What do SoHo, Central Park South and Delancey Street on the East Side of Manhattan have in common with New Haven’s State Street (albeit on the other side of the highway from the otherwise trendy neighborhood) besides small shops and pizza, pizza, pizza?
The answer is their ownership, the Manhattan-based Carter Management Co., which purchased Trolley Square at auction for almost $4 million in June.
The scale of the 250,000-square-foot-plus building was apparently too daunting for Brooklyn developer Joshua Guttman, who purchased the building in 2003 for $1.8 million. Guttman had hopes of turning Trolley Square into a beehive of activity, but he may have been too early and/or undercapitalized.
In June Guttman also auctioned off two other large southern New England industrial properties.
His vision may have fallen victim to the recession but in some ways Guttman did prove his concept.
Trolley Square is home to a diverse and interesting group of tenants: artists, a skateboard shop, Capoeira (Brazilian fitness), CrossFit and Aikido centers as well as Digital Surgeons, a growing Internet and digital-services company. All were attracted by the relatively low rents and open floor plans and a promise of continuing improvements.
Carter apparently isn’t promising any big action yet, beyond fixing up the building and working with the city of New Haven on the best continuing use.
We’ll have to wait and see if Carter’s deeper pockets also mean a deeper commitment to the property. Carter recently bought a Delancey Street (Manhattan) property of approximately 50,000 square feet for $21 million. That makes Trolley Square look like a low-risk bargain.