LEASES

 

 

Massaging the Numbers

GUILFORD –– Massage Savvy, LLC has leased 1,012 square feet at 2514 Boston Post Road. Joel Galvin of Pearce Commercial Real Estate represented the tenant and the landlord, O'Rylee Enterprises, LLC.

 

 

 

Mexican Restaurant Moves

MIDDLETOWN — LaBoca Inc. has leased 6,000 square feet at 337 Main Street. Trevor Davis, CCIM, of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate, LLC, was the sole broker, representing the tenant and landlord, 337-351 Main St., LLC.

 

 

 

 A Gain for Pain

MIDDLETOWN — The U.S. Pain Foundation has leased 890 square feet at 670 Newfield Street. The landlord is Ottavio & Letizia Monarca. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate, LLC, was the sole broker in the transaction.

 

 

 

 Bysiewicz Leases HQ

MIDDLETOWN — Former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz has leased around 1,500 square feet at 90 Court Street. Bysiewicz is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Joseph I. Lieberman. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate, represented both Bysiewicz and the landlord, Marino Professional Building Inc.

 

 

 

Graphics Firm to Biz Park

OLD SAYBROOK –– Dimensional Communications Inc., doing business as 3D Paper Graphics, has leased 4,643 square feet of office and design space at 20 Research Parkway, a 20,000-square-foot multi-tenanted building in the Old Saybrook Business Park.  Other tenants in the building include General Electric and MedOptions, Inc. Kevin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors, was sole broker in the deal.

 

 

 

 Middle St., Middletown

MIDDLETOWN — Mek-Gar, USA Inc. has leased 7,200 square feet at 905 Middle Street. The landlord is J. Sullivan Properties, LLC. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate, LLC, was the sole broker in the deal.

 

 

 

 Trio of New Tenants

MIDDLETOWN — Middletown Business Park at 340-348 Smith Street has three new tenants. All Star Software has leased 3,250 square feet, Impact Security has leased 1,648 square feet and A&A Office Systems has leased 3,793 square feet. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate, LLC was the sole broker for the landlord, BostonMiddletown, LLC.

 

 

 

 Computer Firm Leases

MIDDLETOWN — Charles Computer Service has leased 2,500 square feet at 98 Washington Street. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate, LLC represented the tenant and the landlord, RAMO, LLC.

 

 

 

 Dance School Pens Lease

MIDDLETOWN — Caffrey’s, LLC has leased 4,000 square feet at 140-5 Main Street, Metro Square. Trevor Davis, CCIM, of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate, LLC, represented Caffrey’s. Nancy Newman of RE/Max Market Place represented the landlord, Metro Square.

 

 

 

 Four on the Floor

MIDDLETOWN Main Street Market, 366-386 Main Street, has four new tenants. The Epilepsy Foundation has leased 1,652 square feet. Easter Seals has leased 1,204 square feet. It Burns has leased  3,231 square feet, and Howard & McMillan has leased 1,424 square feet. The landlord is Main Street Market LLC. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate, LLC, was the sole broker.

 

 

UNH Leases in Orange

 

ORANGE –– The University of New Haven has leased 1,439 square feet of office space at 109 Boston Post Road for their Center for Family Business program. The landlord is Simone Development of Orange, LLC. Fred Messore was the sole broker.

 

 

No Room at the Inn

STRATFORD –– ARI has leased 9,566 square feet at 120 Allen Street, bringing the 19,036 square foot industrial building to full occupancy. Angel Commercial’s Jon Angel represented both the tenant and the landlord, Lamp Realty LLC.

 

 

 

 

 

SALES

 

 

 

Master of Disaster

 

BRANFORD –– Milica Sekerovic has purchased a 2,354-square-foot commercial condominium unit at 65-6 North Branford Road in the Millbrook Business Condominium complex on Route 139 for a flood, fire and disaster repair business. The price was $140,000. The seller was Millbrook Limited Partnership. Kevin Geenty and Kristin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors, were the sole agents in this transaction.

 

New Cheshire Eatery

 

CHESHIRE –– Luca Ristorante, LLC has purchased the Brix Restaurant Facility, a 5,342-square-foot fully equipped facility set on 1.09 acres at 1721 Highland Avenue, for $715,000. Stephen Press of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services represented the seller, BG Associates, LLP. Patti Raffile of Century 21 AllPoints represented the new buyer, who expects to open in early April 2012.

 

 

 Mftg. Firm Buys in Chester

 

CHESTER — East Coast Precision Manufacturing, LLC has paid $300,000 for the Sage Auction Building at 221 Middlesex Avenue. The company will use the 4,176-square-foot building to fabricate plastic components for medical device manufacturers. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate, LLC, represented the buyer.  Steve Milton of Milton Realty represented the seller, ­­Paul Sage.

 

 

 Former Circuit City Sold

 

MERIDEN –– LaserShip has bought 1020 Research Parkway for $1.25 million, or about $29 per square foot, from Bank of America Corp. Built for Circuit City in 1996, the 43,200-square-foot warehouse property was foreclosed on in August 2010 when the retailer went bankrupt. Steven Inglese and Robert Montesi of the New Haven Group represented the seller, Berkadia Mortgage, the lender that foreclosed on the property, and procured the buyer.

 

New Use for Former Mill

 

MIDDLETOWN — C&S Investments, LLC has purchased Sanseer Mill, a 21,000-square-foot complex of updated historic brick and clapboard buildings at 282 Main Street Extension, for $700,000. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate, LLC, represented the buyer and Tranzon Auction Properties represented the seller, TD Bank. Davis will manage the property and the leasing.

 

 

 Start Bank Bldg. Sold

 

NEW HAVEN –– Whalley Redevelopers LLC has acquired 299 Whalley Avenue from SBC 2010-1 REO LLC for $450,000. Jeremy Rosner of Rosner Doherty represented the buyer and seller of the 10,430-square-foot building. The building’s anchor tenant is Start Bank.

 

HANH Sells Grand Ave. Bldg.

 

NEW HAVEN –– Unicast has purchased 620 Grand Avenue from the New Haven Housing Authority for $450,000. Steven Inglese of the New Haven Group was the sole broker in the sale of the 12,000-square-foot building.

 

ORANGE –– The former headquarters of Wallach Surgical Products has been sold and simultaneously leased in a $7 million deal cobbled together largely by Carl Russell of George J. Smith & Son.

 

The 40,600-square-foot building at 235 Edison Road was acquired by TMC Orange, LLC and leased to Numet Machining Techniques. Jon Angel of Angel Commercial represented the seller, Ronald Wallach.

 

“Wallach sold out [the business but not the real estate] a few years ago to Cooper Surgical, which stayed in building for a couple of years then vacated,” Russell explains. “Angel had the listing. I was showing buildings to a tenant that fell in love with it, but could only afford to lease. So I tried to see if I could find someone to buy it.

 

“Sure enough, in my database there was TMC, who I’ve done a lot of work with for 30 years, and their whole business is ownership and management leasing of commercial/industrial properties nationwide,” adds Russell. “I originally showed them the building in summer 2011.

 

“I introduced buyer and [and another potential tenant, Numet] around September 2011, and it was a good relationship from the beginning,” he says. “Both parties saw a way in which they could do business together. We worked toward that and made it to the finish line.”

 

The building, which had been used for surgical device manufacturing, was a perfect match for Numet, which makes high-end parts for the aerospace industry. Its ten-year lease is “in excess of $4.1 million,” says Russell, who says TMC purchased the building for $3.1 million.

 

“Numet is probably going to put in around half a million [dollars] in improvements, including remodeling, and “expects to be fully operation by the middle of April,” Russell says.

 

The transaction is the latest of several recent big deals that have been big news for Orange.

 

Colony Hardware Corp., for example, recently leased 102,000 square feet at 269 Lambert Road, making it the largest industrial deal ever in the town. CBRE’s Michael Dillon and Matt O’Hare represented the landlord, Lighthouse Real Estate Ventures. The Proto Group’s Lou Proto represented the tenant. Colony is relocating from 15 Stiles Street in New Haven.

 

Vacancy rates for light industrial properties in Orange have fallen from 15.3 percent at the end of 2010 to 6.9 percent at the end of 2011 and dropped even lower to 4.9 percent with the sale and lease of the Wallach Surgical property, according to Orange Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Paul Grimmer.

 

 

“I think we’re off to an amazing start [for 2012],” Grimmer says.

NORTH HAVEN — Local residents soon will no longer have to trek to New Haven to dine at Leon’s Restaurant. Owner and executive chef Eddie Varipapa is opening a new 4,200-square-foot eatery in their neighborhood, at 344-354 Washington Avenue. Varipapa recently signed a 20-year lease for the space in a deal brokered by Lynn Weed and Lisa Varipapa of Weed Realtors, who represented Leon's, and H. Pearce Commercial’s Rich Guralnick, who represented the landlord, 354 Washington Ave., LLC.

