NEW HAVEN: In December 2014, digital media entrepreneurs David Salinas and Peter Sena founders of Digital Surgeons a New Haven digital marketing firm with 45 employees were seeking a new location.
Like many other growing New Haven companies they needed a lot of space and parking. DS was growing at 1175 State Street, the Robby Len [Swimsuit factory] Building, first constructed to house Trolleys in the early part of the last century, but they weren’t happy with the status and condition of the building and wanted to own and control their own space.
The pair criss-crossed Greater New Haven looking for a new nest for the fast growing company, but nothing was coming that met their specs.
NEW HAVEN: Yale University is extending The Yale Homebuyer Program, for another two years, through Dec. 31, 2019.
The program that gives permanent Yale University employees working 20 or hours or more a week a substantial income benefit if they purchase a home to own and occupy in designated areas in the city.
The program was first established in 1994, provides up to a $30,000 total benefit to participants: a $5,000 first-year bonus and an annual $2,500 grant for up to 10 years to university faculty and staff as long as they continue to own and live in the home and remain employed by Yale.
According to the University, 1,221 Yale faculty and staff have benefited from the program since its inception. They have purchased homes with a total market value at time of purchase of more than $237 million and have benefited from $31 million provided by Yale since 1994.
TORRINGTON: Greg Ugalde, a builder and developer with more than 25 years of experience in the Connecticut home building industry, was elected as the 2018 first vice chairman of the National Association of Home Builders [NAHB[. The election was made during the association’s International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla.
Ugalde is president and chief legal officer of Torrington-based T&M Building Co., Inc., one of the largest home builders in the state. Since its founding in 1962, T&M has built more than 3,500 new homes in more than 40 Connecticut communities. He is also the founder and owner of GFU Investments LLC, a builder/developer minority-owned business that focuses on urban development.
STAMFORD: Tesla is not the only electric vehicle making news in the Nutmeg State.
RPM Raceway, which calls itself “America’s ultimate all-electric indoor karting and entertainment destination,” is bringing its “authentic racing experience" to Connecticut, at 600 West Avenue, scheduled to open during the first half of 2018.
In addition to competitive racing, the facility will feature dining and sports bar operations along with alternative experiential entertainment activities including RPM Lanes, a 14-lane bowling facility, racing simulators, a multiplayer virtual reality experience and a state-of-the-art arcade. Owned and operated by husband and wife team, Eyal Farage and Karen Davis-Farage, the new two-level, 90,000 square foot facility with two quarter-mile racing tracks will be RPM Raceway’s first location in Connecticut and its sixth throughout the Northeast. The facility is expected to hire 100 employees.
NEW HAVEN: Patriot Marine, LLC, a dredging and maritime construction company based in Winthrop, MA, has purchased 90 River Street, New Haven, an 82,261 total square foot vacant industrial complex along the Quinnipiac River, for $930,000.
The seller was MLF River LLC, the buyer, Patriot Marine, LLC, Peter S. Shiue, CCIM, Senior Broker of Colliers International's New Haven office and Nicholas R. Morizio, CRE, SIOR, President of Colliers International's Hartford and New Haven offices, were the sole brokers involved in this transaction. According to Colliers the buyers intend to make significant improvements to the existing buildings and invest approximately $1 million to install a steel bulkhead along the riverfront.
HARTFORD: Good news finally for employees of Hartford based insurance companies. First off some ready money as both The Hartford [NYSE: HIG] and Travelers [NYSE:TRV] are giving their employees bonuses of $1,000 each if they earn $75,000 or less annually. The companies have cited the passing of the new US tax reform package as the motivation for their bonus plan.
The best news however came from the CEO of CVS, Larry Merlo that his company which was acquiring Aetna, saw Hartford as the “center of excellence for insurance,” he suggested that future growth was possible in Hartford for the company, rather than a relocation of headquarters personnel to New York City. In $500 Million for Bertolini But Aetna May Not Make Big Apple Move soon after the merger announcement this space predicted that the frugal Merlo would dispense with the NYC move.
