HARTFORD — The state’s Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) is seeking applications for a new round of $20 million in funding for the remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites throughout the state.

Developers, municipalities and economic development agencies can request as much as $4 million in grants or $2 million in loans.

Awards may be used for activities such as abatement, demolition, site investigation and assessment, groundwater monitoring and installation of institutional controls, and for professional-services fees associated with redevelopment, including legal, planning, design and consulting.

The deadline for applications is June 30. To learn more visit ctbrownfields.gov/.

  Sales

 

CHESHIRE — R2M Properties, LLC has purchased a 4,816 square feet industrial condo at 1486 Highland Avenue for $230,000. The seller was J. Lin Properties, LLC. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group was sole broker in the transaction.

 

SHELTON — Fairfield Realty Group, LLC has bought a 134,000-square-foot office building at 1000 Bridgeport Avenue for $8.1 million. Jeff Dunne, Steven Bardsley and Erik Edeen of CBRE’s New York Institutional Group represented the seller and procured the buyer, 100 Bridgeport Associates, LLC.

 

WATERBURY — Aijaz Ahmed has acquired a 15,000-square-foot building at 428 West Main Street for $155,000. Brian Godin of Matthews Commercial represented the seller, Joseph Cuda. John G. Famiglietti of Drubner Commercial represented the buyer, who plans to remodel the building into a convenience store.

 

WESTVILLE — Netz USA, LLC has purchased a 6,963-square-foot building at 1400 Whalley Avenue as well as a 4,368-square-foot building at 150 Westerleigh Road from the Ernest Caccavale family for $385,000. The Proto Group, LLC was the sole broker.

 

Leases

 

BEACON FALLS — J-Con Inc. has signed a long-term lease for 18,300 square foot building at 104 North Main Street. Ed Godin Jr. of Matthews Commercial was sole broker in the transaction, representing the high-end specialty woodworking company and the landlord, Meadowbrook Homes Inc.

 

BRANFORD — Planet Barbeque Catering, LLC has signed a three-year lease for 1,250 square feet at 7 Sycamore Way with a drive-in overhead door and office space. Juan Marquez of the Geenty Group, Realtors represented the tenant. Robert Reichner of the Michaud Co. represented the landlord, 7 Sycamore Way, LLC. 

 

NORWALK — Datto Inc. has signed an 11-year lease for 100,398 square feet at Merritt 7 Corporate Park. The company will occupy the fifth, sixth and seventh floors of Building 101, which is one of several of the six buildings extensively renovated last year at the 1.4 million square foot Class A office park.

 

Paul Jacobs, Colin Reilly and Barbara Segalini of CBRE represented Datto, a cloud-based backup, disaster-recovery and business-continuity solution provider. David Fiore and JoAnn Brennan-McGrath of Marcus Partners represented the landlord, Clarion Partners.

 

Datto was subleasing about 50,000 square feet in Building 101, and spent about a year doing “a full market search with CBRE” before deciding to expand its global headquarters in the building and become a tenant, according to David Fiore, a principal with Marcus Partners, which leases and manages the corporate park.

 

“What’s important to note is they are a very young company,” Fiore said. “[Employees’] average age is the low 20s, and they started operations in 2006 in small space in Wilton. When they moved to the (Merritt 7) park they had ten to 20 employees. Today they have a couple of hundred. They’re a great employer, and it’s good to see a very high-growth tech company growing in this area.” 

 

OXFORD — Autonomy Technology Inc. has signed a long-term lease for 10,100 square feet at 353 Christian Street. Michael Dillon of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant, a manufacturer and supplier of electronic components. Ed Godin Jr. of Matthews Commercial Properties represented the landlord, Sippin Management Co.

 

WALLINGFORD — 3PD Inc. (3PD/XPO Logistics) has signed a long-term lease for 20,000 square feet in the Medway Distribution Center at 25 Research Pkwy. Ed Godin Jr. of Matthews Commercial represented the landlord, Benerofe Properties. A Missouri broker represented the tenant, a national last mile delivery service provider.

 

WATERBURY — Texas Roadhouse Restaurant has inked a 15-year lease at 330 Reidville Drive. Ralph Calabrese and Tony Valenti of the R. Calabrese Agency were sole brokers in the deal. The landlord is United of Waterbury Limited Partnership.

 

 DeForest (Frosty) Smith of Pearce Commercial has become a Life Member of the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Institute. The award is given to individuals for their outstanding contributions and long-time service to the organization. Frosty has been a commercial broker for more than 40 years.

Fred Messore has added another feather to his cap. The senior vice president of Colonial Properties does double duty as the economic development director for the town of Seymour, which recently became the winner of one of Connecticut Main Street Center’s 2014 Awards of Excellence. Seymour’s award is for “Renewed Commitment to Main Street,” for its downtown action strategy and Greenway Trail plan.

NEW HAVEN — Harley Hiscock III has joined Dow Realty as a commercial agent. A recent graduate of Colorado State University, where he earned an undergraduate business degree with a concentration in real estate and finance, Hiscock has interned at Dow Realty as a marketing and research analyst intermittently since 2010.

 LEASES

 

Branford Indust. Lease

 BRANFORD –– Frederick Kelly has leased a 1,180-square-foot industrial unit at 4 Sycamore Way. H. Pearce Commercial’s Joel Galvin represented the tenant and the owner, RCR Enterprises LLC.

 

Clark Leases Milford Unit

 MILFORD –– Timothy Kron has leased 800 square feet at 205 Research Drive for office and storage space for his residential and commercial building improvement and maintenance business. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors was sole broker in the transaction. D’Amato Investments, LLC is the landlord.

 

IP Firm to State St.

 NEW HAVEN — DeLio & Peterson has leased 5,5,17 square feet at 700 State Street. John Keogh of Colliers International represented the intellectual property firm. Dave Hansen of CBRE represented the landlord, Acorn Properties.

 

Sci Park Pens 2 Pacts

 NEW HAVEN — P2 Science has renewed and expanded its lease at 4 Science Park, adding 500 square feet of new space to the 1,494 square feet it already occupied. The company is developing chemical processes to convert vegetable oil and other waste materials into soap and similar products.

At 5 Science Park, O’Donnell Programming & Development Co. has leased 3,921 square feet.

John Keogh of Colliers International was the sole broker in both transactions. The landlord is Science Park Development Corp.

 

Second Time Around

SHELTON –– Vatti-Manhattan Group has renewed its lease for 3,494 square feet at First Shelton Place, 1000 Bridgeport Avenue. Jon Angel of Angel Commercial, LLC represented the tenant. Kevin Foley of Cushman Wakefield represented the landlord, Abbey Road Advisors LLC.