 

The former Hollywood Video store is being gutted and retrofitted with a new kitchen and seating for 130 to 135, which is about half the size of the downtown original (since relocated to Long Wharf).

 

“I’ve always loved North Haven,” says Varipapa, who decided to open a second restaurant in the area after analyzing market trends showing many of his customers hail from Hamden, Branford and North Branford, and that “people are staying closer to home, and usually travel within a two-mile radius.”

 

Varipapa intends to introduce some branded products in a “small retail section” in his new place, which also will be called Leon’s Restaurant.

“We just came out with three of our own sauces: ‘Quick Sauce’ (tomato-based), ‘Family Sauce’ (with pork and beef) and ‘Lobster Sauce,’ which is unique to the market,” Varipapa says. “We spent a lot of time, money and research to find the right products, using all really, really high-end imported products, and they are endorsed by the American Diabetes Association.”

 

Line extensions will likely include pastas and olive oil, he adds.

 

The new Leon’s menu will be “heavier on the pasta side,” featuring gluten-free and wheat-free options, all made in-house.

 

Varipapa expects open his latest venture in May.

SALES

 

Oak Lane Finds Buyer

WOODBRIDGE –– The Tradition Golf Club at Oak Lane has purchased the former Oak Lane Country Club at 1114-1116 Johnson Road for in excess of $1.45 million. The property will be used, maintained and operated as a public golf course.

 

Chris Nolan and Dave Melillo of H. Pearce Commercial represented the buyer. Tranzon Integrated Property Group represented the seller, the Baldwin family.

 

“The entire country club comprises 170 acres, approximately 94 acres of which was leased to Oak Lane County Club from ownership,” Nolan explains. “The sale included an extension of that lease and the remaining 84.5 acres is what the new buyer purchased, including the clubhouse, tennis courts and swimming pool.”

 

As part of the transaction, there are long-range plans for the eventual sale of the rest of the property to the Tradition Golf Club at Oak Lane, Nolan adds.

 

Guilford Industrial Lease

GUILFORD –– Total Quality Corp. will relocate its corporate headquarters to a 14,400-square-foot industrial facility it has purchased at 320 Soundview Road for in excess of $575,000.  Chris Nolan of H. Pearce Commercial was sole broker in the transaction. The seller was Colonial Colour Inc.

 

Whitney Ave. Med Office

HAMDEN –– Garth Oliver, MD has bought a 2,926-square-foot, two-story office building at 2337 Whitney Avenue for $338,900. Albert Scafati of Press/Cuozzo Realtors, represented both the buyer and seller, Hamden Realty Associates LP.

 

Office Conversion Eyed

WALLINGFORD –– Michael Sheehy of Wallingford has purchased the former headquarters of CSM Cabinetry at 65 South Colony Road for $210,000, and is converting part of it into retail/office space. The seller was BAH Properties, LLC. Chris Nolan of H. Pearce Commercial Real Estate was sole broker in the transaction.



LEASES

 

Staying Put in Hamden

HAMDEN –– Social worker Steven Simon renewed his lease for 1,000 square feet at 2348 Whitney Avenue. Landlord Chris Nicotra of Olympia Properties was the sole broker in the deal.

 

Working Wood in Milford

MILFORD –– Bonamico Woodworking, LLC has leased 800 square feet at 124 Pepes Farm Road. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors was the sole broker. The landlord is D’Amato Investments, LLC.

 

Lower Chapel Law Office

NEW HAVEN –– Attorney Diane Polan has leased 1,200 square feet at 746 Chapel Street. Fred Messore of Colonial Properties represented Polan. Landlord Chris Nicotra of Olympia Properties brokered the five-year deal.

 

CAA Leases on Whalley

NEW HAVEN –– Community Action Agency of New Haven has inked a ten-year lease for 18,000 square feet at 419 Whalley Avenue. Frank Micali of Capitalize 360 Group was the sole broker in the transaction, representing the tenant and the landlord, Mandy Management Inc.

 

Steamed in Stratford

STRATFORD –– Stanley Steemer has leased 10,500 square feet of office and warehouse space at 1480 Stratford Avenue. It is the company’s first branch in Fairfield County. Jon Angel of Angel Commercial represented the private out-of-state owner. Josh Gold of Levey Miller Maretz represented the tenant.

 

W. Haven Industrial Lease

WEST HAVEN ––Woodworking wholesale distributor Wurth Baer Supply Co. has leased 15,500 square feet of light industrial space at 400 Frontage Road. David Gorbach, president of Colonial Realty represented the tenant. Carl Russell of George J. Smith & Son represented the landlord, TMC West Haven, LLC.

 

The partnership between John Wareck and Frank D’Ostilio has blossomed into a national franchise. The veteran brokers, who first teamed up in fall 2011, recently signed on with Real Living Real Estate to become Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate.

 

“We didn’t want to rebuild the wheel,” explains Wareck, who expanded his commercial real-estate brokerage into residential over a year ago. “Frank had done this once, building a residential franchise, William Orange Realty, and selling it to Coldwell Banker in 2005. We wanted not just a branding opportunity with national advertising and support. We also wanted a systems platform and technology platform that would really benefit the office and the agents. We did a lot of research and came up with Real Living.”

 

The national company is a full-service residential real estate firm with “a comprehensive and integrated suite of resources” for  brokers, agents and clients. Among its franchisees in Connecticut are Page-Taft Real Estate in Guilford, Madison and Essex and Five Corners Real Estate in Fairfield and Westchester (N.Y.) counties. 

 

“It’s all Web-based, and really quite extraordinary,” Wareck says.  “Every agent has their own log-in to a supercharged system that any agent can contact from anywhere. All their clients and all their contacts are on their personal site, and they can design their own website and do all their own marketing. It’s a sophisticated system that would cost a lot to build on your own, and you wouldn’t want to do it as a regional company.

 

“Being part of a national organization also gives us outlets,” Wareck adds. “We have a client who wants to buy a home in Florida. Just a year ago, we wouldn’t have been able to help them, so the real advantage is the level of customer service, to seamlessly be able to send them to another agent in our network who has all the tools we do.”

 

The franchise arrangement also includes Web-based and live training.

 

Wareck wouldn’t disclose the financial details of the franchise, saying a confidentiality agreement preventing him from doing so.

“We pay them for their products and services, and I’m not at liberty to discuss the fee structure,” he says.

 

But he stresses Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate is “still quite local, and Frank and I completely control the direction of our company.”

 

The brokerage is decidedly in a growth mode.

 

“In March 2011 I had three Realtors,” Wareck says. “Then I bought Audubon Associates, and that added two, and over the last six to eight months we have added nine, and we’d like to have 20 agents by the end of [2012].

 

Recent additions include customer-service specialist Wendy Hall, Seth A. Hershman, a new agent whose father and siblings are real estate attorneys, and Realtor and IT Manager Joe Cafasso Jr., a former William Orange agent.

 

Wareck says he and D’Ostilio also plan to move from their third-floor office at 129 Church Street to a “more full-service streetfront” venue. They’re currently looking at listings in the downtown area.

 

Residential is not the main focus of the business, according to Wareck, “but it’s where the larger part of our growth is coming from.”

As for when the investment in the franchise is likely to pay off, Wareck says, “We hope to be profitable by the end of 2012.”

The New Haven office market weakened during the fourth quarter of 2011, with overall available inventory growing from 12.2 percent the previous quarter to 12.8 percent of total inventory, according to the latest report from Colliers International.

 

John Keogh, who writes the quarterly report, attributed the change mainly to the growth of Higher One, the financial firm that began vacating 40,000 square feet at 25 Science Park to 142,000 square feet of newly renovated office space at 275 Winchester Avenue (which was not listed as part of the existing inventory, hence the move’s negative impact on the vacancy rate).

 

Otherwise, the office market has followed a familiar pattern of vacancies inching upward along with the weak economy. Rents have held steady, Keogh reports, while landlord concessions have become more prevalent over the last year. However, the office market in New Haven remains significantly healthier than it is in many other parts of the country.

 

Look for further changes. The New Haven Register recently announced plans to sell its Sargent Drive headquarters and move its newsroom somewhere downtown.

SALES

 

Lawyers in Love (with Dwight St.)

NEW HAVEN — Attorneys Chris Demarco and Michael Moscowitz have purchased 131 Dwight Street for $291,250. Frank D’Ostilio of Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate was sole broker for the transaction. The seller was the Coordinating Council of Children in Crises. The lawyers will be using the 4,000-square-foot, 100-year-old Victorian house, on 0.2 acres, for their own law offices.