STAMFORD, NEW HAVEN: Colliers International [NASDAQ:CIGI] released their annual and quarterly office leasing activity reports for Fairfield County.
The County’s leasing activity for 2017 reached the second highest total leasing on record at 4.1 million square feet, just 8.4% less than the highest total registered by the firm in 2015. Space availability dropped for the fourth consecutive quarter, settling at 23.3%.
“While steady improvement has been made, the availability rate this year is still 100 basis points higher than in 2016 as the market struggled to absorb the space given back by Starwood and others early in the year,” said Sean Cullen, Director of Research for Colliers’ Stamford office. “Asking lease rates remained steady during 2017, rising just 1.1% to $36.09 per square foot year-over-year.”
SHELTON: Located at 100 Avalon Drive, the 99-unit Avalon Huntington apartment complex built in 2008 has sold for $33 million. The property is situated near Route 8 and provides access to Huntington Road and I-95, New Haven and Norwalk are approximately 15 miles away.
The buyer, Inland Real Estate Acquisitions LLC, will rebrand the property as Huntington Townhomes. The seller is AvalonBay Communities Inc.[NYSE: AVB] a Real Estate Investment Trust [REIT], Institutional Property Advisors (IPA), a division of Marcus & Millichap, represented the seller in the transaction.
The complex is made up of seven three- and four-story buildings, including 86 townhome-style homes, 13 garden apartments and 194 parking spaces. The community provides 68 two-bedroom and 31 three-bedroom apartments.
NEW HAVEN: New Haven rents declined significantly in December [.05%] according to apartmentlist.com but are still up significantly by 4.5% in comparison to the same time last year.
The demand for apartments does not translate into happy renters however, who gave the Elm City the second lowest level of satisfaction among renters nationwide, earning the city an F overall.
Renters are not too thrilled with the city’s economy either, with just 13% of renters saying that New Haven's economy is on the right track, earning it an F overall.
"New Haven renters are extremely unsatisfied overall with a particularly low level of confidence in the economy," says Andrew Tam, Vice President of Data Science at Apartment List. "The US renter population is at its highest level in 20 years, and the weakness of New Haven's economy makes it less attractive to members of this large demographic."
FAIRFIELD: the sale of 1876 Black Rock Tpke. was sold for $3.1 million, Baldwin Pearson & Co., Inc., handled the transaction.
George Shawah Jr., represented the seller, Miro 1876 Associates, LLC, while Barry Jacobson of Joseph P. Day Realty, represented the buyer who was not disclosed yet.
The 7,000 square feet retail building was formerly occupied by Citibank. The new owner has lease commitments from Granola Bar (a local restaurant) and The Pet Pantry. The Granola Bar has locations in Stamford, Westport, Greenwich, Rye and Armonk, as well as a food truck and a catering business. Pet Pantry has locations in Wilton, New Canaan, and Riverside.Fai
CHESHIRE: Sally Bowman Real Estate has been acquired by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties bringing its agent count to more than 1,800 and its office count to 55.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Sally Bowman and her team to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties,” says Candace Adams, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England, New York and Westchester Properties.
“Sally Bowman Real Estate has been opening doors to new homes, one house at a time, since 2009,” says Sally Bowman, owner of Sally Bowman Real Estate. “My family has been living and working in Cheshire for the last 100 years and I’m raising my own family here. We are eager to continue serving our community, now in partnership Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties.”
CHESTER: Chester Village West set on 55 acres with 105 cottages and apartments was purchased by Masonicare, based in Wallingford, the state’s largest not-for-profit provider of senior healthcare and retirement living from LifeCare Services of Des Moines, Iowa.
“The addition of Chester Village to our organization is a win-win for all,” said Jon-Paul Venoit, President/CEO of Masonicare. “We have extensive experience in the retirement living arena and our cultures are very similar. We are retaining nearly all of their employees, and we expect to invest in some capital improvements on the campus as well.”