 

Pooling Resources

 STRATFORD –– Seaboard Industries Inc. has signed a five-year lease for about 32,000 square feet at 100A E. Benton Street for a pool and spa supply warehouse. Robert Shawah of Baldwin Pearson & Company Inc. represented the landlord, Ernest Trefz. Jon Angel of Angel Commercial, LLC represented the tenant.

 

Betting on Brass City

WATERBURY — AutoPart International has leased 10,000 square foot at 117 East Aurora Street. Vance Taylor of Commercial Realty Group represented the tenant. Bob Bowden of the R. Calabrese Agency, LLC represented the landlord, B&V Realty.

 

Habitat Finds Salvation

WALLINGFORD — Habitat for Humanity has leased the 7,000-square-foot former Salvation Army Thrift Store at 286 South Colony Road. Angie Hulford of H. Pearce Commercial represented Habitat.  The Proto Group represented the landlord, Fulton Forbes Inc.

 

SALES

 

Puppet House Sold

BRANFORD –– The Legacy Theater has purchased the Stony Creek Puppet House, 128-132 Leetes Island Road, for $475,000. Joel Galvin and Leah Boyd of H. Pearce Commercial represented the seller, the estate of James Weil. Lisa Whitney of Calcagni Real Estate represented the buyer.

 

Indust./Flex Bldg. Sold

WALLINGFORD — A 24,794-square-foot light industrial/flex building at 10 Beaumont Road has a new owner. Phil Marshall of OR&L Commercial represented the buyer, Beaumont Road, LLC and seller, ASE Group LLC. The purchase price was $775,000.

 

Pulaski Park Bldg. Sold

WALLINGFORD — Technical Systems Inc. has purchased a 12,004-square-foot industrial building in Pulaski Industrial Park, 116 North Plains Industrial Highway for $515,000. Constructed in 1984, the single-story building is fully occupied. Bernie Dianna of Levy Miler Maretz represented the buyer. Ralph L. Calabrese and Tony Valenti of the R. Calabrese Agency represented the seller, Wells Fargo Bank, NA.

 

W-bury Apts. Fetch $1.75M

 WATERBURY — Laui, LLC has purchased the 66-unit Westview House Apartments, 170 Hillside Avenue for $1,745,000, or nearly $26,500 per unit. Waterbury Carlton Apartments, LLC was the seller. Bradley Ballett of Northeast Private Client Group was the sole broker.

 

 Up to $80,000 available through ‘Re: New Haven’ program

 

NEW HAVEN — The Livable City Initiative (LCI) has launched “Re: NEW HAVEN,” a campaign offering up to $80,000 in incentives to new homebuyers.

The goal is to attract “20- and 30-somethings who are looking to buy starter homes in the city, as opposed to Orange, Branford and Woodbridge, and probably work at start-up companies,” says LCI Executive Director Erik Johnson. “We want to bring the middle class back into the city.

And, Johnson adds, to boost the current city homeownership rate of around 32 percent to at least 35 percent.

“Re: NEW HAVEN” debuted in early May with billboards, posters and a website, renewhavenct.com.

There are three types of incentives for new homebuyers.

One is an update of an interest-free loan program, providing $10,000 for down payments or closing costs for first-time homebuyers, which is 100-percent forgivable if the homebuyer occupies the home for five years. City employees, teachers, police officers, firefighters or military members can receive an additional $2,500.

Another inducement is a loan of as much as $30,000 for qualified energy saving home upgrades, forgivable if the buyer lives in the home for ten years.

The third incentive ties in with the city’s New Haven Promise program, which offers scholarships covering full tuition (up to $10,000 per year) at a Connecticut public two- or four-year college or university. Recipients must be New Haven residents who have lived in the city for a decade, attend New Haven public schools or approved city charter schools, complete 40 hours of community service during high school, have a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher at graduation, a 90-percent attendance record and a positive disciplinary record.

To be eligible for the incentives, applicants’ income must not  exceed 120 percent of the area’s family median income.

“We currently have around $3 million in the current pot of incentive [money],” Johnson explains. “If we demonstrate we are creating home ownership, the state and the board (of Aldermen) will give us more.”

 BOSTON, Mass. — Single-family home sales in Connecticut rose 3.2 percent in March compared with March 2013, according to a new report from the Warren Group. This is the 11th consecutive month of home sale increases in Connecticut.

 

There were 1,583 single-family homes sold this March, a slight gain from the 1,534 homes sold in March 2013. Sales of single-family homes were up by 2.9 percent to date for 2014. Statewide, a total of 4,198 transactions were completed in the first quarter of the year compared with 4,081 in the first quarter of 2013.

   

The median price of single-family homes fell by 8.2 percent in March, selling at $225,000 compared with $245,000 in the same month last year. Prices of single-family homes also declined by 2.1 percent in the first quarter, with a median selling price of $230,000 compared with $234,900 last year.

 

"The continued increase in the number of single-family homes is evidence that the market continues to recover," said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of the Warren Group. "The modest decline in median prices in March is the first decline the state has seen since June 2012. That's makes it an aberration of the data and not the start of new trend."

 

Condominium sales remained robust in March, with an 8.1 percent increase over the same month of 2013. There were 442 recorded sales, up from 409 in March 2013. Condo sales were up by 4.9 percent in the first quarter of the year compared with the first quarter last year. 

 

The median price for a condo fell in March by 3.5 percent to $154,500 compared with $160,000 in March 2013. Overall, the median price of a condo was down slightly by 0.9 percent in the first three months of the year compared with the first quarter of last year.

 The New Haven office market has hit the doldrums.

 

During the first three months of 2014, “A dearth of transactions produced virtually no statistical change from the end of 2013,” according to the Colliers International’s New Haven Quarterly Market Report, which tracks occupancy levels in 60 Elm City office buildings. Overall vacancy in the 5.2 million square feet of office space declined by 1,203 square feet, staying at 15.3 percent of inventory.

 

Cushman & Wakefield’s Q1 2014 New Haven Marketbeat Office Snapshot reports a three point year-over-year rise in New Haven County vacancies, from 15.6 during the first quarter of 2013 to 18.6 percent during the first quarter of 2014, with lackluster leasing activity and “no lease transactions of significance in either the New Haven Periphery or Eastern New Haven County.”

 

Colliers notes the sale of the 17,000 square foot Palladium Building at 135 Orange Street as “probably the most significant event” of the quarter. The price was $1,950,000, or around $115 per square foot. This suggests “Buyers are willing to pay a premium” for prime downtown properties, writes Colliers broker John Keogh, who adds that the new owner, Juan Salas-Romer of NHR Properties, “says he is keeping the building in office use.”