 

UI Buys Goffe St. Site

NEW HAVEN –– The United Illuminating Co. has purchased a 0.4-acre former gas station site at 46-50 Goffe Street for $265,000, for use as a storage facility. Frank D’Ostilio of Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate was sole broker in the transaction. The seller was Weiser, LLC.

 

 

LEASES

 

Sycamore Is the Way

BRANFORD –– RiteWay Crack Repair, LLC has leased 1,200 square feet of industrial space at 4 Sycamore Way. Joel Galvin of H. Pearce Commercial Real Estate represented both the tenant and the landlord, RCR Enterprises, LLC. Also, East Coast Testing, Adjusting & Balancing, LLC and East Coast Dry Wall, LLC have leased 768 square feet at 11 Sycamore Way. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors, represented the tenants and the landlord, Gray Eagle Corp.

 

From Germany to Branford

BRANFORD — CCIM LQ Mechatronics USA Inc. has leased 12,000 square feet at 33 Business Park Drive for its U.S. headquarters. Its parent company, LQ Mechatronik-Systeme GmbH, a global systems contractor and provider for electro-mechanical equipment for industrial plant process engineering, is based in Germany and has operations worldwide. Rich Guralnick of H. Pearce Commercial represented the landlord, Business Park Realty, LLC. Steven Inglese of the New Haven Group represented the tenant.

 

Good Fit in Cheshire

CHESHIRE –– Cross Fit Cheshire has leased 6,300 square feet of warehouse space at 1755 Highland Avenue. Marty Ruff and Michael Gordon of Levey Miller Maretz were the sole brokers in the deal. The landlord is 1755 Highland Associates.

 

Major Orange Lease

ORANGE –– Colony Hardware has leased 102,610 square feet at 269 Lambert Road. The Proto Group represented the tenant. CBRE’s Matt O’Hare represented landlord, WU/LH 269 Lambert LLC.

 

Angel in Leasing Heaven

FAIRFIELD –– Angel Commercial, LLC started the new year by brokering six leases in 15 days. “There are great opportunities for tenants to lower their occupancy costs and in some cases, upgrade to a higher class of building,” company president Jon Angel said in a statement.

The deals include:

1895 Stratford Avenue, Stratford, where Confirmed Freight (CF) leased 4,456 feet and US Mezzanines & Rack leased 4,500 square feet, bringing the 36,000-square-foot property to 100-percent occupancy. Jon Angel represented the landlord, 1895 Stratford Avenue, LLC in both negotiations. Colonial Properties represented the tenants.

1057 Broad Street, Bridgeport, where the Greater Bridgeport Bar Association (GBBA) has leased 2,000 square feet. Angel represented the tenant and landlord, John Broadcannon LLC.

10 Hancock Street, Stratford, where G&B Shellfish Farm Inc. has leased around 3,000 square feet. Angel represented both the landlord and the tenant.


Alphabet Soup

HAMDEN ­–– The Alphabet Academy has leased the former Colonial Tymes Restaurant property at 2389 Dixwell Avenue.

The 12,000-square-foot building, sited on 1.73 acres, will undergo a complete renovation and is scheduled to open in March. Steve Miller of Levey Miller Maretz represented the property owner, 2100 Whitney Avenue, LLC. Stephen Press of Press/Cuozzo Realtors represented the tenant.  The long-term lease is valued in excess of $1,350,000.


Forever in Blue Genes

NEW HAVEN ––  Transgenomic has leased 22,459 square feet at Five Science Park, replacing a sublease with a direct lease. The company is a spin-off of Clinical Data, which was originally Genaissance. In 2011, Clinical Data was acquired by Forest Laboratories, and Transgenomic was spun off, initially subleasing the space. John Keogh of Colliers International, leasing agent for Science Park, represented the landlord. Shawn McDonough of the Boston office of CresaPartners represented the tenant.


Sweet Deal on High St.

NEW HAVEN –– After testing the waters, Chocopologie has decided to stay in town. The offshoot of a South Norwalk café, which opened last fall as a pop-up restaurant at 47 High Street, has signed a three-year lease for the space, according to landlord, John Wareck of Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate.


Universal Dr. Deal

NORTH HAVEN –– UZID, LLC has leased 6,321 square feet at 222 Universal Drive. Barry Stratton, Kevin Geenty and David Fleischman of The Geenty Group, Realtors, represented the landlord, Branco Inc. John Armellino of Weichert Realtors represented the tenant.

 

Building in Wallingford

WALLINGFORD –– Allied Building Products Corp. has leased 86,036 square feet at 780 North Colony Road. Bob Daglio and David Barnes of CBRE New England and Tom Cromartie of CBRE Atlanta offices represented the tenant. Mark Duclos of Sentry Commercial Real Estate Services represented the landlord, Slomkowski Family Realty LLC.

 

Holding Cort

WALLINGFORD –– Cort Business Services Corp. has leased 12,750 square feet of warehouse space at 4 Northrop Industrial Park Road. Mark Duclos and Sherri Thompson of Sentry Commercial and Jeffrey Maza UGL Services represented the tenant. Kyle Roberts of CBRE represented the landlord, 1070 North Farm Road, LLC.

 

Kamco Relocates 

WALLINGFORD – Kamco Supply Corp. of New England is relocating its headquarters to a 9,279 square foot building at 2 Barnes Industrial Park Road South. Mark Duclos and Larry Levere of Sentry Commercial represented the tenant. David Barnes of CB Richard Ellis represented the landlord, WE 2 Barnes LLC.

From a single modest real-estate deal Roberta Hoskie has built a thriving multifaceted business

 

Everything ties together. And you could say it was a few fateful decisions and an entrepreneurial spirit that has helped Roberta Hoskie get where she is today.

 

Hoskie started her property management firm Outreach Property Management along with her sister Tameka Hoskie-Robinson from her home in 2004, and has since expanded her business to include bus tours, community events and even a real-estate school.

 

It was 15 years ago that Hoskie, then an 18-year-old single mother, bought her first house — a four-family on Norton Street — to move up the economic ladder from subsidized housing. She didn’t realize at the time it would plant a seed out of which grew a passion for real estate.

 

“If I told you I knew what I was doing back then, I’d be lying to you,” she says from the boardroom of Outreach’s Whalley Avenue office. “The only thing I knew was that I needed to provide for my son, and I didn’t want to live in the apartment I had — I couldn’t be a statistic.”

Hoskie purchased the house for $80,000, and lived on one floor while renting out the others. It wasn’t for another few years that she looked up the value of the house — and discovered it was actually worth a whopping $300,000.

 

“That was when I understood the power of real estate and what it can do for you,” she intones before excitedly declaring, “Of course I sold it! It was the biggest check I had received at one time; I’ll never forget that.”

 

Having caught the real-estate bug, she used the proceeds from the sale to invest in more properties. She is still passionate about affordable housing, having created Outreach Foundation, a non-profit advocacy group for affordable housing for low- to moderate-income families, which she said will be a big focus for 2012.

 

“My first apartment was affordable housing, and that allowed me to go back to school,” she says. “If I didn’t have that, I would have been trying to work two or three jobs, or at McDonald’s. I understand the power of it, and I’m very passionate about my community and giving back, because I’m born and raised in New Haven.”

 

Not that starting her own company didn’t already require a huge leap of faith, but at the time she was already making six figures while working at New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she helped establish the East Coast Division of the Department of Pediatrics’ Office of Research and Development, which subsequently was awarded $20 million in federal and state grants. She laughs off the risky move today.

 

“It was like I was blindfolded then jumped off a cliff,” she laughs. “But I thought if I could help bring in $20 million, I should see what I can do for myself.”

 

While Outreach manages rental properties throughout Connecticut, Hoskie says 85 percent of its properties are in New Haven. Like most property managers, she says Outreach is a “landlord for the landlords,” and carries out the basic functions and tasks needed for a rental property, including maintenance work. But Hoskie says she is particular about who she does business with and protective of her brand, having let go of a few contracts in the process.

 

“When I was in the company for about two years I did a very risky thing: I let go of one-third of my portfolio,” she says. “When you start in a business you take everything you can get, but there is a certain standard we have. They were slumlords and I couldn’t have my brand associated with that.”

 

It’s an innovative and creative edge that she says has helped the business thrive, and the quarterly Rental Bus Tours are a perfect example; gathering prospective tenants onto several chartered buses that spend the day touring available properties throughout the county in efforts to rent more apartments more quickly. The passengers are even shown a pre-recorded video introduction from Hoskie as they go on their way (which she demonstrates in an appropriate game show-host voice).

The last tour had more than 50 people attend, and the response was exactly what was wanted.
“We made our quota for the month in one day,” Hoskie says with an understated pride. “We were able to rent a good number of apartments while doing something fun at the same time. You build a lot of different stories, and I can create wonderful relationships.”

 

Even those who don’t rent that same day often come back. She says Outreach has about 3,800 tenants throughout New Haven County, and Hoskie says its hard even to go to the grocery store without running into someone Outreach has helped find a place to live.

