jobs in Connecticut as part of our expansion and the support from the government agencies enables us to continue to contribute to Connecticut’s manufacturing industry,” said Andreas Haussmann, executive vice president at mk North America, Inc.
David P. Murdock of Sentry Commercial was the sole broker in the 125 Highland Park Drive transaction.
A civil engineering firm has leased nearly 7,000 square feet of office space at Corporate Ridge in Rocky Hill.
55 Capital Blvd. at Corporate Ridge, Rocky Hill
United International Corp. will occupy space at 55 Capital Blvd., one of three, four-story office buildings at the office park which is owned and managed by private equity real estate firm New Boston Fund.
New Boston does not disclose lease terms, a spokeswoman said.
New Boston’s office holdings in the park encompass nearly 506,000 square feet and are nearly 90 percent leased.
United International was represented by Chris McLaughlin of McLaughlin Real Estate and New Boston, Michael Puzzo of CBRE.