ORANGE: The 50,666-square foot industrial building on approximately 6.5 acres of land at 70 Robinson Boulevard, has been sold for $2.1 million
The building is being purchased by Robin Equity, LLC of Orange, [John Pritchard, Argyle Road]. The property will be repurposed for American Seal & Engineering Corporation to serve as its new Global Corporate Headquarters and the main manufacturing facility for Engineered Products, Advanced Manufacturing Technology and Product Testing and Development.
HAMDEN: Maureen J. Dobbins, Director, Business Development, has been named Vice President and an officer of Hoffman Architecs. Dobbins hash more than 25 years of experience in marketing and business development for architectural services, and earned a bachelor’s degree in management information systems from Western Connecticut State University and a master of business administration (MBA) degree in marketing management and information systems from Pace University in New York.
An owner of the firm, she will celebrate her 10th anniversary with Hoffmann Architects in 2018. Dobbins is a member of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Southern Connecticut, Eastern Region of APPA Leadership in Educational Facilities (ERAPPA), CoreNet Global, the Construction Institute, International Facility Management Association (IFMA), New England Healthcare Engineers’ Society (NEHES), and Professional Women in Construction (PWC). A long-term board member and officer for BOMA Southern Connecticut, Dobbins takes the helm as President of the organization in January 2018. She lives in Redding, Connecticut.
Hartford's Mark Twain Apartments Fetch $2.6 Million In Sale
HARTFORD: It was a good year end for Steve Pappas of the Hartford office of investment broker Chozick Realty Inc. who managed the sales of Mark Twain, Candlewood and Cardinal Hill Apartments bringing a combined price of $6.75 million.
Mark Twain Apartments, located at 367-381 Farmington Avenue, has 65 apartment units and is adjacent to the historic Mark Twain House, and only blocks from Aetna Insurance and the St. Francis Hospital complex. The unit mix of is 6 studios, 43 one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom and 1 three-bedroom units. Mark Twain Apartments sold for $2.6 million.
Mark Twain Apartments,
Candlewood Apartments, located at 123-131 Clinic Avenue New Britain, has 40 apartment units on a 1.66-acre site, and are all two-bedroom units. Significant upgrades have occurred over the past few years including many remodeled kitchens, baths and new roofs. The complex sold for $2.65 million.
HARTFORD: Hunton & Williams LLP and interntional law firm based in Richmond VA.,as advised RBH Group of Newark NJ., in its $20 million acquisition and planned redevelopment of 370 Asylum Street.
According to H&W “the transaction will transform and repurpose a long-vacant commercial building in downtown into a mixed-use space. The project, known as Teachers Corner Hartford, will be comprised of luxury market-rate and affordable residential units, pre-marketed to local education professionals, and will feature a suite of amenities.”
Hunton & Williams’ legal team was led by New York real estate partner Laurie Grasso and associate Douglas Hoffmann.
CENTERBROOK: Aaron Trahan, AIA, of Centerbrook Architects & Planners
The award, sponsored by the has earned the 2017 Emerging Architect Award from AIA ConnecticutEmerging Architects and Design committees.
According ot AIC CT the committees, “recognizes and supports emerging graduate architects who have made significant contributions to the profession or have rendered distinguished public service.”
The honor was bestowed to Trahan at the AIA Connecticut 2017 Awards on Dec. 4. He is Centerbrook’s first recipient of the award, now in its fourth year.
“Aaron is an extraordinary designer, a respected leader among his colleagues, and a kind and generous advocate for the architectural profession,” said Centerbrook Principal Todd Andrews,AIA who nominated Trahan for the award.
HARTFORD: The Housing Authority of the City of Hartford [HACH] and Overlook Village ReDevelopment Associates broke ground for the redevelopment of Chester A. Bowles Park in the Blue Hills neighborhood.
