dialSTAMFORD: Henkel Corp. based in Dusseldorf, Germany has a wide range of consumer and industrial products, and  more than 50,000 employees world wide. The company has facilities throughout the United States and its US headquarters is in Rocky Hill, along with the research division for its adhesives business.

Henkel is expanding in Stamford,  moving into 155,000 square feet of space at the BLT Center. According to a report in the Stamford Advocate the company decided to increase its space allocation from 135,000 square feet to bring the research and marketing functions closer together.

Henkel brands include Dial soap, Right Guard, Loctite, Purel and many others. According to the report the company is expected to nearly double its employment to 500 employees by 2018. 


 

bigstock Increasing Real Estate Market 1692403BOSTON: The Warren Group, publisher of The Commercial Record released their home sales report on single-family home sales in Connecticut increased by 2.7 percent in December.

A total of 2,656 single-family homes were sold in Connecticut in December compared with 2,587 sold in December 2015. Year-to-date, sales were up 8.7 percent with 32,235 transactions, compared with 29,644 during the same time a year ago.

The median price of a single-family home rose 2.1 percent in December to $240,000, compared with $235,000 a year ago. Year-to-date, prices took a slight increase to $247,000 compared with $246,000 during the same time a year ago, a rise of 0.4 percent. Rhode Island’s home market was aquite a bit stronger than Connecticut’s with sales rising 21% for the year and prices 3.4%.

fiddlersSIMSBURY: Investment sales broker Northeast Private Client Group completed the sale of the 25,750 square foot mixed-use property known as ”Fiddler’s Green” located at 2-10 Wilcox Street.  Edward Jordan, JD, CCIM, the firm’s managing director, and Taylor Perun, senior associate in the Hartford/Springfield market, represented the seller in the $3.425 million transaction.

“We have a proven track record of matching our clients with qualified buyers for commercial and multifamily properties,” said Jordan.

By Mitchell Young


A Troubled Connecticut Economy But Across The Region – Building, Buying and Renovating,

Like Money is Going Out of Style

traynorPeople’s United Bank Chief Investment Officer John Traynor said everything that needs to be said to understand Connecticut’s economy. Speaking to a recent New Haven Chamber of Commerce gathering, he said since 1989 the state has added only 1,600 jobs, that’s right, one thousand six hundred jobs in 27 years.

In some ways that appeared to be the good news, Traynor added that of the jobs that have remained, “Connecticut has lost higher paying jobs, and they are being replaced by lower skilled, lower paying jobs.” 

VIEW DOWN ORANGE STREET 720 466 88 sha 100NEW HAVEN: Spinnaker Real Estate Partners of South Norwalk.revealed its plans for a 3.3 acre site in downtown New Haven,  Audubon Square. Currently the property is a large parking lot behind the Frontier Communications building and sits on State, Audubon, Grove and Orange Streets. 

Spinnaker paid $5 million to Frontier for the parcel and an agreement to provide 525 parking spaces for its weekday use, which Frontier will pay a fee for.

inglese
New Haven Group's Inglese

MILFORD: The Quarry Road Business Park, home to a diverse group of companies, has sold for $5 million. The park at  260-284 Quarry Park Road consists of 87,000 square feet of commercial flex space on a 7.7-acre property and is 95% occupied. The tenant mix includes Unicomm, the producers of the Travel and Adventure Show now hosted in eight major cities across the US including Los Angels, Chicago, Washington DC. Also at the location is Caldwell & Walsh Building Construction Inc., headquartered in Sandy Hook and with offices in, Boston, and New York City.

lower chapel2NEW HAVEN: A Downtown New Haven parcel has sold for $8.4 Million to New York Investment Group,

East River Properties. The one acre parcel contains 42,000 square feet of retail and office space spread over four contiguous buildings. The property runs from State Street up Chapel Street to the Family Dollar formerly the home of Horowitz Brothers and behind the building, including a surface parking was sold by New Haven based Olympia Properties. 

The parcel opposite the 360 State Street apartment tower, includes four buildings that are fully rented. Retail tenants include a Subway, a temporary US Post Office [now in its tenth year at the location] and the Happiness Lab coffee shop. See Click Fix and The Grove co-working space are major office tenants.

SOLD

The Geenty Group, Realtors completed the $485,000 sale of 30 Main St., in Centerbrook, a 6,000 SF Tudor mansion. This property was previously used as a multi-tenanted office building. Kevin Geenty, SIOR represented the seller, ECC Realty, LLC and Kristin Geenty, SIOR represented the buyer, Michael Hannifan, of Essex. After extensive renovations, he plans to lease the building to his son, Colt Taylor, a chef in Manhattan relocating to Connecticut.

O,R&L Commercial, LLC participated in the $4,350,000 sale of a 22,600 SF retail strip center located at 201 Salem Tpke., in Norwich. The property was built in 2008 and anchored by Goodwill. Tim McMahon of O,R,&L Commercial represented the seller, Sincerest, LLC and also procured the buyer, Easter Seals Goodwill Industries.

realtors2016The New Haven Middlesex Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID) announced the CID “2016 Deals of the Year”. CID recognized industrial and commercial real estate transactions topping $220 million in the Greater New Haven market during 2016, according to CID Chairman Vance Taylor.  

“CID, comprised of over 135 commercial real estate agents doing business in the Greater New Haven area, recognized brokers who have distinguished themselves in a variety of notable real estate transactions,” said Taylor. “The $220 million in transactions completed by our brokers represent only the top tier of the countless deals done by our members in 2016 and are, in effect, the tip of the iceberg.  For those who think the New Haven economy is showing signs of weakness, we’ve got the numbers to show quite the contrary!”

FISCHERNEW HAVEN: Brooks Fischer has been named a principal of Newman Architects.

A graduate of the Roger Williams University School of Architecture, Fischer joined Newman Architects in 2004. Acording to the company’s release Fischer has been the manager for “significant educational and mixed-use development projects and directs our small projects group, oversees business management, and leads in the advancement of the firm’s project management procedures.”

Brooks manages Noroton Heights Development in Darien, Trumbull Development and the New Haven Coliseum Site Redevelopment.

NEW HAVEN, CT - O,R&L Commercial, LLC sold the 150,000± SF office/industrial complex known as the Marlin Business Center at 85 Willow Street in New Haven, CT.

The property traded for $4,475,000. The seller was 85 Willow Street NH LLC which had owned the building for over 15 years and the buyer is Willow Street Equities LLC, a New York based investor. The buyer plans on continuing to operate the property as an office/industrial complex with 40 tenants in 16 separate buildings. Originally built for Marlin Firearms in the 1800’s the property was converted to a multi- tenant facility back in the late 1970s.   

