Financial Services Icon Sandy Weill Lists Greenwich Estate For $14 Million

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Financial services industry icon Sandy Weill has listed this Greenwich estate for $14 million. Photo Courtesy: Fieldstone Partners/Sotheby's International Realty.

Financial services industry icon Sandy Weill has listed this Greenwich estate for $14 million. Photo Courtesy: Fieldstone Partners/Sotheby’s International Realty. For more photos CLICK HERE.

Sanford I. “Sandy” Weill, the architect of the Travelers-Citicorp merger in the 1990s, is selling one of his estates in Greenwich with a list price of $14 million: a 6.3-acre estate on tony Round Hill Road that is next door to Weill’s primary residence.

The centerpiece of the estate is a 16,400-square-foot, 14-room mansion with a hand-cut stone exterior. In addition to six bedrooms, nine full bathrooms and three half bathrooms, there are six fireplaces, a home theater, library, wine cellar, in-law apartment and chef’s kitchen.

Lyn Stevens, of Fieldstone Partners/Sotheby’s International Realty in Greenwich, told me the house is set back from the road, assuring privacy. “It’s spectacular,” she said.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Weill said he and his wife bought the property around 1980 with the idea of developing a family compound. They gave it to their son Marc, who built the mansion in 2004, Weill told the Journal.

Property records show Weill bought the property back in 2009 for $11 million.

Weill told the Journal he no longer needed the property and an improving housing market led to the decision to list the house now.

Read the Journal’s story here.

Weill, 80, is considered an icon in the financial services industry. Weill’s company, Primerica Corp. acquired the former Travelers, founded in Hartford, during deals in 1992 and 1993 when Travelers was suffering from losses in commercial real estate investments.

In 1998, Weill held a teleconference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York to announce the merger of Travelers Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. It was the largest merger in history, forming a colossal financial services company with 100 million customers in 100 countries and $700 billion in assets.

To see the full listing for the property, visit Sotheby’s International Realty.

Michigan Company To Develop Outlet Center On Rentschler Field

by Categorized: Commercial Construction, Stores and Restaurants Date:
An outlet mall would be built near The Stadium at Rentschler Field under a development agreement. Map Courtesy of Horizon Group Properties Inc. with additions by The Hartford Courant.

An outlet mall would be built near The Stadium at Rentschler Field under a development agreement. Map Courtesy of Horizon Group Properties Inc. with additions by The Hartford Courant.

A Michigan company has signed an agreement to develop an outlet shopping center on Rentschler Field in East Hartford that would open in 2016.

Horizon Group Properties Inc. said late Wednesday the 350,000-square-foot — to be named “The Outlet Shoppes at Rentschler Field — would include covered walkways and landscaped courtyards, plus a center court.

Horizon did not name any of the brands that would be in the outlet mall. A development cost also was not disclosed in a news release.

The announcement comes two weeks after the state and United Technologies Corp., which owns the majority of Rentschler Field, announced a deal that includes the construction of a new corporate headquarters for Pratt & Whitney nearby.

Horizon and Hartford-based UTC did not immediately respond to emails this morning seeking further comment. The Matos Development Group, Rentschler Field’s master developer, also did not respond.

The outlet center would be the first retail development on Rentschler since the opening of Cabela’s in 2007.

Horizon is the second developer to seek to develop a retail-oriented development on Rentschler. A year ago, Utah-based OTB Destinations had signed a letter of intent with UTC to build a retail and entertainment complex on the former airstrip. The status of those plans was unclear early today.

Any plans would still require state and local approvals.

Horizon’s web site shows it operates seven outlet centers nationwide, the closest to Connecticut being in Gettysburg, Pa. Horizon has three more centers in development and is looking to develop another two sites. East Hartford is not shown on a map plotting Horizon’s footprint.

Outlets mentioned on the site include Aeropostale, Coach, Gap, Polo Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.

Horizon said the site would accommodate a 50,000-square-foot expansion.

“We look forward to developing this property,” Gary J. Skoien, Horizon’s chief executive, said. “Rentschler Field has been a recognized location and destination to the people of Hartford and Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and other surrounding states for many years.”

Horizon said the center is projected to generate more than $130 million in annual sales a.nd $1.2 million in property taxes and $8.2 million in sales taxes.

The outlet center would be part of a much larger development of 650 acres

In 2004, UTC chose Matos as the master developer. Matos envisioned a build-out of between 15 and 23 years, culminating in 2030.

 

CT Home Sales Prices In 2013 Jump The Most In Nearly A Decade

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Home sale prices in Connecticut jumped by more than 8 percent in 2013 compared with the previous year, the largest year-over-year gain in nearly a decade, according to a new report today.

The median sale price of a single-family house rose 8.3 percent, to $259,000 in 2013 from $240,000 the previous year, according to the report from the Warrent Group, providing the strongest sign yet that slow recovery in the state’s housing market is picking up momentum.

Sales of single-family houses rose 6 percent in 2013, compared with the previous year.

The year-over-year increase in the median sale price is the largest since 2005, according to Warren.

State Proposes $6.2 Million Settlement With Former Front Street Developer

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The state is close to paying more than $6 million to a former developer whose contract to oversee Hartford’s Front Street entertainment district was abruptly terminated in 2004, the state attorney general’s office told me today.

The $6.2 million payment would settle a lawsuit filed the former developer, Richard Cohen and his firm, Capital Properties, after being ousted from the project.

Approval from the state legislature is required because the payment would come from the state’s general fund and is more than $2.5 million. The legislature’s judiciary committee unanimously backed a resolution in the matter today, sending the resolution to the full Senate and House for votes.