 

Her own outreach extends to motivational speaking, as Hoskie becomes more sought-after to address different groups, particularly professional women’s groups and budding entrepreneurs, but she particularly enjoys talking with high school-aged girls.

She’s even keen on putting the power in others’ hands as well; she started the Outreach School of Real Estate last year, and averages 15 students per eight-and-a-half-week session, Hoskie uses properties in the city to help her students connect to textbook concepts. She’d love a higher enrollment but is still proud of the numbers, having seen other programs close because they couldn’t attract even five students. She’s already seen two of her students move on to start their own real estate investment business.

 

But getting information out to people doesn’t stop there. Every summer, Outreach throws its HOPE (Housing Opportunity for People Everywhere) Community Festival and Housing Summit, a street festival featuring live music and performances, food and entertainment for children, and around 40 non-profits and community organizations that each set up booths to disseminate information about themselves.

Visitors can utilize the festival to find out about programs for housing and financial assistance, counseling and health services, as well as government assistance. There’s even a raffle that will pay the winner’s rent or mortgage for the month.

 

“There are more than 500 non-profits in New Haven, and they’re all doing wonderful things for the community,” Hoskie says. “But they’re all here, and there, and there. So let’s bring them together under one roof and invite the community. You’re more powerful in collaboration.”

 

She is a member of the New Haven branch of the NAACP, and chairs its Economic Development Committee. She (along with the group’s Housing Committee chair) played an instrumental role in forging a partnership with the organization and First Niagara Bank to pledge $7 million as part of a Community Reinvestment Act initiative, which includes funding for a small business/microloan program, and home ownership assistance.

 

“I know what I went through, and if I didn’t have a strong mindset I would have been under a long time ago,” Hoskie acknowledges. “I’ve tried to get funding and got denied. I understand what it takes, so if there’s any way to help others help themselves, and create businesses and jobs that create a stable family environment, then let’s do it.”

 

Jim Rawlings, president of the NAACP’s New Haven chapter, says that stabilizing the housing market is vital to stabilizing the community, and as his organization pushes further for economic equality, the investment from First Niagara makes New Haven “a great beta site for other urban centers.”

 

“We need people with these skills, and with that business acumen to move forward in the 21st century,” Rawlings says. “The work Roberta has done is so important, and she has been an excellent role model of the kind of work we do to help build our community.

 

“These loans to start new businesses give our young people hope, and show them there are opportunities that allow them to become more independent and have options,” he adds.

 

Hoskie has an unmistakably proactive attitude towards obstacles she and the company encounters, preferring to look at the “equivalent or greater” opportunities each challenge might present. She points to an unfortunate episode in early 2009 in which a landlord’s New Haven and West Haven properties were going into foreclosure, which prompted a number of tenants, who now had 30 days to find somewhere else to live, to show up at Outreach’s then-East Street office in need of help. It was in re-placing the tenants and getting them in touch with services and resources they needed that she got the idea for the HOPE festival, the first of which focused on foreclosure and how tenants can be affected.

 

Hoskie says Outreach is looking forward to what may be its best year yet; the company has even started a new branch, Outreach Realty Servicing, which will partner with national developers, with several of whom they are just beginning to forge working relationships. It’s her hope that the company is poised to attain her goal of becoming a multi-million-dollar enterprise.

 

While she is quite proud of her achievements, she stops short of hogging credit for all the positive things Outreach aims to provide the community.

“I learned that you have to take the eyes off of yourself and understand that what you’re doing is about other people,” she says. “I do carry a burden, though, because if we don’t do what we have to do right, someone else is affected. And that’s heavy.”

The partnership between John Wareck and Frank D’Ostilio has blossomed into a national franchise. The veteran brokers, who first teamed up in fall 2011, recently signed on with Real Living Real Estate to become Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate.

 

“We didn’t want to rebuild the wheel,” explains Wareck, who expanded his commercial real-estate brokerage into residential over a year ago. “Frank had done this once, building a residential franchise, William Orange Realty, and selling it to Coldwell Banker in 2005. We wanted not just a branding opportunity with national advertising and support. We also wanted a systems platform and technology platform that would really benefit the office and the agents. We did a lot of research and came up with Real Living.”

 

The national company is a full-service residential real estate firm with “a comprehensive and integrated suite of resources” for  brokers, agents and clients. Among its franchisees in Connecticut are Page-Taft Real Estate in Guilford, Madison and Essex and Five Corners Real Estate in Fairfield and Westchester (N.Y.) counties. 

 

“It’s all Web-based, and really quite extraordinary,” Wareck says.  “Every agent has their own log-in to a supercharged system that any agent can contact from anywhere. All their clients and all their contacts are on their personal site, and they can design their own website and do all their own marketing. It’s a sophisticated system that would cost a lot to build on your own, and you wouldn’t want to do it as a regional company.

 

“Being part of a national organization also gives us outlets,” Wareck adds. “We have a client who wants to buy a home in Florida. Just a year ago, we wouldn’t have been able to help them, so the real advantage is the level of customer service, to seamlessly be able to send them to another agent in our network who has all the tools we do.”

 

The franchise arrangement also includes Web-based and live training.

 

Wareck wouldn’t disclose the financial details of the franchise, saying a confidentiality agreement preventing him from doing so.

“We pay them for their products and services, and I’m not at liberty to discuss the fee structure,” he says.

 

But he stresses Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate is “still quite local, and Frank and I completely control the direction of our company.”

 

The brokerage is decidedly in a growth mode.

 

“In March 2011 I had three Realtors,” Wareck says. “Then I bought Audubon Associates, and that added two, and over the last six to eight months we have added nine, and we’d like to have 20 agents by the end of [2012].

 

Recent additions include customer-service specialist Wendy Hall, Seth A. Hershman, a new agent whose father and siblings are real estate attorneys, and Realtor and IT Manager Joe Cafasso Jr., a former William Orange agent.

 

Wareck says he and D’Ostilio also plan to move from their third-floor office at 129 Church Street to a “more full-service streetfront” venue. They’re currently looking at listings in the downtown area.

 

Residential is not the main focus of the business, according to Wareck, “but it’s where the larger part of our growth is coming from.”

 

As for when the investment in the franchise is likely to pay off, Wareck says, “We hope to be profitable by the end of 2012.”

The New Haven office market weakened during the fourth quarter of 2011, with overall available inventory growing from 12.2 percent the previous quarter to 12.8 percent of total inventory, according to the latest report from Colliers International.

 

John Keogh, who writes the quarterly report, attributed the change mainly to the growth of Higher One, the financial firm that began vacating 40,000 square feet at 25 Science Park to 142,000 square feet of newly renovated office space at 275 Winchester Avenue (which was not listed as part of the existing inventory, hence the move’s negative impact on the vacancy rate).

 

Otherwise, the office market has followed a familiar pattern of vacancies inching upward along with the weak economy. Rents have held steady, Keogh reports, while landlord concessions have become more prevalent over the last year. However, the office market in New Haven remains significantly healthier than it is in many other parts of the country.

 

Look for further changes. The New Haven Register recently announced plans to sell its Sargent Drive headquarters and move its newsroom somewhere downtown.

Celebrating the accomplishments of Connecticut architects and architectural projects

 

 

Each year the Connecticut chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA/CT) confers awards on the most deserving projects by Connecticut-based architects completed during the calendar year.

 

Not all of the built projects are in the Nutmeg State, and not all of those that are in state were designed by Connecticut architects. The awards program encompasses both commercial and residential projects. Awards were also given in the categories of “Preservation” and “Architecture: The Encompassing Art.”

 

Some projects employ a very traditional architectural vocabulary, while others (see Pickard Chilton’s otherworldly — though unbuilt — Iskandar Investment Headquarters in Nusajaya, Malaysia) look unlike any structures most of us have ever seen (or, perhaps, ever will).

 

Jurors for the 2011 awards program were: Simon Jacobsen, Associate AIA, managing design partner of Jacobsen Architecture; Gail Woodhouse of Imai Keller Moore Architects, Boston; and Emmanuel Petit, associate professor at the Yale School of Architecture.

 

 

Built Projects

 

ConocoPhillips West Campus, Houston Tex.

Architect: Pickard Chilton, New Haven

Jury comment: The building is in the tradition of the neo-avant guard. It is an articulated version of Corbusier. The articulation of the volumes that compose the building is convincing. Its relationship to light and to the outside opens up the building; it uses formal repetition where appropriate and a variety of forms. A pristine, clean set of shapes, sunlight, and shadows are at play. There is a sense of layering between glass and the other materials. The building is large but has a sense of openness, and its actual open space is refreshing. A lot of thought went into the building. There is clarity in the distribution of program.