O,R&L Integrated Services is a full service real estate firm that specializes in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage, Commercial Construction, and Facility Management and Maintenance. For additional information on this sale or other transactions you may contact O,R&L Commercial at  203-488-1555 or 860-721-0033

 

124 Temple St REAL ESTATE

A new Italian restaurant Olive Oils is opening at 124 Temple Street in downtown New Haven.

 
fischer real estate pic

$410,000 commercial property sold at the corner of Center Street and Coram Avenue in Shelton.

SOLD

Marcus & Millichap participated in the sale of a 39-unit apartment property for $4,000,000 located at 91-99 Howe St., New Haven. New Haven-based agents Gary Witten and Victor Nolletti represented the seller, Valanzuolo Equities LLC. The building, originally constructed in 1920, is a mix consisting of 32 studio apartments, one one-bedroom unit, three three-bedroom units, three four-bedroom units, an onsite office and a 29-space parking lot. 

The Court Kicks To the Curb New Haven’s First Modern Era Apartment Developer

By Mitchell Young

petraR 140619504.jpgmaxh400maxw667Many in New Haven saw it as a nuisance lawsuit by Philadelphia PMC Property Group to slow down the building of new competitive apartments in downtown, now PMC’s zoning lawsuit against the city has been tossed by the Superior Court.

PMC’s lawsuit challenged the city of New Haven’s rights to rezone certain properties to allow the development of two projects first proposed in 2014 in the direct vicinity of PMC’s Strouse-Adler [Smoothie] Building. 

Great Island Connecticut 1DARIEN: If you were iced out on a bid for your favorite Thimble Island hideaway, no worries, mon.  The sixty-three acre Great Island with its own land bridge to Darien is now available.

Bring your daddy’s checkbook, however, because at $175 million it is the most expensive private residence for sale in America. 

bar juice2xNew Haven: A newly constructed 7,500 square feet industrial building located at 55 John Murphy Drive in New Haven will house operations for new tenant Fresh Bev, a specialty non-GMO “farm-to-bottle,” juice-maker who manufactures RIPE Craft Juice and RIPE bar juice. FreshBev is supplier for Whole Foods..

The deal was brokered by Frank D’Ostilio of Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate, Kevin Geenty of the Geenty Group and Consiglio Properties, LLC. 

Home Sales Improving

Hartford:  The Warren Group, publisher of the Commercial Record reported that single-family home sales in the Nutmeg State rose 4.1 percent in June.

This June, a total of 3,506 single-family homes sold in Connecticut compared with 3,368 sold in June, 2015. This marked the highest number of sales in nine years since June, 2007, when 3,658 homes sold. Year-to-date, sales were up 17.8 percent with 14,419 transactions, compared with 12,240 during the same timeframe a year ago. The median price of a single-family home in Connecticut rose 1.5 percent in June to $269,000, compared with $264,900 a year ago. This is only the second increase in the median price in 15 months. Year-to-date, prices have decreased by 1.2 percent to $242,000 compared with $245,000 during the same time a year ago.

NEWS

Orange: New Haven resident Diana Cipriani has joined Colonial Properties, Inc. as the residential and commercial brokerage’s newest team-member. Cipriani is a licensed realtor and has worked in various New York-based non-profits. She holds a Masters Degree in International Affairs and Economic Development from The New School in New York City and is fluent in Spanish. President of Colonial Properties, Michael Richetelli, says his firm is seeing several indications of the high demand for real estate in downtown New Haven. 

New Haven: Fred A. Messore, a Senior Vice President with Colonial Properties, Inc. represented buyer Pike International in the purchase of a 3,678 square foot commercial building at 27 High Street which it intends to convert into residential apartments. The building, which is on .09 acres of land was sold for $900,000 from University Lutheran Ministry of New Haven, who was represented by Jack Hill of Seabury Hill Realtors

New Haven: 47 Trumbull Street owned by Lincoln’s Inn Associates for the past 40 years was sold to 47 Trumbull LLC. The new owner plans to do some cosmetic upgrades to the property and lease the offices out to multiple tenants, according to Stephen Press, a Principal with real estate company Press|Cuozzo who represented the seller in the transaction. The building, which houses 3,829 square feet of office space, sold for $530,000. 

Westport: HK Group, a commercial real estate firm based in Westport, announced five lease deals completed by Franco Fellah, the company’s executive vice president.  Nefer Fresh Spa also in Westport leased 2,000 square feet of downtown retail space at 141 Post Road East. The business is expected to open in late 2016.

OneDX LLC, a medical software company, leased 1,000 square feet of office space at 10 Saugatuck Avenue, Westport.

Flora Levin, an ophthalmologist specializing in oculofacial cosmetic, reconstructive surgery, leased 1,350 square feet of medical space in the Willows Medical Complex at 131 Kings Highway North in Westport.

Wilton: Emmanuel’s Kitchen and Bath leased 2,109 square feet of retail space at 1 Danbury Road. The company’s showroom opened in June. Also in Wilton, Alex and Leo, a delicatessen, leased 1,102 square feet of retail space at 17 Danbury Road. The space was previously occupied by a Blimpie submarine sandwich shop.

Hamden: Virginia Shea has leased 3,600 SF of commercial space at 21 Pershing Street in Hamden for an Athletic Training Facility and Simulated Golf. The tenant signed a one year lease with a value of $20,000. The landlord is Elm City Management and The Proto Group was the sole broker.

Derby: Pet Valu Inc. has leased 3,200 SF of retail space in the Aldi anchored shopping center on Pershing Drive in Derby. The 10 year lease was valued in excess of $675,000. RHYS Commercial represented Pet Valu Inc. and The Proto Group represented the landlord, Pershing Partners, LLC. 

Wallingford: Shimmer, a new salon leased 1,100 SF of retail space at 775 North Colony Road in Wallingford. The tenant signed a 5 year lease with options, the value was in excess of $75,000. D’Angelo’s Real Estate is the landlord and the Proto Group, LLC was the sole broker in the transaction.

Old Saybrook: John Cafasso of Colliers International’s Hartford Office represented SBS Properties LLC of Madison in its sale of 599 Middlesex Turnpike in Old Saybrook, to 599 Middlesex, LLC. The purchase price was $1,085,000. The building will be converted to medical use and The Proto Group LLC represented the buyers.

New Haven: Kate’s Klips has signed a five year lease for 1,539 square feet at Amity Plaza Shopping Center, 172 Amity Road, New Haven. Kate’s Klips will operate Great Clips in the location. Dan Charest of Acre Group represented the landlord Wellmakara LLC. The Proto Group represented Katie’s Klips.

Cheshire:  Brian Godin of Godin Property Brokers, recently represented both parties in the sale of a 2,000 square foot Office/Warehouse Condominium located at 325 Sandbank Road, Cheshire . The buyer is a local investment group

Waterbury: Ed Godin Jr, SIOR of Godin Property Brokers, represented the buyer in the $325,000 sale of a 60,000 square foot industrial facility on 3.5 acres at 15 Boyden Street in Waterbury. The former commercial uniform and laundry facility is well located with excellent access to Interstate 84 and Route 8 Highway. The new buyer, Riverbank Construction, is an investor with other Connecticut holdings. They are renovating the facility and repositioning it for multiple tenants. Godin Property Brokers has also been retained to provide the marketing and leasing of the project. The seller was G & K Services Inc.