 

Alexion Pharmaceuticals leased 19,217 square feet at 7 McKee Place in Cheshire, Cushman & Wakefield reports, “representing the majority of the leasing activity in northern New Haven County, which had the most leasing of all of the New Haven submarkets” for the quarter.

 

The development of 360 State Street, a mixed-use high-rise building that opened in 2010, has triggered steadily rising values in nearby properties, and the area is “poised for more redevelopment,” according to the Colliers market report.

 

Despite construction underway for the heavily subsidized 100 College Street project, with its 400,000-square-foot headquarters for Alexion, Keogh says the overall trend is creation of living space rather than office space. Nearly 1,000 high-end apartments have come online in downtown New Haven over the last 15 years, and at least 200 more are under construction, including 160 luxury digs at CenterPlan Cos.’ new building at College, Crown and George Streets, which also will have 20,000 square feet of retail space.

 

During the first quarter of 2014, the overall citywide vacancy rate for Class A space was 23.8 percent, according to the Colliers report. That inventory, Colliers explains, consists mainly of general office space unlikely to attract government incentives and “not suitable for research-oriented companies like Alexion that might be attracted to the cluster of medical enterprises around Yale-New Haven Hospital.”

 

The Cushman & Wakefield report expects medical demand to “remain healthy, with requirements from multiple organizations in the area, most of which are set to be fulfilled over the course of the next year or two.” Office space, however, “will be slower to pick up “ and rental rates “will continue to flag.”

 

 Eileen Russell, of the Pearce/George J. Smith Milford Commercial office, has been named the company’s 2013 Rookie of the Year.

“It is difficult, and therefore rare, for a new commercial agent to outperform all new real estate agents, since transactions are lengthy and the learning curve is steep,” Pearce President Barbara Pearce said in a statement.  “Eileen is to be commended for the hard work and sales skills that got her to this point so quickly.”

Russell previously worked as an information technology professional in New York City and Fairfield County, for employers including New York Life, Con Edison, U.S. Trust Bank, Financial Technologies, the NASDAQ Stock Market, ING Financial Services and Pitney Bowes.

 SALES

 

HAMDEN The Bonadies Law Firm has purchased a 3,520-square-foot freestanding office condominium at 3190 Whitney Avenue for $265,000. Robert Errato of Metro Real Estate represented the buyer. Jed Backus and Phil Backus of Backus Real Estate, LLC represented the seller, CIT Corp.

HAMDEN — A 2,188-square-foot office building on 0.17 acres at 2529 Whitney Avenue has changed hands for $314,500.  Stephen Press and Kevin Walker of Press/Cuozzo represented the seller, Dena Khebl and the buyer, 2529 Whitney, LLC.

HAMDEN — The 1,800-square-foot Kamp & Nielsen building at 2935 Dixwell Avenue has been sold for $275,000. Stephen Press of Press/Cuozzo represented the owner, Kamp Family Associates, LLC. Lynn Weed of Weed Realtors represented the buyer, 2935 Dixwell Avenue, LLC.

MIDDLETOWN — Opportunity Real Estate Equities, LLC, has purchased a 4,444-square-foot building at 93-97 Broad Street for $172,000. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate represented the seller, the American National Red Cross. Joe Fazekas of RE/Max MarketPlace represented the buyer.

MIDDLETOWN — Abarientos Middletown Real Estate, LLC, has acquired a 6,084-square-foot building at 80 East Main Street for $377,000. The buyer will use the top floor for a medical office. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate was sole broker in the transaction. The seller was Phillip H.W. Redford.

NORTH HAVEN — RAB Properties, LLC has purchased a 4,000-square-foot office condominium at 250 State Street for $450,000. Chris Nolan of Pearce Commercial represented both the buyer and the seller, BGSM LLC.

SOUTHINGTON — Delmic Enterprises, LLC has purchased a 13,325-square-foot industrial building on 1.34 acres at 24 Robert Porter Road for $757,000, for Target Sports USA, which sells firearms, ammunition and gun-related equipment online. Carol Karney of O,R&L Commercial represented the seller, David Scranton. Carl Berman of NAI Elite Commercial represented the buyer.

 

 

LEASES

 

BRANFORD — There are two new tenants at 23 Business Park Drive. Anchor Science, LLC has leased 550 square feet for a chemical laboratory. Team Tugman WC has leased 2,300 square feet for a wrestling training program. Jeff Vargacheck of Re/Max Right Choice represented Anchor Science. Joe Iammuno of Arnold Peck's Commercial World in Orange represented Team Tugman. Kristin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors represented the landlord, Todd's Hill Investment Circle, LLC.

MIDDLETOWN — Dunkin Donuts has leased 2,140 square feet at 423 Main Street. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate represented the landlord, R. Balaban Realty, LLC. Wayne D’Amico of RE/Max Right Choice represented the tenant.

MIDDLETOWN — Connecticut Underwriters Inc. has leased 8,471 square feet on the second floor of the Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill Estate, 421 Wadsworth Street. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate was sole broker in the deal. The city of Middletown/Long Hill Estate Authority is the landlord.

MIDDLEFIELD — Alpine Environmental has leased 5,000 square feet at 41 Commerce Circle. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate represented the tenant. Kyle Roberts of CB Richard Ellis represented the landlord, CSK Realty, LLC.

MIDDLETOWN — Middletown Business Park has two new tenants. Connecticut Carbide & Tool Service Inc. has leased 2,190 at 432 Smith Street, while FIA Inc. has leased 1,114 square feet at 450 Smith Street. Both tenants were unrepresented. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate represented the landlord, BostonMiddletown, LLC.

MIDDLETOWN — Dance Outfitters and Reality Interactive have become tenants at Main Street Market, 366-386 Main Street. Reality Interactive has leased the top two floors, totaling 6,174 square feet of office space. Dance Outfitters has leased 1,300 square feet of retail space in the market area.  Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate was the sole broker. The landlord is Main Street Market, LLC.

MIDDLETOWN — Five new tenants have taken up occupancy at 438 Main Street. CardFellow has leased 360 square feet, Dwight Norwood leased 302 square feet, Cosys Systems, LLC leased 385 square feet, Ted Mikulski/Empty Lighthouse leased 367 square feet and Daniel G. Diaz leased 912 square feet. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate represented the tenants and the landlord, Hilltop Associates.

