corbincollection2WEST HARTFORD: Corbin's Corner is getting a lift with the help of the Town Council which voted unanimously to approve a developer’s plan to redevelop the Sears retail and automotive stores when the shuttered stores vacate this month.

Sears stores continue to struggle and Seritage Growth Properties a $2.6 billion dollar publicly trade Real Estate Investment Trust [NYSE SRG]: purchased the locations across the country. The West Hartford store was closed in January and Seritage is redeveloping the property as The Corbin Collection, with an expected price tag of $27 million. Construction is expected to begin immediately and be completed in 2017.

Shake Shack, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th and REI  outdoor store is relocating from Blue Back Square in West Hartford Center.

Arrow with open door points to 64148881DANBURY: The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors [SIOR], released the results of its semi-annual membership survey of its Connecticut/Western Massachusetts chapter’s members [46].  There are more than 3,100 SIOR members in the US and Realtors with the SIOR designation are considered within the industry to be among the most well trained and educated commercial real estate professionals.

According to SIOR, the survey reports  “a continuation of the positive trend established earlier in 2016. Responses have trended away from negative to either stable or improvement.”

CrescentCrossings exteriors 02BRIDGEPORT: Viking Construction has received an Excellence in Construction Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors of Connecticut. The award recognizes Viking’s work as general contractor on the $60 million Crescent Crossing residential project, built on the site of the state’s first public housing complex.

Viking Construction redeveloped the 3.5-acre site which once housed Father Panik Village, originally built in 1943 as Yellow Mill Village. The housing project had become infested with drugs and crime before being demolished in the late 1980s.

Today, according to the company “new Crescent Crossing community shines as a beacon of hope for mixed-income families who want to enjoy an urban lifestyle. “

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HARTFORD: Keypoint Partners, LLC of Burlington, Mass. has released The KeyPoint Report for Greater Hartford, CT 2018, according to Bob Sheehan, vice president of research. This comprehensive retail real estate report examines supply, occupancy, absorption, and retailer expansion and contraction for virtually every retail property in the region. Keypoint has offices in Cromwell and Enfield.

According to the report, the inventory of retail space in Greater Hartford totals 37.6 million square foot, with a vacancy rate of 10.6%, a “significant drop,” from last year’s rate of 11.1%.

vaorange 730x530WEST HAVEN: A new 50,000 square foot outpatient clinic for the Veteran Affairs [VA] hospital at a cost of $25 million is being constructed at Edison Road in Orange, Skanska Construction has been awarded the contract.

The new facility will replace the existing, VA care center with a “modernized building for patient care.”

“The VA does incredible work caring for our veterans and we are proud to support them by constructing a new facility in which they can receive the care they need,” said Bryan Northrop, executive vice president and general manager for Skanska’s building operations throughout New England.

The new facility is expected to be completed in the fall of 2019 and according to the contractors will meet Green Globes sustainability certification standards. The facility will include: “numerous examination rooms for doctor’s appointments and assessments; classrooms where life skills courses will be offered to help facilitate a smooth rehabilitation process; an outdoor courtyard; an athletic gym; a cafeteria; and 360 surface-level parking spaces.”


QAM Derby 2QA+M Architecture’s conceptual renderings of downtown Derby on Factory Street.
(rendering credit QA+M Architecture)


DERBY: Plans are moving forward in town with a proposal that would bring new life into the south side of the downtown area. During the Planning and Zoning Commission’s unanimously approved making the south side of Main Street., where the nearly-vacant Factory Street is, into a planned development district., clearing the way for the development in downtown Derby.

The commission’s amendment is allowing a developer, Derby Downtown, LLC, to propose their $400 million project. Derby Downtown’s conceptual plan includes four-story buildings with a total of 400 apartments as well as shops, restaurants and residential services on the first floor of each building. Approximately 100 units will be built in each phase over the next 4-6 years.

postmainOLD SAYBROOK: Post & Main, a 186-unit residential property in Old Saybrook, was sold for $42.5 million.

Built in 2017, Post & Main offers 186 apartments with “artfully designed luxury finishes” that include granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, kitchen islands with pendant lighting, oversized windows, tile backsplashes and vinyl plank flooring. The property features a collection of amenities, including a resident clubroom, an outdoor resort-style pool, an oversized fitness center, garage parking and a dog park.

The CBRE team of Jeffrey Dunne, Simon Butler, Biria St. John, Gene Pride and Eric Apfel advised the owner, GM Saybrook Owner LLC, in the sale; David A. Mack Properties acted as Operating Member within the LLC. The buyer was Old Saybrook Owner LLC.


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New Haven Architects Pirie Associates  recently finished two unique retail design projects, a hip urban brewery and an outdoors' retailer. We talked to principal Laura Pirie to better understand their strategy for making it in the bricks and mortar world today.

Recently local retailer Denali opened in Providence and we saw that you designed that and other Denali locations in an atypical way. What do bricks and mortar retailers have to do to in their locations to compete effectively today?