The public housing complex constructed in the 1950s is being demolished to make way for a mixed-income residential community called Willow Creek. The two-phase development project is being financed by a mix of private and public funds, including grants from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and the Capital Region Development Authority, as well as with low income housing tax credits issued by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority.
The development consists of sixty-two mixed-income rentals, approximately 25 single-family units, and a community room for residents will be built during the first phase of construction. During the second phase, 43 units will be added for low-income, middle income and market-rate renters. Five of those units will be offered as supportive housing for the homeless.
MIDDLETON:Allison Puzycki has joined Consulting Engineering Services (CES). Puzycki is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University and has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing Communications and more than ten years of marketing experience. Most recently, she served as director of marketing for Svigals + Partners, an architecture and art firm in New Haven.
Puzycki enters the role of director of marketing ready to advance the consulting engineering services brand, cultivate the firm’s next phase of growth and expand their existing network of relationships.
“We are thrilled to have Allison join our team at a pivotal time for the firm,” said Michael Walsh, CES president.
FAIRFIELD:The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM) “programmed and designed” the new 120,000 square foot $65 million Center for Healthcare Education at Sacred Heart University, shared between the College of Health Professions and College of Nursing.
The exterior of the building is designed as three distinct forms that represent the three major programmatic functions of the building. “This helped with the scale of the building,” said Rick Herzer, AIA, design principal at SLAM. “We thought of it as three elegant parallel forms and not just one enormous building with a door.”
A main upper plaza receives arriving users and orients them to the main entrance and central atrium. An adjacent lower plaza features a reflecting pool and a sculpture by David Harber. This more sheltered, contemplative space is flanked by an amphitheater of tiered stone seating encourages formal or informal gatherings. The sound of falling water is provided by a spillway that connects upper and lower plazas.
Newington, CT After nearly 10 years of public debate, the town approved a $28.8 million bond for a new town hall with voters favoring the project by a more than 2-1 margin, giving the town the votes needed to move ahead with its plans to build.
As a result, QA+M Architecture will develop its design of the proposed 75,000 s/f town hall and community center to be built in the upper town hall parking lot. The new building allows for improved resident access to town services, an open floor plan, and a reduction of 28,000 s/f from the town’s existing deteriorating and leaky town hall. The community center space includes two full-sized basketball courts. The plan provides more storage spaces and a discrete entrance for human services and board of education offices with an open floor plan, town council chambers, community television and the Transition Academy.
On November 30th, the CCIM Connecticut Chapter held its annual installation of officers’ dinner in conjunction with the annual CCIM Dealmakers Awards at New Haven Country Club.
HAMDEN: The event began by viewing a video honoring the memory of Wayne D’Amico, CCIM and past president of the CCIM Institute, as well as CCIM Connecticut chapter, serving both organizations for decades. He was both loved and well respected by all CCIMs in Conn., and in countries where there are CCIM chapters. Through the CCIM Foundation, a scholarship fund has been set up to accept donations for his two children. He will be missed!
This year the CCIM Connecticut chapter applications doubled with 12 CCIM CT Chapter members congratulated upon receiving the CCIM Connecticut Dealmaker Award.
Home prices across the nation have mostly recovered from the worst of the from the declines suffered during the “Great Recession,” according to HSH.com’s “Home price recovery index.” HSM.com is a mortgage resource website.
Two Connecticut metro areas are among the worst recovery in the country, New Haven - Milford and Bridgeport – Stamford.
The New Haven - Milford Metro was reported as one of the least recovered metro areas on the national list. During the third quarter of 2017, home prices in the New Haven metro were still 22.31 percent below their peak value and Bridgeport Stamford down 20%.
MILFORD: Total Mortgage has announced expansion plans for 2018, as it seeking to open branches in 12 new states over the next 12 months.
The company is licensed in 45 states and Washington, D.C. In a statement released Tuesday, Total Mortgage said its goal is to establish local, community-serving branches based on the same model they have employed across Connecticut.