Cohen could immediately be reached for comment today.

Developer Richard Cohen, shown at Hartford's Constitution Plaza in 1999. Photo by Tom Brown/The Hartford Courant.

Developer Richard Cohen, shown at Hartford’s Constitution Plaza in 1999. Photo by Tom Brown/The Hartford Courant.

In 2012, a Superior Court judge in Hartford ruled that the state wrongfully breached its contract with Richard Cohen, owner of Capital Properties Associates. Public officials had blamed Cohen for delays in the starting of construction of construction on the project.

Cohen accused the state of launching a public attack on his firm and mismanaging the project. The state fired back with its own lawsuit, accusing Cohen of refusing to begin construction until a lease was signed with a major tenant, a condition not in the original contract.

Hartford Accounting Firm Gets Accustomed to Life 24 Stories Up

by Categorized: Downtown Hartford Date:

For a quarter century, employees of Whittlesey & Hadley looked up at the downtown Hartford towers from their offices in a three-story building on Charter Oak Avenue.

Drew Andrews, managing partner of Whittlesey & Hadley, and the view from the 24th floor. Photo by Kenneth R. Gosselin/kgosselin@courant.com

Drew Andrews, managing partner of Whittlesey & Hadley, and the view from the 24th floor. Photo by Kenneth R. Gosselin/kgosselin@courant.com

Now, workers at the accounting firm are getting accustomed to the view from 24  stories up.

In late December, the firm moved into the 280 Trumbull office tower after a search of space in both the city and the suburbs. (Their search included Metro Center, a block to the west, space that has subsequently been leased by another accounting firm, CohnReznick.)

Managing partner Drew Andrews told me it took some time getting used to being up in a tower, and not just for the views.

The firm is now all on one floor, rather than three. While that has its clear benefits — far less “up and down,” catching up with colleagues can be a bit more of a challenge.

For instance, when Andrews wanted to see tax partner Dave Zubrow back on Charter Oak, Andrews would just walk up a flight of stairs. Zubrow’s office was right above Andrews’.

Now, Zubrow’s office is diagonally at the farthest end of the 25,000-square-foot space at 280 Trumbull.

“I have to call him and make sure he’s at his desk before I see him,” Andrews said. “It’s like making an appointment.”

Andrews said he is looking forward to warmer weather to see the benefits of now being in the heart of downtown and the firm’s employees being able to walk to more appointments in the city.

 

 

 

 

What Apartments At Former WFSB Site In Hartford Could Look Like

by Categorized: Apartments, Downtown Hartford, Hartford Redevelopment Date:

Funding for the $18 million apartment building at the former WFSB site in Hartford is falling into place, and construction could get underway this summer, the developer says.

The new, 10-story building — christened “Residences at River View” — is expected to have 48, upscale one- and two-bedroom units.

Last week, the state bond commission backed a recommendation from the Capital Region Development Authority that $5 million in state funds be spent of the project.

The builder, Abul Islam, also plans about 50,000 square feet of commercial space in the building. Islam plans to relocate his company, AI Engineers, from Middletown into the space.

What the former WFSB site looks like today:

The former WFSB site on Hartford's Constitution Plaza. Photo by Kenneth R. Gosselin/kgosselin@courant.com

Photo by Kenneth R. Gosselin/kgosselin@courant.com

What the site could look like in a preliminary rendering:

Residences at River View, Constitution Plaza, Hartford. Courtesy of cbt architects, Boston.

Residences at River View, Constitution Plaza, Hartford. Courtesy of cbt architects, Boston.

Infinity Hall Debuts First Music Video In Hartford Venue

by Categorized: Downtown Hartford, Hartford Redevelopment Date:

Infinity Music Hall and Bistro has posted plenty of music videos of performances at its flagship Norfolk location.

But today, Infinity Hall is debuting the first video from its Hartford location, expected to open in June or July.

The video is the first of series that’s also intended to chronicle progress on construction in the new venue.

The video features the Hartford folk rock group Wise Old Moon:

Read more here about the making of the video.

 

Accounting Firm Will Consolidate Offices In Downtown Hartford

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CohnReznick, the super-regional accounting firm, will bring nearly 200 jobs to downtown Hartford, with the aid of a $1.2 million loan from the state, the governor’s office said this afternoon.

The accounting firm will consolidate its offices in Glastonbury and Farmington in 50,000 square feet of leased space on the 11th and 12th floors of Metro Center on Church Street.

Hartford's Metro Center One. Photo by Patrick Raycraft/praycraft@courant.com

Hartford’s Metro Center One. Photo by Patrick Raycraft/praycraft@courant.com

Under the terms of the deal with the state, CohnReznick must retain its current 196 employees and add another 40 over the next four years. The firm’s lease at Metro Center runs 11 years.

“I am excited about all this move offers us — from building stronger, more efficient teams to the improved sharing of information and ideas to bring added value to our clients and the community,” said Frank Longobardi, the firm’s regional managing partner, New England.

An announcement of a move had been expected since early January when CohnReznick’s plans to consolidate its offices was disclosed at the annual CBRE/NE annual outlook meeting. Lease negotiations were in the final stages, but the firm declined to identify the location.

The space will bring together 27 partners and 162 employees of the two offices. The move will take place in November, after a floor-to-ceiling renovation of the space.

The funding from the state will be used to finance those renovations, which are expected to total $4.5 million.

CohnReznick was formed in the 2012 merger of J.H. Cohn LLP, which had five offices in Connecticut and Springfield, Mass., and Reznick Group, P.C., based in Maryland. Two area firms — Kostin, Ruffkess of Farmington and Longobardi Associates — had combined into J.H. Cohn previously.