A Rocky Hill office complex lost in a foreclosure in March has been purchased for $3.5 million, less than half of what the previous owner paid in 2005.
The complex at 100-200 Corporate Place has been acquired by Ralph Carbone, a Cheshire businessman and real estate investor. Carbone told me he will invest as much as $2 million to makeover atriums, improve landscaping and repave parking areas — all aimed at turning around a complex that now has about a 70-percent vacancy.
Additional money will help fund tenant improvements, Carbone said.
Carbone, owner of Connecticut Computer Service Inc., a provider of information technology services to businesses, said the Corporate Place deal is his largest as a real estate investor, at 109,000 square feet.
He told me he was attracted to the property, built in 1983, because of its location near 1-91, and it provided the opportunity to turnaround a distressed property. Carbone said he had a similar experience with a smaller commercial building on Main Street in East Hartford in 2000. The building is now completely leased, he said.
Commercial foreclosures are increasingly providing an opportunity for investors to pick-off properties at bargain basement prices.
Jay R. Wamester of Colliers International represented Carbone in the transaction.
Prior to the foreclosure, the property had been owned by Irving Bork, who paid $10.1 million for it in 2005, according to property records maintained by The Warren Group. In April, the property was transferred to C-III Capital Partners, a special mortgage servicer handling the foreclosure.
Bork also recently lost the office building at 1290 Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield to foreclosure. It subsequently has been sold to a buyer who also plans renovations.