NEW HAVEN — A to Z Property Preservation Inc. has leased an industrial condominium at 420 Sackett Point Road. Karen Charest of Calcagni Real Estate represented the tenant. Dave Melillo of Pearce Real Estate represented the landlord, Robert DeMorro.

WALLINGFORD — P&L Realty Associates, LLC has leased 1,500 square feet at Yale Plaza, 950 Yale Avenue. Lisa Golebiewski of Realty Associates represented the tenant. Joel Nesson of Press/Cuozzo represented the landlord, 950 Yale Ave. LLC.

 

 BRIDGEPORT — The long-anticipated redevelopment of the historical Steel Point neighborhood, plans for which have spanned six mayoral administrations in the Park City, may actually get underway this summer. That’s when construction is scheduled to commence on the project’s first anchor, a 150,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops, which sells marine and outdoor equipment.

 

Eventually the city plans to add additional shops, hotels, a public waterfront and more than two million square feet of housing in a project whose total price tag is expected to approach $1 billion.

 

Steel Point sits between the Pequonnock River and the Yellow Mill Channel, bordered on the north by I-95 and by Long Island Sound on the south.

 

All told the city and state combined have spent some $100 million on redevelopment efforts over three decades, but their efforts have been hampered by property disputes, three recessions and a corruption scandal involving Mayor Joseph Ganim, who was convicted in 2003 on charges tat included accepting some $500,000 in bribes and kickbacks.

 The state of the region’s small-business real-estate market

 

The search for rentable space in downtown New Haven may become a bit easier in the near future when two major projects fulfill the need for small businesses looking to establish or expand operations here.

Two projects that have been proposed or are just getting under construction stand to deliver upwards of 100,000 square feet of new retail space and 200,000 square feet of new office space, in addition to the build-out planned within the footprint of Route 34 slated to host several new buildings.

A project to develop the long-vacant former New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum site on George Street took a step closer to startup when the Board of Aldermen unanimously approved a developer agreement last December. Montreal-based Live Work Learn Play (LWLP) proposed a $395 million development featuring residential units, an office tower, a hotel, shops, restaurants and public spaces to fill the 4.65-acre site. Usage will comprise 200,000 square feet of office space, 30,000 to 77,000 square feet of retail space, 1,000 residential units and 160 hotel rooms.

Another project moving forward is development of a parcel of land located at the corner of George and College streets, which will add significant space for downtown retail.

Developer Robert Landino, of CenterPlan College Square, LLC of Middletown, won approval last June from the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals to build a $65 million six-story mixed use building housing 20,000 square feet of retail space and 160 apartments, with underground and street-level parking. The project is slated for completion in August 2015 (see March 2014 BNH).

“We have nearly full occupancy in the Broadway district and on mid- and upper Chapel Street,” says Helen Rosenberg, an economic development officer for the city of New Haven. “The same goes for the Ninth Square area, which is almost fully occupied.”

Rosenberg says the downtown areas most suitable for retail small businesses and street-level office space are located on Chapel Street between Church and State streets. There are a few vacancies on Church Street between George and Crown streets and on Temple Street between Chapel and Crown streets.

Jeff Dow of Dow Realty Co. agrees with Rosenberg and notes that defining what a small business needs may depend on how many employees a company has or how much space it requires to operate.

“The space requirement can vary greatly based on the number of employees,” says Dow. “You can have a two- or four-person company occupy 200,000 square feet or they can occupy 1,000 square feet. In greater New Haven, I don’t think there have been a lot of new businesses. I think there may be more space on the market than there was a year ago. In the suburbs, it’s about the same even for industrial and warehouse space.”

According to a CoStar report furnished by Dow, industrial vacancies in greater New Haven are hovering at nine percent, while the office vacancy rate is slightly below that mark. Retail space vacancies in the area are slightly above five percent in what most real-estate professionals agree is statistical full occupancy.

John Wareck, managing broker/owner of Real Living Wareck D’Ostillio Real Estate, sees New Haven as a vibrant city that is attracting national as well as local businesses that want to locate downtown where there are some spaces for lease.

“Of course there is interest in moving to New Haven,” says Wareck, who also chairs the Commercial Investment Division (CID) of the New Haven Board of Realtors. “Even the national franchises that are coming in, like Pinkberry Yogurt, will have both full-time and part-time employees comprising a small business here on Chapel Street in the former Savitt Jewelers store” at 1064 Chapel Street.

Wareck notes the availability of the former Wells Fargo Bank branch at 205 Church Street that offers 23,000 square feet that can be subdivided.

“We certainly could accommodate small businesses that need 5,000 or 10,000 square feet there,” adds Wareck. “The low vacancy rate is a good sign that New Haven is getting stronger and getting better. However, we’re also losing commercial square footage that’s coming off the market to developers who are putting in residential units. We’re seeing it in a big way at the Wells Fargo Bank building [the former Union Trust building] on the corner of Elm and Church streets, where the bank is the sole occupant of the first floor and the upper floors that were office space are being converted to residential.”

Wareck notes the same thing happened several years ago when the upper floors of the building that houses Citibank on the corner of Church and Chapel streets were converted to residential use. He says many of the floors formerly dedicated to office space in the 900 Chapel Street building have been converted to residential units as well.

“Downtown New Haven is in somewhat of a unique position where there is plenty of potential land development,” says Wareck. “There is the whole Route 34 connector area, where Winstanley is putting up the first building, but they have another eight acres there that could be developed. If there were demands for it, the administration could figure out how to accommodate small business growth there.”

“In the suburban areas outside New Haven, given the recession that’s happened, there are a lot of people who were put out of business or lost their jobs and have started small businesses,” says Rich Guralnick, senior broker of the business development group at H. Pearce Real Estate. “They run the gamut from retail to small service businesses. Over the past two years, I’ve seen an increase in the availability of small retail plazas and flex industrial space in places ranging from Milford to Cheshire to Madison — basically in New Haven County.”

“There’s been a lot of infill by smaller businesses run by people who need a second job where the wife or husband has lost their job,” adds Guralnick. “A lot of these spaces, whether it’s on Route 1 or Route 5, have filled up over the last 24 months, frankly. In most retail markets within New Haven County, namely along Route 1, Route 5 and along State Street in North Haven, have basically filled up. I literally have no more product.”

Guralnick sees the business climate improving for small businesses and the vacancy rate shrinking from where it stood two years ago.

“It’s doing well but at a somewhat lower level within a tenant market, where the tenant has the power versus the landlord,” says Guralnick. “The landlord might have lost a larger tenant using 12,000 square feet and now he’s willing to accommodate three 4,000-square-foot tenants in that same space. All of the service and retail businesses, like a day-care center or a beauty salon, have filled in spaces of 1,000 to 5,000 square feet in the last 24 months.”