Fairfield: David Cervero, associate vice president and Ralph Michel, senior vice president of HK Group completed the sale of the property at 348 Black Rock Turnpike. for $1.3 million.  The property consists of a 2,663 s/f restaurant known as Black Rock Oyster Bar & Grill. 348 Black Rock Turnpike sits on .25 acres.  The Black Rock Oyster Bar & Grill was active at the time of the sale. The sellers were FCCW, LLC and Baylor LLC and the buyers were Ahabs Table LLC and Black Rock SoHo, LLC.  The buyer will continue to operate the restaurant/bar under a new name. Michel and Cervero represented the buyer.  Audrey Longo of Guttman Realty Advisors represented the seller.

Fairfield: Angel Commercial, L.L.C., completed the sale of a 24,866 s/f commercial office building located on 1.05 acres at 418 Meadow St. for $2.9 million. Senior vice presidents at Angel Commercial, Brett Sherman, CCIM, represented the seller, and Lester Fradkoff represented the buyer. Owned by BAO Partners, LLC, the building was purchased by Julian Enterprises, headquartered in Milford.

West Haven: Kristin Geenty, SIOR, President of The Geenty Group, Realtors and Arnold Grant, MAI of Arnold J. Grant Associates announce the Sale of 5 Water Street, West Haven, Connecticut, known, since 1953 as the Headquarters of the Bilco Company.  

Kristin Geenty represented members of the initial development team, Sheldon Gordon and Matt Armstrong, known collectively as The Haven, LLC, who purchased the Bilco property as the key parcel to their future development: The Haven, a proposed upscale outlet mall.  The Three Acre property with 116,000 square feet of office and manufacturing buildings sold for $3,100,000.00  in January of 2016.

Milford: The Geenty Group, Realtors, reports a lease of 800 SF at 225 Research Drive, Milford. The tenant is Guy Presler of Cali Customs, LLC. The Tenant will use the space for his screen printing business for T-shirts and the like. The landlord is D’Amato Investments, LLC. Bill Clark, Senior Vice-President at The Geenty Group, was the sole agent in this transaction.

North Haven: DanMar Construction, which specializes in building construction and renovation, has leased office space at 88 Old Broadway in North Haven, in a deal brokered by Levey Miller Maretz. Steve Miller, principal at Levey Miller Maretz, represented both the tenant and the landlord in the deal. DanMar Construction leased 480 square feet of office space from Mario Gambardella. DanMar is a family owned and operated construction firm that also offers full design services.  The company does ground-up work, as well as remodeling, excavation, additions and roofing for residential and commercial properties.

New Haven: A new barbecue restaurant has opened in downtown New Haven, thanks to a deal brokered by Levey Miller Maretz. Shawn Reilly of Levey Miller Maretz represented the buyer and the seller in the deal, in which Albert Greenwood and Associates bought the business at 969 State Street for $75,000. The 1,200-square-foot site previously housed C.O. Jones Mexican Restaurant for more than a decade. The buyer has opened Bull & Swine New Haven Barbecue at the site, and also operates nearby Oak Haven Table & Bar on State Street.

Home Sales Improving

Hartford:  The Warren Group, publisher of the Commercial Record reported that single-family home sales in the Nutmeg State rose 4.1 percent in June.

This June, a total of 3,506 single-family homes sold in Connecticut compared with 3,368 sold in June, 2015. This marked the highest number of sales in nine years since June, 2007, when 3,658 homes sold. Year-to-date, sales were up 17.8 percent with 14,419 transactions, compared with 12,240 during the same timeframe a year ago. The median price of a single-family home in Connecticut rose 1.5 percent in June to $269,000, compared with $264,900 a year ago. This is only the second increase in the median price in 15 months. Year-to-date, prices have decreased by 1.2 percent to $242,000 compared with $245,000 during the same time a year ago.

NEWS

Orange: New Haven resident Diana Cipriani has joined Colonial Properties, Inc. as the residential and commercial brokerage’s newest team-member. Cipriani is a licensed realtor and has worked in various New York-based non-profits. She holds a Masters Degree in International Affairs and Economic Development from The New School in New York City and is fluent in Spanish. President of Colonial Properties, Michael Richetelli, says his firm is seeing several indications of the high demand for real estate in downtown New Haven. 

New Haven: Fred A. Messore, a Senior Vice President with Colonial Properties, Inc. represented buyer Pike International in the purchase of a 3,678 square foot commercial building at 27 High Street which it intends to convert into residential apartments. The building, which is on .09 acres of land was sold for $900,000 from University Lutheran Ministry of New Haven, who was represented by Jack Hill of Seabury Hill Realtors

New Haven: 47 Trumbull Street owned by Lincoln’s Inn Associates for the past 40 years was sold to 47 Trumbull LLC. The new owner plans to do some cosmetic upgrades to the property and lease the offices out to multiple tenants, according to Stephen Press, a Principal with real estate company Press|Cuozzo who represented the seller in the transaction. The building, which houses 3,829 square feet of office space, sold for $530,000. 

Westport: HK Group, a commercial real estate firm based in Westport, announced five lease deals completed by Franco Fellah, the company’s executive vice president.  Nefer Fresh Spa also in Westport leased 2,000 square feet of downtown retail space at 141 Post Road East. The business is expected to open in late 2016.

OneDX LLC, a medical software company, leased 1,000 square feet of office space at 10 Saugatuck Avenue, Westport.

Flora Levin, an ophthalmologist specializing in oculofacial cosmetic, reconstructive surgery, leased 1,350 square feet of medical space in the Willows Medical Complex at 131 Kings Highway North in Westport.

Wilton: Emmanuel’s Kitchen and Bath leased 2,109 square feet of retail space at 1 Danbury Road. The company’s showroom opened in June. Also in Wilton, Alex and Leo, a delicatessen, leased 1,102 square feet of retail space at 17 Danbury Road. The space was previously occupied by a Blimpie submarine sandwich shop.

Hamden: Virginia Shea has leased 3,600 SF of commercial space at 21 Pershing Street in Hamden for an Athletic Training Facility and Simulated Golf. The tenant signed a one year lease with a value of $20,000. The landlord is Elm City Management and The Proto Group was the sole broker.

Derby: Pet Valu Inc. has leased 3,200 SF of retail space in the Aldi anchored shopping center on Pershing Drive in Derby. The 10 year lease was valued in excess of $675,000. RHYS Commercial represented Pet Valu Inc. and The Proto Group represented the landlord, Pershing Partners, LLC. 