 

Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School, Bloomfield

Architect: Tai Soo Kim Partners Architects, Hartford

Jury comment: The organizing concept is the very strong use of form that provides protective space inside and in the individual classroom. The detailing is suitably simple, as the forms are complex, a relationship appropriate in the building. The parterre is very clear and not boring: the fragmented forms provide clarity and diversity. There is strength in the repetition of the building forms. Multiplied, they take on a whole new value. The plan has an embracing feel to it, reminding one of a covered wagon. The playful shapes of the windows are refreshing, appropriate to out of the box education.

 

Hillside Research Campus, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.

Architect: Centerbrook Architects and Planners, Centerbrook

Jury comment: The strength of this scheme is that it is seemingly loose. The scheme is of volumes that produce good public space and a diverse skyline. There is strength in the concept of forms — forms extracted from Federal architecture; the breaking of the scale of the program is appealing. The arrangement of buildings coming down the hill just as a town would is clever; they are of the hill, not on the hill. The color works well; immense expertise was used in this project.

 

Tokyo American Club, Tokyo

Architect: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, New Haven

Jury comment: The project is an assemblage of multiple and complex pieces that are related by the horizontal ceiling. The Wrightian entrance provides for a welcoming arrival as does the atrium of the building, which is richly programmed. There is a clear love of the scoring of different details in the interior. There is something wonderful in the working of material. There are strong Wright references, yet the outside is simple. The way light enters the building is lovely. The open plan, exterior to interior, works nicely. There is a clear definition of space and use, lots of unique surprises. The building changes gears within itself, yet still maintains order. By a less skilled architect this would not succeed.

 

Single-Family Residential Projects

 

House in Ridgefield, Ridgefield

Architect: Beinfield Architecture, PC, Norwalk

Jury comment: This project is based on simple space and volumetric strategies. It provides a simple but effective stage for collections, a stage setting for the content of the building. The traditional heavy post and beam construction makes sense of the chaos of the collection. The New England barn is ideal for a collection such as this, providing form, but observers can see that something else is going on here. There are two important elements on the outside, the first is the translucent glass link, a very effective rhythm maker and the second is the “sideness” of the scheme, wherein the front is relatively impenetrable, but there is open glazing on the backside, making for a very different experience. The architect was certainly skillful in persuading a Broadway actor to live in a barn.

 

Country Estate, New Canaan

Architect: Roger Ferris + Partners, Westport

Jury comment: There is a very sensitive relationship between the Philip Johnson building and the new addition. The addition is a totally different building; its materiality does not repeat that of the old but makes reference to it. How the building meets the ground is the mark of a confident architect. The project is wonderfully conceptualized: minimalist, but thought through to the smallest detail. It reinterprets Johnson’s idea of proceeding from building to building in an estate; the proximity of the three buildings illustrates the perfect match of the architect’s understanding of Johnson’s house and landscape. This is a success story of what an architect didn’t do. The new work is entirely complementary.  

 

Westchester Waterfront, Rye, N.Y.

Architect: Amanda Martocchio Architecture + Design, LLC, New Canaan

Jury comment: The jury liked the mastery of exterior details; in every corner, the building is pristine. The subtle use of two textures, the small scale details, and massing of the building are very strong. The central glazed wall between the two wings of the building is very successful. The jury liked the simplicity of the house best of all, its simple forms that relate well to each other. Its volumes and play with asymmetry work well, as does the eccentric roof on the tall pavilion that successfully shades the bedroom. It is a tidy, well thought-out project.

 

Water House, Connecticut coastline

Architect: Newick Architects, New Haven

Jury comment: Transformational, this is one of those rare projects that can set a precedent on how to deal with coastal houses built in the 1940s and ‘50s. Painting the building white opened up so many possibilities. This was a thinking person’s project; the jury wished that it had a bigger award to give to the architect. It most successful aspect is the modesty of the new building, in keeping with the modesty of the older building. This approach is taken both in the front and back of the house. The interiors are rigorous, pristine, and a quiet follow-through to the exterior.  

 

Edge House, Warren

Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Jury comment: The jury liked the project scheme and the fact that the initial concept made its way through to execution. The strength of the curved wall and its rectangular punctuation marks made for an evocative scheme, with the long curved wall as unifying element. The crescent form of the building and its cantilevered ends were absolutely site specific. The sense of movement inside and out was very strong. The programmatic dialogue formed a complex dialectic, in which individual spaces take on their characteristic. The building was done with inexpensive materials, but was consistently well done.

 

New Canaan Town House, New Canaan

Architect: Joeb Moore + Partners Architects, Greenwich

 

Jury comment: This project has exquisite detail; the architect knows how to use materials. Volumetrically it is a hybrid, using hybridity to produce views from the inside of the house, back to the outside, establishing a relationship between inside and out and making the inside interesting. On this very narrow, small lot, the architect found a way to form protection on the sides of the house. On the inside, there is a certain crispness to detailing. The house almost has a human quality to it—with the outside “aggressive” and the inside open and generous. The interior is skillfully detailed: the joining of materials is done well.

 

Preservation

 

Neutra Glen Residence, Stamford

Architect: Joeb Moore + Partners Architects, Greenwich

Jury comment: This project is not a restoration but a renovation that enters into a dialogue with the Neutra house. It respects Neutra’s detailing but inserts minimalist detailing where appropriate, in the kitchen and bath. It is lovely to see work performed by an architect who revered details as Neutra did. For a landmark project like this, the owner and architect have to have a common vision; the new work done exemplified that relationship and takes Neutra into the 21st century.  

 

Unbuilt

 

Urban Greenhouse, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Architect: Newman Architects, New Haven

Jury comment: The jury liked its ephemeral nature. It provided the strength of its concept for its location on an urban waterfront. The project demonstrates how a building can be stripped away, separating land from water. The jury applauded the building for its gesture and spirit.  

 

Iskandar Investment Headquarters, Nusajaya, Malaysia

Architect: Pickard Chilton, New Haven

Jury comment: The project has the schematic rigor and forceful image that an unbuilt project can still have. The roof terrace and screen give formal definition to the building. Its success is based on how it needed to float above ground, so that you would be able to see under and thru it. These are elements that enhance the layering effect. From the point of view of constructability, other than the skin, this is pretty simple with a very contemporary look. The project is not overly articulated, all is within a wrapper.

 

Architecture: The Encompassing Art

 

Lever 1, Warren

Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Jury comment: The lever handle, now under patented manufacture, is sleek and appropriate. Its future use will enhance other projects. It also exemplifies the success of marrying design and technology.  

 

Bronze Pool Fence

Architect: Laura Kaehler Architects LLC, Greenwich

 

Jury comment: The minimal elegance of the fence works with its heavy counterpart, the house, and the softness of the landscape. There is something whimsical about the use of bronze for the fence material. The reference to dune fencing is playful and gives a sense of movement, despite the solidity of the material.  

 

Desk, New Haven

Architect: Newick Architects, New Haven

 

Jury comment: The jury was struck by the elegance of the design, the ability of the desk to function well, and its constructability. This is an unforgiving material that is well joined to itself. It reveals the whole tectonic reality of a piece of furniture.

 

GUILFORD — A Rhode Island real-estate firm has acquired the Page Taft real estate agency, expanding its Connecticut presence.

With the deal, Charlestown, R.I-based Randall Realtors will have 26 offices in southern New England. The company also announced that it is changing its name to the Randall Family of Companies, and it will keep the Page Taft name on the firm’s offices in Guilford, Madison and Essex.

Terms of the transaction were not released.

Family-owned Randall already had three Connecticut offices in Norwich, East Lyme and Mystic. Two years ago, Randall purchased Cape Cod's largest real estate company, Kinlin Grover.

 

Page Taft, Randall and Kinlin Grover are affiliated with the Real Living network, which represents more than 10,000 real estate professionals worldwide. Randall said it also will retain Page Taft's affiliation with Christie's International Real Estate in Connecticut.

 To delight of urban gourmands, Elm City Market opens at last

 

 

NEW HAVEN — The long-awaited Elm City Market finally opened its doors at 360 State Street on November 5. The store anchors the street level of 360 State Street, the city’s newest and largest residential development. At 32 stories the second-tallest structure on the city skyline, 360 State houses 500 apartments, enclosed parking and more than 30,000 square feet of commercial space. Among retail tenants it is also the home of the Devil’s Gear Bike Shop, recently selected by Bicycling Magazine as one of the top 100 bicycle shops in America.

Developer Bruce Backer says that the apartments are renting ahead of schedule and are about “Eighty-percent occupied. We’re adding a percent or two each month.”

The gleaming new market has 14,000 square feet of selling space and 10,000 feet of backroom operations. The selling floor includes a bakery and deli and looks far different from most supermarkets with distinctive black and silver décor.

A wide variety of distinctive food items and locally produced and sourced food products such as Chabaso and Whole G breads are available.