Guralnick says that business owners have become more adaptable when looking for space that fits their needs.

“On the service side for flex industrial space, which is swing space that can be used for light industrial or office space, I’ve found that segment of the market has done very well,” says Guralnick. “It’s capturing smaller office tenants that don’t want to pay the big bucks of a Church Street space or Class A suburban office buildings. I’ve seen a lot of doctors, accountants and insurance companies opting not to go to the larger multi-tenant office buildings but instead go to a flex space in suburbia, where there’s no charge for parking. New Haven is a killer for parking, where it costs $150 to $200 per car per month — which can add $5 a square foot to the rent.”

“There’s no doubt that New Haven is moving in the right direction,” says Wareck. “The leasing market is growing stronger and we’re seeing more start-ups in small businesses locate in the city and operate here.”

 

 NEW HAVEN — Celebrity chef Mario Batali may be expanding his restaurant empire to a 2,500-square-foot space at 278 Park Street.

His Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group is seeking city approvals for a Tarry Lodge restaurant.

“The space was originally zoned for a 54-seat restaurant, which is really too small for our purposes,” says Tarry Lodge managing partner Nancy Selzer. “We need 74 seats. We’re also going to be seeking a restaurant liquor license.”

If all the hurdles are surmounted, Selzer adds, the new restaurant will be similar to the Tarry Lodge in Westport, which has a wood-fired pizza oven and is a “more casual style” eatery than the “fine dining” flagship Tarry Lodge in Port Chester, N.Y.

The Batali group is working with Yale, which leases 278 Park Street from St. Thomas Moore Corp.

 

 HAMDEN — The town is seeking developers for the former Michael J. Whalen Middle School property, a 13-acre site containing four buildings and 140,000 square feet.

For an RFP form, contact the purchasing department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The deadline for proposals is 11 a.m.  April 25.

 NORTH HAVEN — More than 15 H. Pearce Real Estate agents and staff recently prepared and served dinner for 100 residents at Columbus House, a local homeless shelter. The company says such volunteer work exemplifies the Pearce’s ongoing commitment to community service.

 SALES

 

BRANFORD — May Pasqualoni has purchased the Shoreline Laundromat, 20 Alps Road for $30,500. Frank Greco and Mike Boyarsky of Colonial Properties represented the seller, Heather Vause. The buyer was unrepresented.

 

BRANFORD —  The U.S. Army has acquired 15 acres for an Army Reserve Training Center at 777-779 East Main Street. The sale price was $3,706,850. Part of the 86-acre Bittersweet Farm site, the parcel was sold by Bittersweet Partners, LLC. The Proto Group was the sole broker in the transaction.

 

MERIDEN — Phoenix Realty Group has teamed with PCCP, LLC to purchase Newbury Village, a 180-unit multifamily community at 211 Pomeroy Avenue, for $27.5 million.

Phoenix will manage the property, which will undergo an upgrade and has been renamed Alvista Willow Brook.

Jeffrey Dunne, Patrick Carino and Mike Stone of CBRE represented the seller, Winthrop Realty Trust, and procured the buyer.  

 

MILFORD —  Paradigm Milford LLC has purchased a 175,000-square-foot property on 16 acres at 265-269 Old Gate Lane for $1,695,500.

John Bergin, Carl Russell, and DeForest Smith of H. Pearce Commercial represented both the buyer and the seller, U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Haven.

The buyer also has assumed an outstanding tax lien of more than $1 million due to the city of Milford.

Formerly used by Aerosols Techniques Inc., the property had been vacant for 18 years.

 

NEW HAVEN — The APT Foundation has purchased a 27,640-square-foot office building at 495 and 517 Congress Avenue for $2.8 million. Steve Miller of Levey Miller Maretz represented the buyer. Frank Hird of OR&L Commercial represented the seller, 495 Congress LP and Mortgage Investors V, LLC.

 

NEW HAVEN — Grand Market, LLC has acquired a  7,659-square-foot retail plaza at 240 Grand Avenue for $475,000. Phil Marshall and Toby Brimberg of OR&L Commercial represented the seller, Peoples United Bank. The buyer was unrepresented.
 

ORANGE — Jone Heo and Jiyenu Sung have purchased a 9,700-square-foot strip mall at  512 Boston Post Road for $940,000. The sellers were James and Margaret Lu. Joseph Han of Weichert Regional Properties was the sole broker.

 

WALLINGFORD — Wallingford Business Park LLC (WBP) has acquired Wallingford Business Park, 718 North Colony Road for $4.55 million.

Naugatuck Wallingford, LLC sold the 389,000-square-foot property. Dan Garofalo of Reno Properties Group (RPG) was sole broker in the deal.

RPG has a contract with WBP to manage the business park,  including plans to increase the property’s energy efficiency.

 

WATERBURY — Pashtan Properties, LLC has purchased 122-134 East Main Street for $960,000. The four-story, 19,816-square-foot building houses four storefronts and 12 apartments. John Famiglietti of Drubner Commercial represented the buyer and the seller, Wolfpitts Associates, LLC.

 

 

LEASES

 

BRANFORD — Shoreline Center for Family Counseling & Psychotherapy, LLC has leased 2,688 square feet at 9 Business Park Drive. Barry Stratton of the Geenty Group, Realtors was the sole agent. The landlord is Bellaire Properties, LLC.

 

BRANFORD — The Westview Company, LLC has leased 1,024 square feet at 11 Sycamore Way. Branford. The landlord is Gray Eagle Corp. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors was the sole agent in the transaction.

 

GUILFORD — World Champion Taekwondo has leased 1,200 square feet at 639 Boston Post Road. Kristin Geenty of the Geenty Group represented the tenant. Juan Marquez of the Geenty Group represented the landlord, Childress & Duncan, LLC.

 

HAMDEN — Highwood Square at 953 Dixwell Avenue has three new tenants. Hamden Dental Case signed a five-year lease for 1,467 square feet, Hamden Health Insurance Store penned a two-year lease for 477 square feet and Jeremy Chandler inked a two-year lease for 412 square feet. Fred Messore of Colonial Properties was the sole broker. The landlord is Highwood Square Limited Partnership.

 

MERIDEN — The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut has leased 11,236 square feet in the Meriden Enterprise Center, 290 Pratt Street, to house its administrative offices and a common meeting space for Episcopalians from around the state.

Peter Holland of Goman + York Property Advisors, LLC represented the diocese. Peter S. Shiue of Colliers International represented the landlord, 290 Pratt Street, LLC. 