Wallingford: Shimmer, a new salon leased 1,100 SF of retail space at 775 North Colony Road in Wallingford. The tenant signed a 5 year lease with options, the value was in excess of $75,000. D’Angelo’s Real Estate is the landlord and the Proto Group, LLC was the sole broker in the transaction.

Old Saybrook: John Cafasso of Colliers International’s Hartford Office represented SBS Properties LLC of Madison in its sale of 599 Middlesex Turnpike in Old Saybrook, to 599 Middlesex, LLC. The purchase price was $1,085,000. The building will be converted to medical use and The Proto Group LLC represented the buyers.

New Haven: Kate’s Klips has signed a five year lease for 1,539 square feet at Amity Plaza Shopping Center, 172 Amity Road, New Haven. Kate’s Klips will operate Great Clips in the location. Dan Charest of Acre Group represented the landlord Wellmakara LLC. The Proto Group represented Katie’s Klips.

Cheshire:  Brian Godin of Godin Property Brokers, recently represented both parties in the sale of a 2,000 square foot Office/Warehouse Condominium located at 325 Sandbank Road, Cheshire . The buyer is a local investment group

Waterbury: Ed Godin Jr, SIOR of Godin Property Brokers, represented the buyer in the $325,000 sale of a 60,000 square foot industrial facility on 3.5 acres at 15 Boyden Street in Waterbury. The former commercial uniform and laundry facility is well located with excellent access to Interstate 84 and Route 8 Highway. The new buyer, Riverbank Construction, is an investor with other Connecticut holdings. They are renovating the facility and repositioning it for multiple tenants. Godin Property Brokers has also been retained to provide the marketing and leasing of the project. The seller was G & K Services Inc.

Fairfield: David Cervero, associate vice president and Ralph Michel, senior vice president of HK Group completed the sale of the property at 348 Black Rock Turnpike. for $1.3 million.  The property consists of a 2,663 s/f restaurant known as Black Rock Oyster Bar & Grill. 348 Black Rock Turnpike sits on .25 acres.  The Black Rock Oyster Bar & Grill was active at the time of the sale. The sellers were FCCW, LLC and Baylor LLC and the buyers were Ahabs Table LLC and Black Rock SoHo, LLC.  The buyer will continue to operate the restaurant/bar under a new name. Michel and Cervero represented the buyer.  Audrey Longo of Guttman Realty Advisors represented the seller.

Fairfield: Angel Commercial, L.L.C., completed the sale of a 24,866 s/f commercial office building located on 1.05 acres at 418 Meadow St. for $2.9 million. Senior vice presidents at Angel Commercial, Brett Sherman, CCIM, represented the seller, and Lester Fradkoff represented the buyer. Owned by BAO Partners, LLC, the building was purchased by Julian Enterprises, headquartered in Milford.

West Haven: Kristin Geenty, SIOR, President of The Geenty Group, Realtors and Arnold Grant, MAI of Arnold J. Grant Associates announce the Sale of 5 Water Street, West Haven, Connecticut, known, since 1953 as the Headquarters of the Bilco Company.  

Kristin Geenty represented members of the initial development team, Sheldon Gordon and Matt Armstrong, known collectively as The Haven, LLC, who purchased the Bilco property as the key parcel to their future development: The Haven, a proposed upscale outlet mall.  The Three Acre property with 116,000 square feet of office and manufacturing buildings sold for $3,100,000.00  in January of 2016.

Milford: The Geenty Group, Realtors, reports a lease of 800 SF at 225 Research Drive, Milford. The tenant is Guy Presler of Cali Customs, LLC. The Tenant will use the space for his screen printing business for T-shirts and the like. The landlord is D’Amato Investments, LLC. Bill Clark, Senior Vice-President at The Geenty Group, was the sole agent in this transaction.

North Haven: DanMar Construction, which specializes in building construction and renovation, has leased office space at 88 Old Broadway in North Haven, in a deal brokered by Levey Miller Maretz. Steve Miller, principal at Levey Miller Maretz, represented both the tenant and the landlord in the deal. DanMar Construction leased 480 square feet of office space from Mario Gambardella. DanMar is a family owned and operated construction firm that also offers full design services.  The company does ground-up work, as well as remodeling, excavation, additions and roofing for residential and commercial properties.

New Haven: A new barbecue restaurant has opened in downtown New Haven, thanks to a deal brokered by Levey Miller Maretz. Shawn Reilly of Levey Miller Maretz represented the buyer and the seller in the deal, in which Albert Greenwood and Associates bought the business at 969 State Street for $75,000. The 1,200-square-foot site previously housed C.O. Jones Mexican Restaurant for more than a decade. The buyer has opened Bull & Swine New Haven Barbecue at the site, and also operates nearby Oak Haven Table & Bar on State Street.

Brideport1BRIDGEPORT: Things are building up in Bridgeport as evidenced by $1,168,054 in revenue earned from issuing nearly 300 building permits in the city, almost triple from July 2015.

This sharp increase in building permit revenue comes as major economic and real estate development projects get underway. A city press release says, “even more building activity is expected over the next 12 months.”  

The current projects include developments of phase two of the Crescent Crossing housing development on the East Side of Bridgeport, major infrastructure improvements to Bridgeport Hospital, and the Polka Dot Theater renovation and conversion into apartments.

janesky

Basement Systems CEO Janesky - Business New Haven Business Person of the year in 2009 hasn’t slowed down yet.

Seymour: Larry Janesky, CEO of Basement Systems, will see his company hit the thirty year mark next year, but the celebration is coming a little early.

The company has just unveiled a new three story 37,000 square foot “Building 9,” a $5.5 million dollar expansion featuring additional office and warehouse space on its fifty acre campus in Seymour.

Janesky was Business New Haven’s Businessperson of the Year in 2009 when he told us “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” That philosophy has worked well for the combined companies, which have more than $100 million in annual sales and 400 dealers in three countries.

The company’s Connecticut Basement Systems division services Connecticut and Westchester directly with basement waterproofing, crawl space and foundation repair. Janesky has said employment at the company, which exceeds three hundred employees, has increased by 50 staff members in the past twelve months. 

In addition to directly providing services to homeowners, the company franchises the Basement Systems name and provides systems and products to dealers.

The Seymour staff support the dealers with products and training and the new facilities, which include the company’s third warehouse, will also house new training facilities for dealer contractors.

Janesky explained how problems he saw with wet basements helped form the basis for his company when we first wrote about him in 2009, and how the challenges of wet basements and older foundations led to his company’s success, “that made me think about new products — new and better draining systems, new and better sump-pump systems, basement flooring systems, basement wall, paneling and covering systems, basement window products — we innovated in all those areas and took the industry to a whole different place than it had been before.”

Janesky says he didn’t want to add a mundane building, telling the media at the opening, “Building 9 is a glass, blue-and-white warehouse with a 9-foot stainless steel globe out in front that mirrors the one from the (1964) World’s Fair.”