Something we recognized in doing retail years ago is we want to create an environment where people can have an experience. The catchphrase, somewhat in the industry and certainly what we use is called “experiential environments,” in retail they say experiential retail.

As more and more people have interactions in digital and electronic form, experiential environments became more meaningful in people’s lives.

710 bridegportSHELTON: A To Z Supply has signed a lease for a 127,000 square foot corporate and distribution facility at 710 Bridgeport Avenue. The company will be relocating its corporate office and distribution operation from Bronx, New York.

A To Z Supply is a medical supply company and distributor of hospital and nursing home needs, medical, kitchen, house-keeping maintenance and equipment. They are a family-owned multi-disciplinary health care institutional supplier for all disposable needs.

accelAccel International Holdings, with headquarters at 508 Colony Street in Meriden a manufacturer of “high performance” metallic and fiber conductors for the aerospace and electronics industries, has purchased the former site of Alexion Pharmaceuticals at 350 Knotter Drive in Cheshire for $4.77 million.

Dan Chung, Accel senior vice president told the Meriden Record daily newspaper the, company will operate the Cheshire facility in addition to Meriden, saying “this is going to be an additional facility, where we’re planning to invest over $40 million in (capital expenditures) and hire 120 people,” he said. “We will be maintaining Meriden.”

Screen Shot 2018 10 21 at 2.52.06 PMNEW LONDON: A new residential development has moved a step forward with the closing of Parcel J for development by A.R. Building Company. The 2.6 acre parcel at the corner of Howard and Bank Streets. was the last available parcel in the Shaw’s Cove Industrial Park, and will be the home to a proposed 98 unit residential development.

Developers hope the development brings the possibility of increased foot traffic and a heightened profile for town’s businesses. A.R. Building Co. has also completed a residential apartment complex after 60 Mansfield Road earlier this year.

ctclistHARTFORD:, The Greater Hartford Association of Realtors (GHAR) has partnered with Catylist an Ann Arbor, MI based commercial listing service called CTCList. CTCList connects commercial professionals, owners, tenants and investors looking to buy, sell and lease commercial properties throughout the state, as well as nationally.

The commercial real estate division of GHAR, CT Commercial Real Estate Alliance has overseen the project, which officially launched on August 1.

at home 1534448882 8774MANCHESTER: At Home a big box retail chain specializing in home decor products  based in Plano, Texas opened its first Connecticut location and is the new achor at Burr Corners Plaza. The 98,000 square feet location demonstrates “progress towards enhancing the overall shopping experience at the reinvigorated plaza.”

In Summer of 2015, Winstanley Enterprises,LLC and Surrey Equities, LLC acquired the 302,066 square foot plaza at Buckland Street and the Tolland Turnpike originally opened in 1989 for $22 million.

Baker Hall BeforeAfter Courtyard 1NEW HAVEN: A new modern extension to the Yale Law Building, the first expansion since the Sterling Law Building was first constructed in 1931 has been completed.

Architects Pirie Associates was originally brought in to help transform a concrete and masonry building, intended to be temporary, the effort became a permanent adaptive reuse of 100 Tower Parkway into Baker Hall. The renovation was made possible thanks to a $25 million gift in 2013 from alumni Robert C. and Christina Baker, and a subsequent $35 million fundraising effort led by Yale Law School. Started in September, 2017 and completed this August, the renovation restores the “marriage of academic and residential life to the law school, while honoring student requests for places to enjoy their downtime.”

centerbrook mystic

MYSTIC: Designed by Centerbrook Architects & Planers The Thompson Exhibition Building at the Mystic Seaport Museum was recognized at the Connecticut Green Building Council (CT-GBC) Awards with the Public/Institutional Award of Merit. The Thompson Building, which opened in the fall of 2016, features a number of sustainable aspects, including a geothermal heating and cooling system.

This is the third design award presented to the Thompson Building, which was also featured in ArchDaily’s 100 Best Wood Projects in the U.S. list.

Claris BSI DesignBuildSEYMOUR:A 73,000 square foot mixed used headquarters  building for Basements Systems Inc. has completed construction.  Claris Construction provided the architectural, engineering, and construction management services for the new mixed-use building that include distribution, offices, commercial kitchen, meeting rooms, and an auditorium.

The structure, located at 33 Progress Ave., is a hybrid of conventional and pre-engineered (Butler) steel.

The company offered an estimated construction cost of “between $10 and $15 million.”

Memorial Boulevard building M MBRISTOL: The Memorial Boulevard School is transitioning into an arts magnet school, and Quisenberry Arcari Malik, LLC (QA+M Architecture) has been selected as the architect and lead designer for the project.

The building is listed on the Connecticut Register of Historic Places as a historic structure.

Originally constructed in 1921, the 96,000 square foot building in downtown was known as Bristol High School until the school system closed it in 2012. The engagement of QA+M Architecture is the next step in reviving this vacant four-story facility into a performing arts magnet school for local students in grades 6-12.