 

MILFORD — Coastal Canine Grooming, LLC has signed a two-year lease for 800 square feet at 253 Naugatuck Avenue. Frank Greco of Colonial Properties was sole broker in the deal. The landlord is Albert Faustini Family Trust.

 

MILFORD — Hobby Lobby Stores has signed a ten-year lease for 43,148 square feet at 1777 Boston Post Road, a building formerly occupied by Sports Authority. The lease value is more than $5.6 million .The Proto Group represented the landlord, 1777 BPR Associates Limited Partnership. Rob Robledo and Kevin Higgins of CBRE/Grossman represented Hobby Lobby.

 

NEW HAVEN — Jordan's Furniture has signed a 20-year lease valued in excess of $16 million for 197,581 square feet at 40 Sargent Drive, the former New Haven Register building.  This will be Jordan’s first store in Connecticut. Tim Fegan and Rob Robledo of CBRE represented the landlord, 40 Sargent Drive, LLC. The Proto Group represented the tenant.

 

NORTH HAVEN — Rockville Bank has signed a 15-year lease valued in excess of $1.3 million at the North Haven Shopping Center, 117 Washington Avenue.  There will be a new 2,500-square-foot bank branch and a 2,500-square-foot second-floor loan office at the location. Jay Fisher of Accubranch (real estate experts for banks and credit unions) represented the bank. The Proto Group represented the landlord, Luciani Realty Limited Partnership.

 

ORANGE — Sun West Mortgage has signed a three-year lease for 2,000 square feet at 263 Boston Post Road. Brita McGee of Colonial Properties represented the landlord, Consolidated Management, LLC. Dick Brown of Remax Right Choice represented the tenant.

 

OLD SAYBROOK — Interior Partitions Specialist, LLC has leased 1,793 square feet at 20 Research Parkway. Barry Stratton of the Geenty Group, Realtors represented the tenant. Kevin Geenty of the Geenty Group represented the landlord, Mill Meadow Development, LLC.

 

ROCKY HILL — Sally Beauty Supply has signed a ten-year lease for 2,029 square feet at Town Line Plaza, 80 Town Line Road.  Dan Neaton of Saugatuck Commercial represented the landlord, Acadia Realty Trust. The Proto Group represented, and is exclusive broker for, the tenant.

 

WEST HAVEN — Sangam Beauty Salon has leased 750 square feet at 973 Boston Post Road. Brita McGee and Frank Greco of Colonial Properties were the sole brokers. The landlord is 973 Orange Avenue, LLC.

 

WEST HAVEN — The Happy Lung has leased 736 square feet at 97 Campbell Avenue. Fred Messore of Colonial Properties was the sole broker, representing the tenant, which sells e-cigarettes and upscale juices. The landlord is the Peschell family.

 

WEST HAVEN — The Tortilla Villa Inc. has leased 4,000 square feet at 107 Campbell Avenue. Fred Messore of Colonial Properties was the sole broker in the transaction. The landlord is the Peschell family.

 

WEST HAVEN — Attorney Benita Lee has leased 736 square feet at 486 Derby Avenue. Fred Messore of Colonial Properties was the sole broker. The landlord is 486 Derby Avenue, LLC.

 

 Nine consecutive months of home-sales hikes for state

 

 

Single-family home sales in Connecticut rose 2.0 percent in January, according to a new report from the Warren Group, publisher of The Commercial Record. This marks nine consecutive months of home sale increases in the Nutmeg State.

 

There were 1,435 single-family homes sold in the month of January, up from 1,402 in January 2013. More home sales were recorded this month than any other January since 2009.

 

 "The modest increase in single-family homes sales for January is smaller than the 6.0 percent increase that was recorded for the full year of 2013," said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of the Warren Group. "We expect to see bigger gains once the spring market gets in full swing. I think there is pent-up demand that will drive home sales upward."

 

The median price for Connecticut single-family homes sold in January was reported at $230,000, unchanged from January 2013.

 

"Median prices have remained flat on a year-over-year basis for three months in a row now," Warren said. "Higher interest rates may be holding down recent price increases. In 2013 median prices rose 8.3 percent."

 

Condominium sales in January fell by 7.0 percent with 387 recorded sales, down from 417 in January 2013.

 

Condo median prices also fell slightly in January. The median price decreased by less than half a percentage to $162,500 compared with $163,000 in January 2013.

 

For additional information visit thewarrengroup.com.

 John Wareck, partner and broker of Real Living Wareck D'Ostilio, was recently elected chairman of the Commercial Investment Division (CID) of the New Haven Board of Realtors. Wareck has worked in the commercial real estate industry for nearly two decades. In 2005, he received a Business New Haven Rising Star award for the Johnson Simons downtown revitalization project. In 2011, Wareck and Frank D'Ostilio Jr. formed Wareck D'Ostilio Real Estate. The company joined Real Living in 2012.

 

 SALES

 

CLINTON — An 11.2-acre industrially zoned site at 30 Old Post Road has changed hands for $700,000. Kevin Geenty and Kristin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors represented the buyer, 30 Old Post, LLC and the seller, 30 Old Post Road Associates.

 

EAST HAVEN — ImagePaper.com, LLC has purchased 463-465 Main Street, a 19,897-square-foot commercial building on 1.15 acres, as well as a 696-square-foot home on 0.15 acres. The sales price was $445,000. The company is relocating from New Jersey. Fred A. Messore, of Colonial Properties was sole broker in the transaction. The seller was JT Ventures, LLC.

 

EAST HAVEN —  Brani and Renato Sekerovic have paid $106,000 for a 1,879-square-foot retail condo at 192 Main Street, where they pair plan to open a beauty salon and spa. Kevin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors represented the Sekerovics and the sellers, Gil and Glena Ames.

 

HAMDEN — Hamden Partners, a New Jersey LLC, has purchased Broadmoor Apartment Homes, a 498-unit, 419,220-square-foot apartment community at 676 Mix Avenue for $58,500,000, or $117,470 per unit. The complex houses 66 studio apartments, 288 one-bedroom and 144 two-bedroom apartments. Institutional Property Advisors (IPA) executive directors Steve Witten and Victor Nolletti advised the seller, Fairfield Apple Hill, a Delaware limited partnership.

 

HAMDEN — Mango, LLC has acquired the Carriage House, 2297 Whitney Avenue, for $836,750. The 19,470-square-foot building on 0.69 acres includes 42 single-room residential units. Ted Schaffer of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services represented the seller, House of Hamden, LLC, and procured the buyer.