 The Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties third-quarter market report was released earlier this month. Some highlights of the report include:

• Connecticut’s rental market remained strong with signed leases are up 4.6 percent year over year.

• There was a nine-percent increase in the number of sales over $5 million in the third quarter when compared to the third quarter of 2013.

• The inventory of homes priced over $5 million increased now making up 17.2 percent of current active listings in the luxury market.

• Contracts signed — the leading indicator of real estate activity — increased in the condominium market year over year by 4.2 percent.

• New housing permit data provided by the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), shows a 17.4-percent increase year over year for single and multi-unit residential housing through August.

• There were 8,461 closed sales for single-family homes during the third quarter, up 10.7 percent from the previous quarter.

The entire report may be found at bhhsneproperties.com.

 

 Following a half-dozen years in the doldrums, greater New Haven appears on the precipice of a renaissance

 

Greater New Haven is experiencing a surge in economic-development activity unseen in the region in half a century.

One may attribute the wealth of new projects to demographics or the region’s location. But credit also needs to be extended to Yale University, business supporters and a longtime effective if not always well-loved mayor, John DeStefano Jr.

Recently retired Yale president Richard Levin spearheaded a two-decade-long effort to revitalize what was a financially challenged university when he took over the corner office of Woodbridge Hall in 1993.

His efforts to forge a better relationship with the city of New Haven found a partner in DeStefano, and their two-decade-long partnership in reinvigorating the city center is now bearing fruit across the New Haven region. More work needs to be done and the battle especially for jobs and overall economic growth is challenged by the state of Connecticut and New England’s sub-par economic growth. But literally billions in current and future investment demonstrate that the economic future of south-central Connecticut is looking brighter than it has in many years.

 Perhaps no development in the region has posed a more pleasant surprise than the Haven. A 350,000-square-foot development housing 100 “high-end” stores and restaurants, the Haven is expected to cost $200 million in West Haven’s Water Street district, off the Kimberly Avenue exit of I-95.

The developers — Greenwich-based  Sheldon Gordon and Dallas real estate investor Ty Miller — have cobbled together a 25-acre waterfront location from more than 20 property owners and are expected to break ground in 2015 with an opening date slated for 2016.

Today the area decidedly low-end and industrial, a neighborhood best known for the tiny but popular Sandbar Seafood restaurant, a no-tell motel, a marina and on Water Street itself the Bilco Co.

The City of West Haven, which has sold 4.7 acres to the developer, projects that 1,200 jobs will be created by the development and will yield $3 million in annual tax revenues.

Developer Gordon has undertaken successful high-end projects across the country including the Shops at Mohegan Sun, new outlet stores at Foxwoods Resort Casino, the Bridgemarket in Manhattan and the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, thought to be the most successful mall in the country.

Access-door manufacturer Bilco is among the companies that will be selling land for the new development. Bilco is exploring a new location in West Haven and beyond. The company says it needs approximately 12,000 square feet for its headquarters’ 65 employees. Bilco’s manufacturing is no longer done in Connecticut, but in Truman, Ark. and at a recently opened plant in Zanesville, O.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has provided $200,000 for brownfield remediation on Water Street, at the site of a former oil company. The feds and the state together granted $2 million in 2012 for the West River bulkhead reconstruction project, a 462-foot section of the 1,400-foot wooden bulkhead at 105 Water Street with a new steel bulkhead, which consists of a piling of steel sheets and stands 11 feet above sea level. The project, which is expecting to have a 2,000-car surface parking lot, will require substantial transportation improvements in the area.

Gordon has said negotiations with state officials for better access from I-95 have commenced.

The project is minutes away from Sargent Drive, retail giant Ikea store and the soon-to-be built Jordan’s Furniture. Jordan’s is owned by billionaire investor Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Co., which bought the former New Haven Register headquarters and is expected to have four co-tenants. Jordan’s has a reputation for creating an atypical shopping experience featuring laser shows and an IMAX theater in some locations. The “Disneyland of Furniture Experience” is expected to draw shoppers from far beyond greater New Haven.

The New Haven Register, which now jobs out its printing to the Hartford Courant, is relocating and downsizing from its longtime 220,000-square-foot home on Sargent Drive to the 18,000-square-foot former Star Supply building at 100 Gando Drive in North Haven. The Register first considered a downtown location but even an arm-twisting attempt by city Economic Development Administrator Matt Nemerson couldn’t convince the Register’s Pennsylvania-based parent company to move downtown  in the face of higher rents, limited parking and a dearth of available space.

Nevertheless, the Haven’s 100 stores, “world-class” restaurants” and their big-box neighbors will present tough new competition for both downtown New Haven and Westfield’s Trumbull and Milford malls as well as outlet centers in Clinton and Westbrook.

 

 For most of the past four decades most national retail chains and New York financiers alike had essentially redlined New Haven.

The city’s “reputation” for failed policies and struggling business climate was widely accepted and no major developments or office buildings were built that were not financed by well heeled local developers such as David Chase (Connecticut Financial Center) and David Beckerman (One Audubon Street).

Downtown merchants can remember when the Gap fled one of New Haven’s most visible retail locations (intersection of Chapel and College streets) in 2003. They were followed by Talbot’s, which lasted a bit longer but eventually left, too.

The defections created an impression that New Haven’s downtown wasn’t hospitable to national retailers.

But the city’s retail landscape began to improve and Yale’s University Properties (with 85 retail locations) became more aggressive and now that picture has changed in a big way — likely both helping and hurting local retailers and restaurants.

Apple, perhaps the world’s most desirable retail brand, opened in September 2011 on Broadway. The Urban Outfitters was already open for business in newly re-developed high profile space on Broadway, and along with J. Crew another national fan favorite resides next to the Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Together this fearsome foursome helped turn around the national retail in New Haven failure story.

Today several national retailers have discovered New Haven and not all have been brought to Yale University Properties. Chipotle opened in 2013 in what had been the local restaurant Café Bottega (and an earlier failed attempt at resurrecting the Yale Co-Op) in the Chapel Square Mall at Temple and Church streets.

The ever-so-hip Shake Shack brought its burgers to the home of the birth of the burger (talk about an interloper) in a Yale storefront in 2012, and shopping-center favorite Panera Bread found its way to Chapel Street as well.

All three chains appear to be doing very well, while many of New Haven’s restaurants are operating under increasing pressure for business and as we see a steady flow of restaurant failures and replacements in New Haven.

Even lower Chapel Street — a neighborhood once thought to be impossible to attract national tenants — has two new arrivals.

The really hip (they just opened in Park Slope, Brooklyn — what else do you need to know?) employee-owned 23-store Portland, Me.-based, regional chain Artist & Craftsman at 813-817 Chapel Street is opening this fall in a 6,000-square-foot retail location half a block from the New Haven Green.

The building is owned by Pike International, New Haven’s largest residential landlord. Pike is renovating the upper floors for apartments.