As part of its expansion plans, the firm has hired industry veteran Michael Duda in the newly created position of director of national sales. In his 25-year career in mortgage, Duda has worked in retail, wholesale, and the correspondent space.
HARTFORD: A downtown land mark 750 Main Street has been sold for $4.3 million.
First built in 1921 the 17 floor “skyscraper” the former Hartford-Connecticut Trust has a 128,000 square feet and will take on a new economy life as an executive suites facility. According to the Hartford Courant the building is currently 75% occupied.
The seller Boxer Properties of Houston, bought the property in 1998 for $1.5 million
The buyer is Stark Office Suites, of Rye Brook, NY which offers flexible office space and has ten locations including Harrison, Mount Kisco, Rye Brook, Scarsdale, White Plains, NY and Greenwich, Danbury, Stamford and now Hartford.
Stark says, “with Stark you get more. More than prestigious addresses, impressive offices, state-of-the-art technology and superior amenities. We offer the dual benefits of size and service: the infrastructure and scale to promptly meet all your office needs, and the personal attentive touch that is our hallmark. It is why more than 900 successful businesses and professional practices have chosen Stark Office Suites to call home.”
BOSTON: Single-family home sales in Connecticut continued their increase in sales jumping 3.8 percent in October compared to October 2016, according to the latest report from The Warren Group, publisher of The Commercial Record.
A total of 2,946 single-family homes were sold in Connecticut during the month of October, compared with 2,837 sold in October 2016. Prices also had the sizeable increase that was missing from many other months where quantity increases were significant.
The, the median price of a single-family home rose 2.9 percent in October to $247,000, compared with $240,000 a year ago.
"The Connecticut housing market continues to perform at an impressive level," said Timothy Warren, CEO of The Warren Group. "This is the most single-family homes sold during the month of October in over a decade, while October condo sales haven't seen this level of activity since 2007."
Year to date, there were 29,090 single-family home sales as of October 2017, compared to 27,135 over the first 10 months of 2016 – a 6.9 percent increase. The year-to-date median price edged slightly higher to $250,000, compared to $248,571 over the same period of 2017.
Condominium sales also continued their sales tear, increasing in October, rising 4.8 percent with 845 condos sold, up from 806 sold in October 2016. The median sale price increase for condos continued their much weaker increases at only 0.3 percent to $160,000, compared to $158,000 in October 2016.
Year to date, there were 7,627 condo sales as of October 2017, a notable spike from the 6,992 sold over the first 10 months of 2016 – a 9.1 percent increase. The year-to-date median price was $162,500 in October 2017, a 0.3 percent decrease from last year’s $163,000.
ORANGE: The building housing long term tenant Porch and patio has been sold for $2.3 million. The 15,300 square foot commercial building at 363 Boston Post Road was sold by Gary Bellard, CCIM and with Colonial Properties, Inc. of Orange. Bellard, represented the Seller, 363 Boston Post Road Associates, LLC, [ Orange resident, Gary Richitelli].
The buyer was represented by Fred A. Messore, Senior Vice President, of Colonial Properties, Inc. The single-tenant investment property was “completely renovated about eight years ago” ..
"This property was on the market for a very short time and traded at a very low cap rate, demonstrating the strong demand in the marketplace for quality investment properties," said Colonial Properties president Michael Richetelli.
Connecticut stands ready to enter a new era of economic development as the key components of market demand, transit oriented development, and a burgeoning tax increment financing mechanism swirl together in a heady mix of market potential. At the center stands Connecticut’s downtowns and main streets, perfectly poised to offer the next golden era of Connecticut’s economy.
A recent analysis commissioned by the Connecticut Main Street Center found there is 187 million s/f of vacant and under-utilized space collectively located in Connecticut’s downtowns and town centers. If fully built out and occupied to full capacity, this would result in 20,000 new businesses; 88,000 new housing units; and 215,000 new permanent jobs. In terms of revenue, this development would generate $467 million in annual sales tax revenue; $567 in annual income tax revenue and $283 million in annual property tax revenue.
