Hartford has its 1970s vintage Gold Building and so does New Haven.
Yes, but not for much longer. The new owners of 1290 Silas Deane Hwy. plan a $3.5 million makeover of the vacant, 90,000-square-foot office building, and that includes swapping out the gold windows for more contemporary smoked mirrored glass.
Hamden-based J.M.M. Properties purchased the property, which was in foreclosure, in a $2 million short sale from 1290 Realty LLC, whose principal is commercial real estate investor Irving Bork.
It is a good sign for the Greater Hartford suburban office building market that investors are willing to purchase an empty building. Typically, investors look to the volume of rents generated by the tenants as a gauge of value.
But the purchase price was well below the nearly $8.5 million in value pegged by the town for the property, according to town records.
The building’s last tenant moved out in February, but the structure has been largely vacant since a major tenant, Computer Sciences Corp. moved out several years ago. The building was last renovated in 1995.
Jay Morris, managing director of O,R&L Commercial in Rocky Hill, the firm that represented both buyer and seller in the sale, told me J.M.M. plans to spend $1.5 million on replacing heating and cooling systems, elevators and other building systems. In addition, Morris said, the new owners will spend another $2 million on tenant improvements.
“It was sold in its existing condition,” Morris said. “Not a lot had been done.”
Bork purchased the property in 1995 for $1.3 million, according to records maintained by The Warren Group. Warren Group records also show that 1290 Realty took out a $5 million mortgage in 2002 with Citizens Bank of Connecticut.
The structure was built in 1973, the same year as Hartford’s iconic downtown tower. It was first used as a data center and corporate office space for the former Society for Savings. Society for Savings was sold in 1993 to Bank of Boston.
O,R&L’s Robert Gaucher worked with Morris on the deal.