Several blocks up Chapel Street across from the Yale School of Architecture is New Haven’s longtime go-to art store, Hull’s Arts Supply, which will now be duking it out with a much larger competitor.

The cachet of Dollar Tree, the store that sells most everything for $1, is nothing to write home about, but now occupies “prime” space in downtown New Haven.

Dollar Tree has located in the seemingly un-rentable 9,000-square-foot space of C.A. White’s CenterPointe residential and retail development at the corner of Church and Chapel.

CenterPointe apartments filled almost immediately more than a decade ago but the large un-modifiable retail footprint was apparently too much for New Haven’s retail base and the space has stayed vacant.

According to the New Haven Independent, Matthew Nemerson, the city’s economic development administrator, tried to convince C.A. White CEO Michael Schaffer to hold out for a tenant more in keeping with a “hipper” version of downtown. But after ten years Schaffer decided it was time to shake the dollar tree.

The story won’t end there, however. Just a bit down the street at 760 Chapel Street is another dollar store, Family Dollar. The two parent companies just began merger talks with Dollar Tree offering $ 9 billion for Family Dollar creating an $18 billion dollar-store behemoth. Among the issues for the companies and the Federal Trade Commission: overlapping retail outlets.

Even as the dollars started to flow for C.A. White just next door to Dollar Tree, Citibank proved they weren’t too big to fail when in March they stole out of New Haven seemingly in the dark of night. 

Don’t be surprised to see another bank fill the space, however.

Kiko Milano, a cosmetic brand from Italy, and Emporium DNA, a high-end fashion retailer, will open soon at Broadway and York streets. In a surprising turn, both European retailers are using New Haven as a sort of retail beachhead rather than another add-on. Emporium has only four U.S. locations and Kiko Milano three, the closest of each located in New Jersey.

 

 When Higher One welcomed guests in March 2012 to its new Science Park headquarters, it was a somewhat surreal “grand opening.” The $46 million headquarters in the former Winchester Repeating Arms Co. was for this guest marred by the surroundings. In spite of nearly $20 million of state support for environmental remediation, most of the building still stood in disrepair and a pock-marked face of broken windows and bruised brick greeted all those about to enter.

The main entrance for the company would be around the corner in a renovated 140,000-square-foot space — a testament to the sheer scale of the Winchester site.

Today that has all changed as Forest City, with nearly $9 billion of real estate assets nationwide and manages 40,000 apartments, are now marketing 158 mixed-income loft apartments.

Twenty percent of the apartments, supported by a $4 million state grant, are deemed “affordable” and the rest market-rate. They are expected to fetch between $1,475 and $3,300 monthly.

The $54 million project was financed with the $4 million from the state, $10.6 million of equity from the developer, $23 million in loans and nearly $20 million in federal and state (primarily historic) tax credits.

Carter Winstanley developed the site for Higher One as well as a 1,186-space parking garage and 15,000 square feet in 2009 of still mostly empty retail across from the Winchester building.

With the added residential component and the soon-to-be-built new Yale residential colleges with 700 additional students within walking distance, the retail space is expected to become more attractive.

 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.

 The “skin” is up on 100 College Street, future home of Alexion Pharmaceuticals — and heartbeats are beginning to race downtown.

Alexion is the first major step in undoing the divide that many blame for the secular destruction of downtown a half-century ago.

What was once called the Oak Street Connector (officially Richard C. Lee Highway) is a 1.1-mile-long freeway section of Route 34 that begins at the junction of I-95 and I-91 and terminates at York Street, the Air Rights parking garage.

The connector and Route 34 itself turned into a downtown divider, renting a neighborhood asunder and placing a highway right through the city center. The connector would eventually undermine the goals of Mayor Richard Lee in rebuilding downtown New Haven.

For decades the state department of transportation wouldn’t give up the dream, or more importantly the property, on Route 34.

The wisdom brought on by a growing city, an aggressive mayor (DeStefano) and an empowered legislative group finally brought the state and its Department of Transportation to heel, allowing the city to create the vision of Downtown Crossing.

The Downtown Crossing project will replace the “limited-access highway stub that cuts through downtown with a pair of urban boulevards” and get pedestrians and cars on street level again.

One Hundred College Street sits next to Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Yale School of Medicine, and also abuts 300 George Street, home to several biotech companies including Achillion Pharmaceuticals. A public company whose stock is on the rise, Achillion itself may soon spread its wings from a pure research company to a full pharmaceutical developer.

The 100 College Street building will be 500,000 square feet, and cost more than $140 million.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, currently in Cheshire (its present property is on the market), had first committed to occupy 300,000 square feet, but the company later pushed for the project to expand to 500,000 square feet and its own occupancy to 400,000 square feet.

There will be some street-level retail on College Street and the Yale School of Medicine will occupy approximately 100,000 square feet as well.

Alexion currently has a $32 billion market cap,, annual sales in excess of  $1.5 billion and profits of more than $250 million in the past year.

Economic-development officials became nervous, though, when rumors circulated earlier in the year that Alexion was a takeover target by Swiss pharma giant Hoffman Roche.

The idea didn’t go anywhere. The Motley Fool, an investor-oriented media outlet, called the rumor one of the “three most ridiculous” biotech investment ideas of the year. Since then the lift has gotten even harder for a would-be acquirer as Alexion’s market cap increased by 50 percent from $20 billion, making a buyout even more difficult.

It’s not that a pharma giant couldn’t swing the vig: By contrast Pfizer offered $116 billion for Astra Zeneca (which it turned down). But AZ has annual sales of $25 billion and profits of $2.5 billion, making it ten times Alexion’s  size — but only three or four times more expensive.

Alexion is a strong and growing company but it has made its success by developing treatments for rare diseases, not the stuff of “Big Pharma.”

 With the aid of a $5 million grant, the development of a 40,000-square-foot business incubator is taking shape in Hamden and is expected to open by mid-2015.

The incubator is at 496 Newhall Street and will be owned and operated by the Hamden Economic Development Corp. (HEDC). The former school has been abandoned since the early 2000s when environmental concerns were raised about the property. Several proposals to reuse the site as a school were consistently opposed by parents, even as the state DEP awarded the site a clean bill of health.

The incubator is expected to be home to as many as 20 small companies.

The HEDC is expected to provide reception, parking, rest rooms, WiFi, conference space, security, etc. — “all at an affordable rent structure,” it says.

 In early June, Yale University president Peter Salovey said Yale had reached its fundraising goal for the construction of two new residential colleges.

The expansion of Yale College will be the first since 1969 when the university first began to admit female undergrads. Construction is expected to begin in February 2015 and be completed by 2017. The university will add approximately 700 students, an approximately 15 percent increase in undergraduates.

Yale currently admits less than ten percent of applicants. In 1999 that rate was 20 percent.