Becker originally sought a small supermarket tenant for the space, but when that failed to materialize he helped to organize a “co-op” ownership. Some 800 owner/members who paid $200 each for an “equity payment” proudly sported identity pins on the opening day. Membership entitles them to special discounts and to what is hoped to be an annual “cash back” payment

Noted Becker who organized the effort and arranged the $7 million in financing to build and open the market, “A similar coop in Burlington, Vt. paid a five-percent dividend back to members last year.”

Webster Bank provided $4 million of the financing, and the 360 State Street pension fund owners put up the rest. The store is expected to employ approximately 90 workers. The construction contractor was Chapel Construction.

The union pension fund owners of 360 State recently filed a lawsuit against the city of New Haven over its $5 million annual property-tax assessment. Estimates by the city’s Department of Economic Development had been for approximately $1.8 million when the project was submitted to the Board of Aldermen for approval.

Mayor John DeStefano Jr., who did not attend the market’s opening, has criticized Becker and the market’s all-volunteer board for not providing for union representation of the workers at the market.

 


WEST HAVEN –– Northside Development Co. has purchased a 15,000-square-foot shopping center on 2.5 acres at 1209-1225 Campbell Avenue for $2.2 million.

There were no brokers involved in the sale, according to Northside owner Paul Denz, who acquired the property from Sunrise Plaza Enterprises.

The center has three buildings and is directly across from the University of New Haven (UNH) campus.

Denz has renamed it Charger Plaza, a nod to the school’s sports teams. He is renovating about 7,500 square feet in one building, a two-story, 10,000-square-foot structure, buildings “for UNH to use for their language programs,” and says he has spent roughly $500,000 to build out classroom space and rebuild parking areas.

“The larger plan is still in the works, but it may include taking down a building and building them a larger developments at the site, possibly an office or additional classroom space,” Denz says. The other two buildings could become “office, classroom and maybe some retail” space.

ELS Educational Services Inc. will use the facility, according to UNH chief financial officer George Synodi.

“They are not a UNH entity but they’ve been on our campus for years, providing English-language services to international students not ready to matriculate,” Synodi explains. He estimates that approximately 150 students, most of them undergraduates, will attend classes there, and perhaps one-quarter of those eventually will matriculate at UNH.

The school is providing the space to ELS, and is leasing it from Northside Development.

The arrangement grew out of the university’s need to expand.

“Our enrollment has exploded, and we have a space crunch on campus,” Synodi says. “We looked at purchasing that facility and were about to move forward, but thought it would be better to keep it on [West Haven] city tax rolls.”

That’s when Denz stepped in to buy the shopping center.

“The bigger picture for us is developing the neighborhood in an around our campus and to do it in such a way to protect the tax base and improve the neighborhood,” Synodi says. “Hopefully just a first step in our development.”

Denz sees the project as “an excellent opportunity for UNH to move down into Allingtown.

“And it great for Allingtown, which is in need of some sprucing up,” he says. 

 FAIRFIELD –– Angel Commercial, LLC is touting the closing of seven transactions in 40 days, including leases, subleases, sales and bankruptcy dispositions.

President Jon Angel attributes the activity to several factors, including high vacancy rates, high inventory leading to lower occupancy costs and upgrades to better buildings, and a greater interest in purchasing real estate by companies that had previously always leased buildings.

Among the transactions:

• Aurora Products purchased a 75,530-square-foot building at 205 Edison Road, Orange for $2.5 million. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court appointed Angel to handle the disposition of the former Finlay Jewelry building. Angel also represented the buyer, which packages natural and organic dried fruits, nuts, granolas and trail mix.

• Floor Shore Inc. leased an 11,000-square-foot building at 320 Quarry Road, Milford for a new distribution center.

• Hawley Management Group purchased an 8,000-square-foot building at 816 Honeyspot Road, Stratford for $440,000 and subsequently leased 6,000 feet to Stonehenge Marble & Granite, LLC. Jon Angel represented Bove Enterprises, LLC, while Angel commercial sales associate Patrick Bourque represented Hawley and Stonehenge.

 NEW HAVEN –– The overall office vacancy rate in the Elm City stalled at 12.2 percent during the third quarter of 2011, the same rate as the second quarter, according to the latest market report by John Keogh of Colliers International, which tracks 57 commercial buildings in New Haven. Keogh describes the third quarter market as “fairly healthy,” noting a volume of transactions “high for New Haven’s usually quiet market,” and says start-ups accounted for much of the leasing activity, along with relocations of companies within the city limits.

The largest lease was for 15,000 square feet, representing the entire second floor, of 4 Science Park by the Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology, a new non-profit providing vocational training for teenagers and adults. Precipio Diagnostics also took 7,500 square feet on the third floor of the same building.

Keogh says non-profits are accounting for an increasing number of leases in the city, and are “quickly backfilling spaces” vacated by for-profit businesses.

SALES

 

 Mixed-Used Bldg. Sale

GUILFORD –– A Fairfield County investor has paid $1,585,000 for a mixed-used building at 993-995 Boston Post Road that includes a Citizens Bank branch, hair salon, personal fitness center and eight apartments. The building is fully leased. Joel Galvin of Pearce Commercial Real Estate represented the buyer, 993-995 Boston Post Road, LLC, and the seller, RCR Enterprises, LLC.

 

LEASES

 

 Branford Biz Park Lease

 BRANFORD –– Win Wholesale Property, LLC has leased 2,000 square feet at 21 Business Park Drive. Kristin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors, represented the tenant, while she and Kevin Geenty represented the landlord, Parish Farms, LLC.

 

Fitness Studio Opens

 CHESHIRE –– PTN Fitness has leased 3,600 square feet at 1029 South Main Street from PTN Fitness, LLC. The Proto Group represented both parties.

 

Metal Firm Leases in Clinton

 CLINTON –– National Sintered Alloy Inc. has signed a three-year lease for 6,250 square feet of manufacturing/warehouse space at 11 Heritage Park Road. Joel Galvin of Pearce Commercial Real Estate was the sole broker. The landlord is Clark Development Corp.

 

 Post Rd. Lures Med Firm

 GUILFORD –– Associated Medical Inc. has signed a three-year lease for 2,000 square feet at 1795 Boston Post Road. Joel Galvin was the sole broker, representing the tenant and the landlord, RCR Enterprises LLC.

 

 Rug Doc Lies in Hamden

 HAMDEN ­– Rug Doctor Inc. has leased 1,250 square feet at 40 Overlook Drive. Joel Galvin of Pearce Commercial Real Estate the tenant and the landlord, Floriano Real Estate, LLC. 

 

Salon Opens in Madison

 MADISON –– Salon Enterprises LLC has signed a five-year lease for 1,620 square feet at 51 Boston Post Road. Joel Galvin of Pearce Commercial Real Estate represented the tenant and the landlord, Elm City Industrial Properties.

 

 Silver City Center Inks Tenant

 MERIDEN –– Cable Management, LLC has leased 6,400 square feet at Meriden Enterprise Center, 290 Pratt Street. Peter S. Shiue of Colliers International’s New Haven office was the sole broker in the deal, representing the tenant and the landlord, 290 Pratt Street, LLC. 

 

Med-Device Firm to Research Dr.

 MILFORD – A medical equipment designer and maker has leased an 800 square feet industrial unit at 181 Research Drive.

 

Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors was the sole agent, representing the tenant, Dan Luttrell, and the landlord, D’Amato Investments, LLC.

 

 U-Drive Draws Cell Phone Firm

 NORTH HAVEN –– UZID, LLC has leased 6,321 square feet at 222 Universal Drive. John Armellino of Weichert Realtors represented the tenant, which provides distribution and sales of cell phones and related products. The Geenty Group’s Barry Stratton, Kevin Geenty and David Fleischman represented the landlord, Branco Inc.

 

 PAC Men to No. Haven

 NORTH HAVEN –– PAC Group has leased 2,000 square feet at 355 Sackett Point Road. The Proto Group represented the tenant. Dave Melillo of H. Pearce Commercial represented the landlord, 355 Sackett Point Road, LLC.

 

 Landscape Firm Sees Green

 NORTH HAVEN –– Mineri Landscaping has leased 2,350 square feet at 355 Sackett Point Road. The Proto Group represented the tenant. Dave Melillo of H. Pearce Commercial, represented the landlord, 355 Sackett Point Road LLC.

 

 New Eatery for W. Haven

 WEST HAVEN –– ID Brazil Restaurant and Churrascaria has leased 3,447 square feet at 241 Elm Street, the former site of Lucibello’s/Giovanni’s restaurant. David Fleischman of the Geenty Group, Realtors, was sole broker in the deal, representing ID and landlord PLLM Property, LLC.