 

HAMDEN — A 4,700-square-foot commercial building at 986 Dixwell Avenue has a new owner: 986 Dixwell Holding Co., LLC. The sale price was $385,000. Irfan Ahmed of Sette Real Estate represented the buyer. Stephen Press of Press/Cuozzo Realtors represented the seller, TDR Realty LLC.

 

MILFORD — A 49,625-square-foot flex building at 100 Washington Street has sold for $3.9 million. Jon Angel of Angel Commercial represented the seller, KC Cubed, LLC, and the buyer, 100 Washington Street, LLC. 

 

MILFORD — Bounce Town USA, LLC has leased a 14,576-square-foot light industrial space at 1770 Boston Post Road for children’s events with giant inflatables and a rock-climbing wall. Carl Russell and John Bergin of H. Pearce Commercial represented the tenant and the landlord, M&K Post Road Associates, LLC.

 

NEW HAVEN —  Three Fifty Orange Street LLC has acquired 348-350 Orange Street from the Professional Arts Group, LLC for $1.175 million. Stephen Press of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services represented the buyer. John Keogh of Colliers International represented the seller. The 17,246-square-foot space comprises two four-story townhouses connected in the rear by a three-story building.

 

NORTH BRANFORD — Globe Electric, LLC is relocating its corporate headquarters from East Haven. The company has purchased a new 6,161-square-foot industrial building on 1.65 acres at 285 Branford Road for $500,000. Alan Fischer of Fischer Real Estate represented the seller, Michael Berkun. Jeff Dow of Dow Realty represented the buyer.

 

SOUTHINGTON — Advanta, LLC has purchased a 14,156-square-foot industrial building at 161 Atwater Street for $850,000.

 

Robert Gaucher and Carol Karney of OR&L Commercial represented the seller, Benito Brino. The buyer was unrepresented.

 

WALLINGFORD — HNRSJ, LLC has purchased a 6,600-square-foot caR wash on 1.02 acres at 893 North Colony Road for $1,612,000.  The Proto Group was the sole broker. The seller was Fulton Forbes. 

 

 

LEASES

 

 

ANSONIA —  Better Packages is relocating from Shelton to 4 Hershey Drive, where the company has leased 27,600 square feet of light industrial space. Bruce Wettenstein of Vidal-Wettenstein represented the tenant. Carl Russell of H. Pearce Real Estate represented the landlord, John A. Frey, et al.

 

BRANFORD — Progressive Benefits Solution, LLC has leased 4,500 square feet at 14 Business Park Drive. Lou Proto of the Proto Group represented the tenant. Richard Guralnick of H. Pearce Commercial Real Estate represented the landlord, BRP XIV, LLC.

 

BRANFORD —  Vedran Josic has leased 857 square feet at 71 West Main Street for a cell phone business. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors represented Josic and the landlord, 71 West Main LLC.

 

CHESHIRE — Osprey Strategic Research Group, LLC has leased 1,800 square feet at 1520 Highland Avenue. Tony Valenti and Ralph Calabrese of the R. Calabrese Agency LLC represented the tenant and the landlord, 1520 Highland Partners Inc.

 

HAMDEN — Bruno Distributors has leased 4,000 square feet at 1004-1020 Sherman Avenue. Joel Nesson of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services was sole broker in the transaction. He is the exclusive broker for the landlord, WTE 100 Sherman, LLC.

 

HAMDEN — The Institute of Professional Practice has leased an additional 2,870 square feet at 1125 Dixwell Avenue.  The five-year lease is valued at $180,000.  The Proto Group represented the landlord, Elm City IP Holdings. Steve Wallman of Wallman Realty in Kensington represented the tenant.

 

MADISON — Dan & Joe’s Barber Shop and Meriano’s Bake Shoppe are new tenants at Madison Commons, 200 Boston Post Road. Each signed a five-year lease for 1,260 square feet. Joel Galvin of Pearce Commercial was sole broker in the deal. The landlord is Madison Commons, LLC.

 

MIDDLETOWN — MHS Primary Care Inc. has signed a ten-year lease for 8,660 square feet at 520 Saybrook Road. J. Richard Lee of OR&L Commercial represented the landlord, SPIII Middletown LLC c/o Seavest Healthcare Properties of White Plains, N.Y.  The tenant was unrepresented. The lease is valued at close to $2 million. 

 

MILFORD — L.P. Dwyer & Sons has signed a five-year lease for 2,038 square feet at 338 New Haven Avenue. Carl Russell, Richard Lombardo and Eileen Russell of H. Pearce Commercial represented the landlord, Diamond Realty Associates. Lombardo also represented Dwyer.

 

MILFORD — Connecticut Cabinet Center LLC has leased 800 square feet at 158 Research Drive. The landlord is D'Amato Investments, LLC. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors was the sole broker.

 

NEW HAVEN — Noble Wealth Advisory Group of Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC has leased 4,000 square feet at 321 Whitney Avenue. Stephen Press and John M. Cuozzo, Jr. of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services represented the tenant and the landlord, 321 Whitney, LLC. 

 

NEW HAVEN — Diversified Employment Services has inked a two-year lease renewal for 1,864 square feet at Whalley Commons, 1463 Whalley Avenue. The Proto Group represented Diversified and the landlord, ACL/Smartyale, LLC of Atlanta.

 

NORTH HAVEN — Hertz Corp.'s car rental division has signed a five-year lease for 1,120 square feet at 311 Washington Avenue. Phil Barber Pearce Real Estate Co. represented both the tenant and the landlord, Luigi Ferraro.

 

OLD SAYBROOK — Bikes for Kids Inc. has leased 2,701 square feet at 20 Research Parkway. The non-profit refurbishes donated bikes and distributes them to children in need throughout Connecticut.  Kevin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors was the sole agent. The landlord is Mill Meadow Development, LLC.

 

WATERBURY — Enterprise Rent-A-Truck has leased 2,000 square feet at 184 Kukus Lane. Bob Bowden of the R. Calabrese Agency represented the landlord, Straits Turnpike, LLC, as well as the tenant.

 

WEST HAVEN — The VA Connecticut Health System has signed a ten-year lease for a gated parking lot with 200 spaces at 325 Campbell Avenue. Frank Hird, SIOR of OR&L Commercial represented the landlord, A+A Enterprises.

 

WEST HAVEN — Jianwen Zhang has inked a five-year lease for 1,200 square feet at 38 Saw Mill Road for a nail salon. The Proto Group represented the landlord, Mall-One LLC. Joseph Han of Weichert Regional Properties represented Zhang.

 

WEST HAVEN — Advanced Grow Labs has leased 26,000 square feet at 400 Frontage Road. Fred Frassinelli of AMS Real Estate represented the tenant. Carl Russell of Pearce real estate represented the landlord, TMC Eder LLC. Advanced is one of four state-approved medical marijuana growers in Connecticut.