The buildings have been designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York. Stern is the dean of Yale’s School of Architecture and will follow the design of Yale’s other colleges, what us plebeians would likely call Gothic architecture. The two new colleges will be located north of the Grove Street Cemetery in the triangle comprised of Prospect, Canal, and Sachem streets in New Haven. The original timetable for construction was to be built by 2015 but was set back by the recession and the hit to Yale’s endowment by the financial collapse.

A plan by Yale’s then-president Rick Levin to raise $400 million of new funds to pay for the school was placed in motion. The fundraising effort was set on its way when Charles Johnson (net worth $5.6 billion), retired chairman of the money-management giant Franklin Templeton Investments, which manages more than $800 billion in assets, gave $250 million to Yale for the effort. This was the largest gift ever by an alumnus.

Aside from his mutual fund career, Johnson is also the largest shareholder of the San Francisco Giants, winners of the 2010 and 2012 World Series. Unlike stadium naming rights, however, Johnson will not get his name on either college. Yale policy is not to name a college after a living person.

Nevertheless, controversy over the naming of the two colleges has roiled the campus. Yale and community members have called for a female namesake or for Edward Alexander Bouchet, the first African-American student to graduate Yale College (Class of 1874), and the first American black to earn a Ph.D. degree. (Bouchet was awarded a doctorate in physics from Yale in 1876.)

In making his announcement Salovey said he was ready to go forward and that an additional $80 million had been raised. He added other projects such as a new biology building that had been placed on hold would also go forward, with an opening likely in 2019.

 It is hard to miss the new Yale School of Management (SOM) Building at 165 Whitney Avenue. The 242,000-square-foot Edward P. Evans Hall opened in January, designed by Foster + Partners of New York.

Evans was the son of Thomas Mellon Evans, a New York financier who pioneered hostile corporate takeovers in the 1950s and was a cousin of businessman and philanthropist Paul Mellon.

Edward P. Evans was an executive at several family businesses and CEO of the publishing company Macmillan Ltd. He was also known as a breeder and racer of thoroughbred horses.

Evans Hall sits on 4.25 acres and dominates lower Whitney Avenue, which has attracted both critics and admirers. An inner courtyard brings the outside inside,  the glass walled interior creating a haven for gathering students and faculty.

Its massive size has put SOM on the map in New Haven and throughout the construction industry. It took 2,000 tons of steel, more than 8,000 tons of concrete, 123 miles of copper wire and apparently a lot of doors — 500 in all. (No word at press time if they came from local stalwart Sargent.)

 With a huge increase in retail space expansion regionwide and 2,000-plus residential units coming online in downtown New Haven, clearly an engine of job growth is also needed.

For now, that job is clearly in the hands of the region’s “other” universities.

That fact is no more obvious than with the mid-2013 sale of the former Hubble headquarters to the University of New Haven, as well as Quinnipiac University’s continuing expansion onto the former Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield (now in a sufficiently downsized location on Leigus Road in Wallingford) campus in North Haven.

UNH acquired the 47-acre campus and its 70,000-square-foot building for a new graduate school campus. The satellite campus is located adjacent to the Wilbur Cross  Parkway at exits 55 and 56. The Bergami & Pompea Graduate Center recognized the support of Samuel S. Bergami Jr. a 1985 UNH executive EMBA graduate, and Charles E. Pompea who graduated UNH in 1971 and returned in 1990 for a UNH EMBA as well.

The EMBA program apparently was quite effective as Pompea, 65,  purchased Primary Steel in 1993 and grew it into a $600 million company.

Now “retired,” Pompea is majority owner of the Springfield (Mass.) Falcons, an American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets.

Bergami spent a half-century business career at Alinbal Inc., where he rose from tool-and-die apprentice to CEO and co-owner of the 400-employee manufacturer based in a 200,000-square-foot facility in Milford.

Bergami chaired the UNH Board of Governors between 2006 and 2012 a time that UNH reinvigorated itself. New projects included expansion of the school’s Tagliatela College of Engineering (with major support from another local business leader, Louis F. Tagliatela), the opening of the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science, several new dorms, the David Beckerman Recreation Center and the Bergami Learning Center for Finance & Technology.

North to the shadow of the Sleeping Giant, Quinnipiac President John Lahey proved again he wasn’t letting the school’s well manicured lawns to grow under his feet when the school purchased Anthem’s North Haven campus. The first class entered last fall at the Frank H. Netter, MD School of Medicine with the support of a $100 million investment from the Netter family.

Netter was a surgeon and renowned medical illustrator whose 4,000 medical illustrations grace many books and medical journals.

The mission of the med school is to develop primary-care physicians. The North Haven campus is also home to QU’s other extensive graduate health career programs and Quinnipiac School of Law.

 All this and we still haven’t talked about New Haven’s largest and perhaps most significant development project. Earlier this year city Economic Development Administrator Matt Nemerson confirmed the $400 million multi-phase development is moving forward, powered in part by the momentum of Downtown Crossing and the relocation of Alexion Pharmaceuticals from Cheshire to downtown New Haven (see above).

The ambitious project by Toronto-based Live Work Learn Play will sit on a 4.25-acre site (now surface parking). The former Veterans Memorial Coliseum site will eventually house a 160-room hotel, more than 700 residential rental units, more than 75,000 square feet of retail space and 200,000 square feet of Class A office space. The project’s first phase is expected to house 242 residential units and 39,000 square feet of retail space. Newman Architects of New Haven is the architect for the project. 

Significant city and state improvements for stormwater protection and bringing Route 34 to grade as part of the Downtown Crossing plan are needed to bring the project to full fruition. Confronted by doubters, LWLP CEO Max Reim offered he has more than $1 million of “my own and family money” already invested in the project. Phase I has been projected to be completed by the end of 2016 and the full project by 2020.

 When Joel Schiavone and a couple of Boston-area investors ponied up eight years ago for a parking lot, four houses and a rat-infested former Chinese restaurant at Chapel and Howe streets in New Haven, many observer scratched their heads over the desirability of the area.

Indeed in a recent interview, former mayor and current banker John DeStefano admitted he was in the doubters camp.

Urban pioneer Schiavone has a back full of arrows and his reach has often exceeded his grasp, but once again he’s been proven true on his knowledge of the trail ahead. Now a new $17 million, six-story luxury apartment block with 136 residential units, 92 parking spaces and 5,000 square feet of retail is taking shape on the property.

New Haven has the Shubert Theater, the College/Chapel Street shopping district and a renewed belief in Fair Haven, for which to thank Schiavone. He originally wanted the space for an apartment block, but couldn’t pull financing in the real-estate collapse that followed the 2006 purchase.

This project however is a major step in tying downtown and Yale student apartment-dwellers to Yale-New Haven’s St. Raphael campus. YNNH’s entrance has already resulted in some properties along that end of Chapel being cleaned up and renovated. Just the other day we saw a female jogger heading up Chapel past the construction site toward the St. Raphael’s outpost.

