Downtown Hartford Office Vacancy Could See Dramatic Shift in ’13

by Categorized: Downtown Hartford Date:

Vacancies in downtown Hartford prime office buildings still remain high, but if the state consolidates office workers into two buildings in the city, the decline would be dramatic, a commercial real estate expert said this morning.

Connecticut River Plaza may be purchased by the state as one site for relocating 2,500 of its workers as it consolidates leased space in the area. Photo by STEPHEN DUNN/

CBRE-New England’s John M. McCormick told those gathered at the firm’s annual outlook event that vacancies in downtown Class A space would decline from the current 26 percent to about 17 percent — bringing the market closer to the 12 percent that favors neither landlord nor tenant.

The state is expected to move 2,500 workers into two locations — Connecticut River Plaza and 55 Farmington Ave. — it will either lease or purchase — most likely buy — as it consolidates nearly 20 leases for space it now occupies.

Speculation about the move has swirled for months, and a decision is expected this year.

The biggest benefit to the downtown market would come if the state occupies Connecticut River Plaza, the twin-towered, 575,000-square-foot complex just to the east of Constitution Plaza. The complex is now entirely vacant.

Just outside downtown Hartford, the 12-story, 287,000-square-foot tower at 55 Farmington Ave. is owned by The Hartford Financial Services Group and has been up for sale.

Jeffrey Beckham, a spokesman for the state Department of Administrative Services, declined comment today. The Hartford didn’t immediately have a comment this morning.

McCormick said the ripple effect on the downtown economy would be dramatic with that many workers going out to lunch in the city and taking advantage of other attractions.









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20 thoughts on “Downtown Hartford Office Vacancy Could See Dramatic Shift in ’13

  1. Downtowner

    Conn. River Plaza is the best option. It is located directly adjacent to the Morgan Street Garage, which is publicly owned and has more than enough capacity to accommodate the workers there.

  2. OMG

    So as usual, the only one with the money to spend is government. Adrian’s Landing, 750 million of state bonds. 100 plus million for the busway. And now an enormous empty building being filled by state employees. CT top five worst places to do business in country. Top five of outward migration. I’m detecting a pattern here.

    1. DR

      RE: OMG

      While not mentioned in this article, my understanding is that the state is looking to make these moves to SAVE money in the long term. As someone who is apparently concerned with CT’s fiscal mess, you should applaud this move.

  3. Me

    Nice to hear that the state plans to use already existing office space and not spending tax dollars to build a new building. There is plenty of available real estate downtown.

  4. Richard

    Let’s hope they vacate the spaces on the Elm Street side of Bushnell Park and the surrounding area. Convert those buildings to worker and transitional housing.

    1. mike

      This is in fact the plan. their goal is to save money by consolidating and also from the sale of these buildings to developers.

      the redevelopment of these buildings will create a healthier city and an even more desirable housing options along the park.

      1. mike

        oops didnt read clearly..

        not so much worker and transitional housing… market rate housing all the way.

  5. pete

    And from where are all these state employees moving from. If 20 leases are being cancelled that means those locations will now be empty so I don’t see how the vacancy rate decreases but I also hear the building which the DRS is in right off of I-84 will be condemned and torn down. This building has been leaking from day one and our corrupt state government under the Weicker administration overpaid Aetna for it. Wonder who owns Ct River Plaza – one of DANNY BOY’S PALS. And where did all The Hartford jobs go – permanently gone. Within 10 years Hartford will have NOTHING except the state government

  6. Timelord

    The main thesis of this article, that vacancies will be reduced if the state consolidates expiring leased space into these downtown Hartford buildings, is fairly moronic. While it is true that these particular buildings will be occupied, what about the buildings that the state leaves behind? We’re just changing the geography of the vacant space, not eliminating it.

    Furthermore, it would introduce many hundreds of commuters into a concentrated (and congested) area rather than keeping them spread throughout the greater Hartford area.

    I’m also curious as to how the current owner(s) of the prospective locations have garnered favor with the Malloy adminstration such that the state would shower them with money to the detriment of the current landlords. Does the news media or the public really believe that the state will save money by moving into this Class A office space?

    And if the state buys the properties rather than leasing them, how many years will it be before, due to lack of maintenance, they’re run-down to the point of being uninhabitable?

    If the state *really* wants to see vacant office space filled on a net basis then it should slash government spending and create a business-friendly taxing and regulatory environment.

  7. Johnny 2 Dogs

    Name a restaurant within 1000′ of 450 columbus Blvd. Spris closed two years ago. And I would park a ’73 Pinto in Morgan Street garage and expect to drive it home with the hubcaps and AM radio intact, much less your GPS or seat covers.

    1. mike

      To start with.. On20 but since you are not that classy, there is a Duncan donuts, a coffee stand, and a cafe also.

      that being said, it is fairly barren, but dont you think that will change with UConn moving 2000 students next door to this office building, and the old hotel being turned into apartments?

      thats 2000 students, 2000 office workers, and 199 residents added to this location. I am pretty certain there will be some lunch options opening up shortly. besides, I am fairly certain the “mall” inside the community college is within 1000 Ft as is Statehouse square.. but I digress.

      where is there to eat within 1000FT of the office space in Rockyhill?

      At Hartford.least you can walk it in

      1. Frankie 3 Dogs

        Johnny 2 Dogs- a restaurant within 1000 ft? Are you serious?? Besides the obvious thats already been stated, walk off the plaza and The Richardson is in front of you. City Steam, Bocca Rossa, Le Petite Chef, Saigon Kitchen and Dish are all within a block of the plaza. If you think a block is too far to walk, I don’t know what to tell you. You need to get out more.

  8. I hate suburban morons

    WAHHHHHHH I have to leave my little dumpy suburban town to come into the city…..wahhhhhhhh…’s TOO FAR….ten minutes wahhhh

  9. Rob

    Isnt it funny how ignorant people are of their own capital city, yet they make bold statements about crime. Gee, thousands of people park cars far better than a ’73 Pinto downtown every day with never a problem. CT River Plaza has ample parking with easy highway access creating no additional traffic problems in downtown. Yes, the state should be focused on slashing payroll and consolidating space, but we all know that won’t happen with Danny’s famous sweetheart union deal, but it can be beneficial to consolidate multiple leases into one. And the states properties are fairly well maintained on average. Most importantly, a great benefit to the city, local businesses, attracting more street level retail. With all the new housing and new workers downtown, we can see life on the street.

    This is YOUR capital city, vital to the success of the ENTIRE region, and your precious little arrogant and hateful suburbs. Try to be positive

    1. Phil

      THANK YOU Rob! I think some people are just Negative Nancys who will take any news and try to use it to dump on Hartford.

      A) Businesses/housing is coming downtown – “Waaaahhh, there’s too many people downtown, you have to pay to park”


      B) Businesses are leaving/apartments are vacant – “Hartford sucks, no one wants to live there, it’s a dump”

      Either way some people won’t be happy unless their complaining.

  10. Ruldoph Red Nose Raindeer

    I strongly agreed with Rob’s comment. I think It’s sad to see downtown Hartford after working hour. It looks like a dead city! Peoples tried to rush out of it before the night fall as it’s not safe to be there. There is a lack of attraction to keep peoples there after work. So, I think it needs to give tax incentives to businesses to build stores in Hartford. Overall, It needs help from the city of Hartford to do this.

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