 

 HAMDEN — Described by town economic-development czar Dale Kroop as “the largest redevelopment project in southern Hamden in 25-plus years,” Highwood Square officially opened its doors with a June 3 ribbon-cutting. The facility, located at 953 Dixwell Avenue (across the street from the Keefe Center), is mixed-use artist housing and commercial. The commercial component may be “pedestrian/retail services,” according to Kroop, or arts-related, such as gallery space.

 BRIDGEPORT ­–– Game X Change will be opening a new store at 4344 Main Street thanks to a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan underwritten by the Connecticut Community Investment Corp., which also underwrote financing for its first store at 116 Post Road in Orange.

 BRANFORD –– OR&L Facility Services has been awarded a contract to provide facility management, maintenance and janitorial services for the 600,000-square-foot Church Street Station in Orlando, Fla., which includes a historic train depot, restaurant and entertainment area, an office and retail building and a ballroom facility.

OR&L currently manages and maintains more than 20 million square feet and $8 billion in real estate net worth, including

commercial investment office towers, university campuses, K-12 school districts, state and county government facilities, retail complexes, co-ops and high-rise residential condominiums, office towers, apartment complexes and a theme park.

 SHELTON –– William Raveis Real Estate has donated $153,000 to the William Raveis American Cancer Society (ACS) Patient Navigator Program at the University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC) in Farmington and Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Patient Navigator Program in support of breast cancer patients.

The company raised the funds through an annual golf tournament held at Oxford Greens in Oxford and Nashawtuc County Club in Concord, Mass., and a three-month raffle organized by sales associates and staff.

The navigator program at UCHC began as a free, confidential service in 2006 and received a boost in 2009 when Raveis donated funding for a full-time navigator, who provides guidance for  cancer patients about services ranging from information about treatment options to financial aid and childcare.

"The collective efforts of our sales associates, staff and members of the community in the fight against breast cancer has been nothing short of outstanding," Raveis Chairman and CEO William Raveis said in a statement. "In just six short years, we have been able to raise close to $1.5 million dollars to support this important ACS initiative and positively impact the lives of thousands of breast cancer patients.” 

 SALES

 

Retail Property Sold

MIDDLETOWN ­­–– Dora Holdings, LLC has bought a 9,100-square-foot retail investment property at 695 South Main Street for $418,000. Reno Properties Group, LLC was the sole broker, representing the buyer and seller, Lynnelondon LLC.

 

 

LEASES

 

Taking a Powder

BRANFORD — Trevor W. King has leased a 1,024-square-foot industrial unit at 11 Sycamore Way for electrostatic powder coating. Greg Robbins of William Raveis represented the tenant. Bill Clark, senior vice president of the Geenty Group, Realtors, represented the landlord, Gray Eagle Corp.  

 

 Billing Firm to Branford

 BRANFORD –– Dental Billing, LLC has signed a five-year lease for 4,400 square feet at 21 Business Park Drive. Kevin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors, represented the tenant. Kristin Geenty  and Kevin Geenty represented the landlord, Todd’s Hill Investment Circle.

 

 Geenty’s Clark Brokers Deal

BRANFORD –– Achieve Athletics, LLC has leased 1,024 square feet at 11 Sycamore Way. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors was the sole broker, representing both Achieve and landlord Gray Eagle Corp.

 

 VNA To 1 Hamden Center

HAMDEN –– VNA Community Health Care Inc. has signed a long-term lease for 9,000 square feet at One Hamden Center, 2319 Whitney Avenue, a six-story, multi-tenant, Class A office building. Albert Scafati of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services represented the tenant. Tim Fegan and Dave Hansen of CB Richard Ellis represented the landlord, Hamden Center I, LLC.

 

 Counselors Leases in Madison

MADISON –– Devon MacEachron, Abby Lipschutz and Sally Hines have signed a long-term lease for 1,293 square feet at 17 Woodland Road for a psychological counseling center. Karen Stephens of Page Taft Realtors represented the tenant. Kristin and Kevin Geenty of the Geenty Group Realtors, represented the landlord, Salatto Real Estate.

 

 Techies on Temple

NEW HAVEN –– Affinmark Technologies Inc. has signed a five-year lease for 1,600 square feet on the second floor at 142 Temple Street. “Now the building is 100-percent full,” said Chris Nicotra of Olympia Properties LLC, whose company owns the 58,000-square-foot building, which has a mix of retail and office tenants. Nicotra was sole broker in the transaction.

 

 Five on the Floor

NEW HAVEN ­–– Liberty Community Services has signed a five-year lease for 5,000 square feet of office space at 129 Church Street. Bill Ludwig of Wareck Real Estate represented the tenant. Betsy Brochin and John Tischio of Prudential Connecticut Realty represented the landlord, JMJ Holdings.

 

Software Firm on Chapel

NEW HAVEN –– Broad Stripes, LLC has inked a three-year lease for 1,000 square feet at 746 Chapel Street. Chris Nicotra represented the tenant, an Internet-based software company, and the landlord, Olympia Properties LLC.

 

 Asian Eatery to N.B.

NEW BRITAIN — Alan Fischer, president of Fischer Real Estate, has brokered a ten-year lease between Dallas-based LQ Management, LLC and the Zhan Corporation for a new buffet-style restaurant in the 8,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Famous Dave’s restaurant at the LaQuinta Inn & Suites at 65 Columbus Boulevard. The restaurant will offer Chinese and Japanese food.

 

 

EXCLUSIVE LISTINGS

 

 Sentry Nabs New Listings

ROCKY HILL — Sentry Commercial Real Estate Services has been named exclusive broker for: 235 Dividend Road, a 115,301-square-foot warehouse and manufacturing space on 10.4 acres, which also is available for sale at $4,250,000; 2049 Silas Deane Highway, a 1,880-square-foot office condominium for sale at $219,900 and 101 Corporate Place, a 37,000 square foot building with 2,045 square feet available for lease.

 

 WALLINGFORD — The Courtyard New Haven Wallingford has put the finishing touches on an $800,000 renovation. The work was done to update the 600 Northrop Road property's public spaces including the lobby, restaurant, fitness center, meeting rooms and patio. The highlight of the renovations is the new state-of-the-art lobby which welcomes guests with vivid contrasting colors, including blue, green, copper and red. The traditional front desk is replaced with separate welcome pedestals to create more personal and private interactions when guests check in. The lobby also features a new eatery known as “The Bistro — Eat. Drink. Connect,” described as a new “dining concept” of casual, flexible seating, easier access to food and higher quality, healthier menu options for breakfast, as well as light evening fare, including snacks and a full bar.

 STAMFORD — Connecticut is the sixth most expensive state for rental housing, according to a new report. Betsy Crum, executive director of the Connecticut Housing Coalition, says that her group’s "Out of Reach" report shows that the aggregate hourly wage a family must earn for a two-bedroom apartment that costs no more than 30 percent of their annual household income is $23.37 — or just under $49,000 annually. "Around the state of Connecticut they would have to have 2.8 full-time minimum-wage jobs in order to afford that two-bedroom apartment," Crum says. However, rental costs vary widely across the Nutmeg State, with Stamford having the second-highest rates in the country, while Waterbury is Connecticut's most affordable rental market.

 WOODBRIDGE — The Oak Lane Country Club & Golf Course in Woodbridge is going on the auction block. The facility boasts a 24,000-square-foot clubhouse, 18-hole championship golf course (6,680 yards, par 72; designed by Geoffrey S. Cornish), three pools, eight tennis courts, a groundskeeper’s home and 180 acres of land. (The deal also includes everything from tractors to weedeaters.)

The reason for the sale? The club, apparently, is another victim of a bad economy. As a result of declining membership (at one point the club had several hundred members, but that number has declined to about 200), the 50-year old club, located at 1027 Racebrook Road, is going to be auctioned off at 1 p.m. May 10. The reserve price that must be met  is $1,590,000.

More information about the property and the auction is available at tranzon.com.


Housing starts in Connecticut in 2010 inched their way out of the recessionary trough of 2009, rising 3.9 percent from 3,786 to 3,932 year over year. But that figure, released earlier this month by the state’s Department of Economic & Community Development, remains far below the pre-recession norm, which peaked in 2005 with 11,885 housing permits issued.

 

Local governments across Connecticut also authorized the demolition of 834 housing units, resulting in a net gain of 3,098 units during 2010.

 

The most active areas of the state for home construction were New Haven and Fairfield counties, where 1,019 and 926 housing permits were issued, respectively, in 2010.

 

The most permits for new homes — 478 for the year — were issued by the city of New Haven. But that figure includes a major data-distorter — the completion of a major new residential development at 360 State Street, a mixed-use “green” project that includes 500 rental housing units.

 

The second most active municipality in Connecticut was Danbury, which authorized the creation of 128 new units of housing.

 

In New Haven County, the most new residential units (after New Haven) were green-lighted by Milford, which approved 90 new units. Wallingford (63 new units) and the once-rural but now fast-growing towns of Prospect and Oxford were also engines of housing activity, approving 48 and 45 new homes, respectively, during 2010.