Yale University itself had considered buying the property in 2008 for its own parking needs when it was building the Yale Sculpture & Gallery Building on Howe Street.

The site had originally been tagged by the DeStefano administration for the Arts High School now located on College street, but was pushed back by neighborhood-dwellers who weren’t eager for high school students to invade their community, as well as Chapel Street retailers weren’t eager to lose prime locations.

Yale tucked its building into a tighter space and opposition evaporated.

The back story on the parking lot acquisition is Yale wanted two of the homes demolished as part of its purchase, but wouldn’t put it in the contract. The university apparently didn’t want to blamed for tearing down the properties.

The owner (Schiavone was out of the picture by then) balked at the terms and Yale eventually included a parking garage in the project to meet its needs, the former restaurant did bite the dust.

Real estate sources (see August BNH) said there was interest in the properties from developers from D.C. to Boston.

Randy Salvatore, president of RMS Co., a Stamford real estate firm that constructs and manages residential and commercial properties, including the  “urban chic boutique” Hotel Zero Degrees in Stamford and Norwalk, is developer for the project.

 After a 1995 vote by the State Senate rejecting then-Gov. John G. Rowland’s plan for a casino in Bridgeport, the governor and the state would eventually pledge more than $100 million for Bridgeport development plans.

Steelpointe harbor is a 52-acre site on a peninsula on Long Island Sound. Named after a former steelworks on the site, its development had been a priority of six mayors. The first, Leonard Paolettas, started in the early 1980s but couldn’t advance the plan.

Property acquisition that cleared much of the site began with eminent domain takings in the early 1990s.

The project hit its first road block when Mayor Joseph Ganim was convicted in 2003 on receiving $500,000 in bribes and kickbacks. The feds said the money was to support his gubernatorial campaign in exchange for supporting a group of developers to take over the site. Ganim never got the money as the feds started investigating the developers.
The damage to the project was done, however, and it would soon run into a new headwind: the real estate debacle of 2007, which squashed nearly every major development in the Northeast and beyond.

Bob Christoph of RCI Group, a well heeled Miami developer was tapped by the city to develop the project.

The city and state have put $100 million into buying and clearing properties for what is expected to be a project that tops out at $1 billion.

The plan includes what the city and the developer says will be 2.6 million square feet of housing, 200,000 square feet of office space, 300,000 square feet of hotel and conference space, a 250-ship marina as well 800,000 square feet of retail space.

The city hopes to yield nearly $20 million in annual tax revenues.

The real estate collapse has left the site vacant and ready for some time.

But today the first anchor, Bass Pro Shops, one of the country’s premier destination retailers is now in the building phase with a 150,000-square-foot store costing $68.5 million to construct with the state kicking in an eventual $30 million for improvements and support. Bass Pro is expected to open next year, employing more than 225 people. Christoph says he has attracted support from two hotel companies and other retailers, but no announcements have yet been made.

 Two developers are proposing mixed-use projects that will bind together Wooster Square and downtown New Haven with more than 500 new residences and street-level retail.

 

Currently the boarded-up former Comcast service center at the southwest corner of Chapel and Olive streets will be  demolished and replaced with a new four-story building by Fairfield developer Spinnaker Residential. Community support for the project — which is expected to add 200 one- and two-bedroom apartments with rents in the $1,500-to-$2,000 range and ground-level retail appears strong. The project, however, must first overcome complex zoning challenges before moving forward.

 

With support from City Hall, aldermen and local community members, the project is expected to go forward even as the developer withdrew his application until more I’s are dotted and T’s crossed.

 

With easy access to both the State Street and Union train stations, Wooster Square and downtown the project is seen as replacing a no-man’s land with a bridge to Wooster Square and Union Station.

 

Just down Olive Street, Petra Development is also facing some zoning issues. Its proposal would “create a new neighborhood” including new retail space along Olive and Union Street, townhouses on Fair Street and an apartment block that together would provide a total of 285 new residences, just over the train tracks from downtown and three blocks from Wooster Square.

 

 STORRS — The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees on August 5 unanimously endorsed plans for a new multi-story research building, a large housing complex for science, engineering and math students and a 3,400-foot road extension to link the Storrs campus’ technology park with Route 44.

“Today is really the culmination of all the planning all the work around scientific progress at the university,” UConn President Susan Herbst said.

Science, engineering and medicine are the most expensive fields to invest in because of the highly specialized research equipment they need, said UConn President Susan Herbst in a statement. “But the big picture is that UConn has to boost its research performance,” she said. “There’s no other way to get ahead.”

These projects either are part of “Next Generation Connecticut,” a ten-year, $1.5 billion expansion plan to develop UConn into a leading research university and innovation hub.

A central component of Next Gen involves $162.3 million for what officials have dubbed an “innovation partnership building.” It involves 112,000 square feet in a new, multi-story research building to house cooperative research efforts between UConn students and faculty and private businesses.

 But YTD sales figures decline by two percent

 

 

 

BOSTON — Connecticut single-family home sales posted a 5.8-percent increase for the month of June, marking the fourth time in 2014 that sales have increased year-over-year, according to the latest report by the Warren Group.

 

 

In all, 2,799 single-family homes sold in June, up from 2,646 a year earlier. This marked the best month for sales since August 2013, when 2,897 homes changed hands. However, second-quarter sales decreased by 4.9 percent, with a total of 6,679 sales recorded compared with 7,020 during the second quarter of last year.

 

 

"The housing market in Connecticut is showing signs of improvement as we see the biggest percentage gain in monthly home sales so far this year," said Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr. "Real estate closings in June, July and August are typically the highest of the year as the deals made during the spring selling season get officially recorded. While not robust, the Connecticut real estate market continues to show a solid recovery."

 

 

Year-to-date home sales statewide were down almost two percent. From January to June, a total of 10,887 single-family homes were sold, compared with 11,101 during the same period a year ago.

 

 

Year-over-year home prices fell 3.2 percent in June. The median sales price of a single-family home statewide decreased to $276,000 in June, down from $285,000 in June 2013. The year-to-date median sales price fell 2.0 percent to $250,000, compared with $255,000 during the same period a year ago.

 

 

Quarterly prices were also down 2.6 percent, to $263,000 compared with $270,000 during the second quarter 2013.

 

 

Condominium sales in Connecticut posted a big gain in June, rising almost 14.1 percent from a year earlier. A total of 760 condos sold in June, compared with 666 a year earlier. Year-to-date condo sales were up 3.8 percent to 3,067 from 2,955 a year earlier.

 

 

In the second quarter, 1,883 condos were sold, up 3.1 percent from 1,827 during the same period a year ago.

 

 

The median selling price for condos in June was $180,000, up 2.9 percent from $175,000 a year earlier. The second quarter median condo price fell less than 1 percent to $174,000 from $175,000 in the second quarter 2013. The year-to-date median price of condos in the Connecticut was $166,000, down 1.2 percent from $168,000 a year ago.