HARTFORD: The CCIM [Certified Commercial Investment Member] Foundation has created tyhe Wayne D’Amico Memorial Fund to recognize, D’Amico an Ivoryton resident and long time commercial realtor and CCIM member. D'Amico passed away on November 3 after a struggle with Pancreatic Cancer.
“Wayne was a great friend, an industry icon, as well as a great husband and father,” said CCIM Institute president Robin Webb..”
Business New Haven publisher, Mitchell Young said of D’Amico. “Wayne was a passionate and positive person and a great representative of the properties and communities he was working in and for. I never left a conversation with him not being better informed and feeling upbeat about progress in the region.”
Danbury: Lee Farm Corporate Park a class A office building on I-84 was purchased for $16.9 million by Summit Development of Southport and The Grossman Companies of Quincy, Mass., in 2013. The partnership announced on November 17 the sale for $31.75 million to CT Property Realty LLC., based in Roslyn New York.
The five-story hilltop property was built in 1987 and according to the partnership “required extensive renovations.” The renovations helped increase its occupancy from 65% at acquisition to 100% at sale. Lee Farm consists of 215,649 square foot of office space and is fully leased to “blue-chip tenants” including Wells Fargo, Navigator Management, IMS Health, Lenovo and Sigmund Software.
Felix Charney, principal of Summit Development said, “Our transformation of Lee Farm was both rapid and dramatic as we made extensive upgrades to the property while filling all of the vacant space and replacing GE Capital. When GE Capital vacated, we worked closely with Cushman & Wakefield to execute a lease with Wells Fargo.”
“Given its easy access, visibility and relative affordability, Lee Farm is ideal for large companies that are building a presence in this growing area or for smaller organizations that are looking to expand,” said Jake Grossman, president of The Grossman Companies. The property includes an onsite full-service cafeteria, fitness and conference centers, emergency generation, and given its hill top location “ panoramic views.”
Jeff Dunne of the CBRE investment and Steven Bardsley, CBRE senior vice president for CBRE Institutional Properties at CBRE/Capital Markets represented both the sides in the transaction.
NORWALK: 14 Westport Avenue a 32,000 square foot “class B” office building in downtown sold for $2.9 million. The three-story building was built in 1985 and currently houses Constellation Health Services as its sole tenant. RHYS commercial Realtors of Stamford represented the seller.
“14 Westport Avenue is a well-situated asset with great access to both I-95 and the Post Road,” said RHYS executive VP and partner Christian Bangert. “The existing rental income provided a unique investment opportunity for the buyer, while still also allowing them to be able to occupy a portion of the vacant premises.”
Bangert, along with RHYS president and CEO Cory Gubner and director Alex Haendler represented the seller, Watermill Westport, LLC and John Zervos of DVB Commercial represented the buyer, Philipos Properties.
CHESHIRE: A 35,300 square foot warehouse facility on 4.3 acres at 30 Fieldston Court was sold for $1.325 million. The new owner is Target Sports. Seth Godin Jr of Godin Property Brokers in Middlebury, represented all parties. Godin said, “the property was to accommodate the company’s growth.”
Target’s 13,500 square foot facility at 24 Robert Porter Road in Southington is being offered for sale or lease.
Target sports sells through TargetSportsUSA.com an online store for bulk ammo, guns, selling cheap ammo, handguns, rifles and rimfire ammunition.
HARTFORD: City leaders issued a call Monday for developers to erect a new neighborhood north of downtown that links Hartford’s North End to its sweeping urban core along Main Street, and includes the city’s minor league ballpark as a centerpiece.
This is the second time Hartford officials have sought developers for the vacant land, which is composed of 32 properties across four parcels near the corner of Main and Trumbull streets.....>