 

 NEW HAVEN –– Although the overall New Haven vacancy rate rose slightly during the first quarter of 2011, growing from 11.6 percent to 11.7 percent, the changes “are insignificant,” according to Colliers International senior broker John Keogh, who cited them in his latest quarterly marketing report tracking the ebb and flow of tenants in 57 office properties. It was the fifth consecutive quarter the vacancy rate has risen.

 

“What you had is this very slow erosion, which didn’t start during the first couple of years of the economic downturn because Yale kept leasing space and the one deal with Covidien [for some 130,000 square feet at 555 Long Wharf Drive] brought vacancy way down, and it didn’t show up until those bigger moves stopped happening,” Keogh explains.

 

The latest big move to “outweigh the erosion” is Higher One, which will vacate its current 50,000 square feet at 25 Science Park next year, when its new 140,000-square-foot headquarters is completed at the former site of the Winchester Repeating Arms Co.

 

Keogh says the city’s vacancy rate is “low relative to what it is elsewhere in Connecticut, and what it is elsewhere in the U.S. — and to what it has been  historically in New Haven.”

 

Lackluster leasing has led to more landlord concessions of late. “In the last three to six months, I’ve noticed there seems to be a greater willingness on the part of landlords to offer free rent or a period of reduced rent at the outset of the lease and tenant improvements,” Keogh says.

 

For the most part rental rates haven’t risen. One exception is 59 Elm Street, which hiked office space from $19 per square foot to $21.50 in the last year.

 

“The market has held up quite well through a protracted period of economic downturn and there are still positive things happening like Higher One,” Keogh says. “But there are some clouds looming in the distance.”

 

The most noticeable cloud is what will happen at 157 Church Street in 2012, when United Illuminating Co.’s lease expires at the Connecticut Financial Center. “They’ve got 240,000 square feet and may keep 40,000 to 50,000,” Keogh says. “Another question is what happens with the Yale development office, which is leasing 60,000 square feet from UI in the building.”

 

Questions well worth pondering.

 

 NEW HAVEN –– To honor its late founder, Herbert H. Pearce and his commitment to community service (see story, page 1), the H. Pearce Co. will hold a May 13 blood drive at locations in New Haven, Branford and Wallingford.

Pearce, who died April 18, “lived 95 full years, rich with dedication to charitable giving,” said his daughter, H. Pearce President and CEO Barbara L. Pearce, “so we decided to celebrate his life in the spirit he would most appreciate. We chose this cause because Herb had leukemia and benefited from transfusions.”

Blood will be drawn May 13, between 12:15 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Red Cross at 703 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the H. Pearce office at 1236 Main Street, Branford and between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. the Pearce Commercial Listing building at 50 South Main Street, Wallingford. 

 NEW HAVEN –– There’s a new venue in town for special events. The lobby of the 24,000-square-foot, three-story, Greek revival-style building with vaulted ceilings at 45 Church Street, former home to Wachovia Bank, has become a setting for weddings, theatrical productions, non-profit gatherings and others.

“We’re still trying to find the perfect tenant, and would like to rent the entire square footage to a single user,” says John Wareck of Wareck Real Estate. “However, we are talking to 8,000-square-foot tenants about the first floor, and we get calls from a lot of nightclubs but we don’t want one there.”

Meanwhile, Wareck is  renting the lobby to single-day users. “The first ones were non-profits, which get a rate as low as $1,500,” he says. “Weddings and catered corporate events can go up to $4,000 a day.”

 WALLINGFORD –– The Campus at Greenhill has a second tenant.

Burns & McDonnell Engineering has signed a 7.5-year lease for 26,000 square feet at the 300,000-square-foot office building at 108 Leigus Road where Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Connecticut inked a ten-year lease with developer Workstage-Connecticut LLC last September for 218,000 square feet. Cushman & Wakefield’s Robert Motley represented the tenant and the landlord in both transactions.

Burns regional administrator Carl James said the Campus will be the New England regional headquarters for the company, which will relocate 85 employees from its current location in Wallingford, and provide “room to grow to 120 in the next few years.”

Based in Kansas City, Mo., the full-service engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting solutions firm is owned by its more than 3,000 employees.

James said the new space has a “significant amount of” natural light, and the open floor plan includes a huge room that can be divided into three conference rooms.

The rapidly growing company began its search for a place to consolidate its Wallingford employees about a year ago, looking in Rocky Hill and other nearby locations.

“We really wanted to stay in the area,” James said. The Campus at Greenhill, which was under construction for the Mortgage Lenders Network USA Inc. before it filed bankruptcy in 2007, fit the bill but didn’t become feasible for Burns until Anthem signed their lease last year.

 NEW HAVEN — Wareck Real Estate has purchased the name and phone number of Audubon Associates, a local residential real estate agency run for 25 years by the late Margaret Brooks. Wareck principal John Wareck became the designated broker for the agency after Brooks died on November, 7, 2010.

“The estate asked me to step in because the two brokers working under Margaret had several deals in the works,” Wareck explains, adding he arranged to acquire the Audubon name and phone number when the company was closed. He also hired its two brokers, Patricia Pierce and Meg Turner, to become the Team Audubon Associates at his agency.

“I didn’t want people they had worked with to lose track of them,” says Wareck, who first met Brooks in the 1970s at the Foote School, where she was his French teacher. In the last year Wareck expanded his commercial real estate business into the residential arena.

 SALES

 

Indust. Condos Sold

NORTH HAVEN — Ron and Renee Randall have paid $214,000 for two industrial condominiums at 222 Elm Street totaling 2,900 square feet. Albert Scafati of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services represented the buyers and the seller, the Three Z Realty Trust I.

 

LEASES

 

Movers Move to Branford

BRANFORD –– The New Haven Moving Equipment Inc. has leased 6,000 square feet at 14 Beaver Road. Kristin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors, represented the landlord, the Joan G. Adams Appointment Trust.  The same firm’s Kevin Geenty represented the tenant.

 New Metro PCS Store

EAST HAVEN ––Zone Wireless Corp. d/b/a Metro PCS, has leased 1,660 square feet at 272 Main Street, the former Pocket Wireless location. David Fleischman of the Geenty Group represented the landlord, SKF Main, LLC. John Faris of CB Richard Ellis-Grossman Retail Advisors of Boston represented Metro PCS.

Bouncing Babies in Guilford

GUILFORD –– Nutmeg Twisters Gymnastics, LLC has leased 10,000 square feet of office/industrial space at 301 Soundview Road. Joel Galvin of H. Pearce Commercial represented the landlord, DAD Brecciaroli LTD Partnership. Kevin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors represented the tenant.

Dixwell Dialysis Center

HAMDEN –– DaVita Inc. has signed a 15-year lease for 9,000 square feet at 3000 Dixwell Avenue for a dialysis center. Cushman & Wakefield senior associate Evan O'Brien represented the tenant and the landlord, Centerplan 3000 Dixwell Ave. LLC.

Centerplan recently purchased the 13,000 square foot building from DECA Properties for $1,625,000, and O'Brien represented both parties in that transaction. Quest Diagnostics occupies some 2,400 square feet in the same building.

 Milford Plaza Inks Tenant

MILFORD –– Nonna’s Pizza has signed a ten-year, $700,000 lease for 3,000 square feet at Milford Plaza, 155 Cherry Street. The deal includes a five-year renewal option valued at $430,000, according to Jonathan Gould, chief executive officer of Stonemar Properties, which owns and manages the plaza.

Saugatuck Commercial Realty and Stonemar Realty Management represented the landlord and First Service Williams of Connecticut represented the tenant.

Nonna’s is making minor modifications the space, previously occupied by Vazzy’s Restaurant, to accommodate its takeout business.

With the new lease, the plaza, anchored by ShopRite Supermarket, Bob’s Department Store and Dollar Tree, is now 94-percent occupied. 

 More Gems for Chapel St.

NEW HAVEN — Arpaia Lang Jewelers has signed a three-year lease for 1,700 square feet, the entire retail space, at 804 Chapel Street, plus around 400 square feet of basement storage. John Wareck of Wareck Real Estate represented the tenant and the landlord, 804 Chapel Street New Haven, LLC. 

 

PEOPLE

 

Several area brokers are recipients of 2010 CoStar Power Broker awards.

Jon Angel, president of Angel Commercial, LLC, earned a 2010 CoStar Power Broker Award for Top Industrial Leasing. This is the sixth consecutive year CoStar Group has selected the company as a top producing brokerage in Westchester County and southern Connecticut.

Albert Scafati and Joel Nesson, senior commercial advisors at Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services, are among the 2010 CoStar Power Broker award winners for Top Leasing Brokers in the Westchester/southern Connecticut region.