 

 NORTH HAVEN — The former North Haven Holiday Inn at 201 Washington Avenue is flying a new flag.

A new member of the world’s largest hotel group, the Best Western Plus North Haven Hotel is owned and operated by WNW Hospitality Group. On opening day the hotel received the Best Western Chairman’s Award, the chain’s highest honor for outstanding quality standards, with a perfect score of 1,000. The hotel features 138 guest rooms and five suites. It also houses 8,200 square feet of flexible meeting and banquet space to accommodate corporate confabs, banquets and weddings from 20 to 600 attendees.

 NEW HAVEN — For the third quarter in a row, greater New Haven reported the lowest apartment vacancy rate among 79 metropolitan areas tracked by the real-estate research firm Reis Inc. At the end of calendar 2013, New Haven’s apartment vacancy rate stood at 2.2 percent, down 0.4 percent from 12 months earlier. For the same period, average apartment rent in the market rose 2.5 percent, to $1,154.

For the same three-month period, the average apartment  vacancy rate nationwide was 4.1 percent, according to Reis. The U.S. average rent during the same period was $1,083, an increase of 0.8 percent.

 Deal will phase out city’s contribution over 10 years

 

NEW HAVEN — Ninety-nine years to the day after it first opened its doors to the public, the Shubert Theater was sold by the city to its private operator for $1.

On December 11, in the lobby of the “Birthplace of the Nation’s Greatest Hits,” outgoing New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. officially signed ownership of the College Street theater over to the Connecticut Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA), the non-profit organization that has operated the Shubert since 2001.

Since then CAPA has operated the Shubert on a year-to-year lease, while the city of New Haven maintained financial responsibility for the building’s capital repairs and improvements. For managing and operating the theater the city paid CAPA a $250,000 annual management fee.

However, the last major renovation of the nearly-century-old Shubert took place in the early 1980s, and since then many of the building’s vital systems have become in need of repair, replacement and/or updating. This include the HVAC system, exterior masonry and the exterior fire escape.

The agreement relieves the city of financial responsibility to maintain the building — over time. Over ten the city’s annual contribution to the theater will decline until it terminates in 2024. This arrangement is expected to save the city approximately $5.5 million over this span.

To pick up the slack, the $11 million project is fueled by $4 million from the state, $2.5 million from city coffers and the launch of a $4 million Shubert Centennial Plan by establishing an endowment for continued financial sustainability of the theater.

The Centennial Plan envisions updates and renovations including backstage, back of house, orchestra shell and an additional performance space. City and CAPA officials such improvement could make possible an additional 95 to 180 event days, attracting 35,000 to 50,000 patrons downtown and generating en economic impact in excess of $6 million.

According to a study by Quinnipiac University, the Shubert presently generates close to $5 million in annual ticket revenues and is responsible for some $20 million in economic impact for the city.

“Places like [the Shubert] are important for maintaining a sense of who we are,” DeStefano said. “It’s so much better that this be owned by the community than by city government.”

 Connecticut's inventory of homes in foreclosure ranked fifth in the country in October for the third month in a row, according to a new report by CoreLogic.

During the month, 3.7 percent of mortgaged homes in the state were in foreclosure, roughly even with September but down from 4.4 percent in October 2012.

Connecticut had the nation’s fourth highest inventory in June, following Maine, but tied with that state in July. In August, Connecticut moved down to fifth place.

In addition to Maine, states with higher foreclosure inventories in October included New York, New Jersey and Florida.

 

Construction could begin next summer on $400M development

 

 

NEW HAVEN — A plan to redevelop the former Veterans Memorial Coliseum site took  a major leap forward December 2, when the Board of Alderman unanimously approved it, along with a land transfer agreement with Montreal developer Live Work Learn Play (LWLP).

 

“We’re very pleased and we’re very excited,” said LWLP vice president Richard Martz. “It’s been over three years since we started working on this project, and we’ve invested a lot of time and energy to come up with a plan that everybody supports.”

 

LWLP estimates the total project cost will be $395 million, including $363 million in private funding.

 

According to a city economic impact analysis, if fully redeveloped by 2020 the 4.5-acre site will have 719 residential units, 76,900 square feet of retail space, 200,000 square feet of Class A office space, a 160-room hotel, 785 parking spaces and 52,670 square feet of public space. The entire project also is expected to create 4,676 construction jobs, 2,800 full-time jobs and generate annual sales tax revenues of  $2,340,000.

 

Martz says LWLP now will focus on finalizing plans with Newman Architects for the first part of the project: a public square surrounded by several buildings with first floor retail and upper-floor rental units. Construction could commence as soon as next summer.

 

But advancing from site plan to reality depends on government-funded infrastructure improvements, Martz says. The most important upgrade, he stresses, is the creation of an intersection at the corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Orange Street, where the hotel will be sited. 

 

The new intersection, along with landscaping and other infrastructure improvements, will cost around $33 million, according to city New Haven economic development administrator Kelly Murphy. The city has promised as much as $12 million — up to $5 million for Phase 1 and up to $7 million for Phase 2.

 

Murphy and other city officials and legislators are vigorously lobbying state officials for the rest. “All we can do is make the strongest case for economic return on this investment,” she says.

 

“We tried for a TIGER grant but didn’t get it,” adds Murphy, referring to a fifth round of U. S. Department of Transportation TIGER grant fund the city applied for in June, requesting $12.5 million to redesign the intersection and extend the Water Street bike route to the Coliseum site, among other improvements.

 

In late November, the city sent preliminary designs of  the new intersection to the state’s Department of Transportation.

 

“The next step will be to advance the designs and go out for public input,” according to Chris Canna, city project manager for the Coliseum project. 

 

“Our goal is to begin moving dirt next summer (2014) and target finishing the first phase — the town square and retail — by summer 2016,” Martz says. “Our commitments are very much tied to the infrastructure improvements. Ideally it’s most cost-efficient to do everything at once, but we understand that there may not be enough funding to do it that way. We can do it in phases as long as there’s a commitment to the first half of the infrastructure improvements.”

 

Martz says he is “cautiously optimistic” about obtaining public funding.

 

“I think the state has been very receptive to the project,” he says. “We want to make sure it is shovel-ready next summer so that we’re ready to go whenever we get the green light.”

 

 SHELTON — William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance has purchased 2 Research Drive for $2 million and plans to convert the 55,000-square-foot light industrial building on five acres into a Class A office building for its headquarters.

 

 

Two hundred employees will relocate to the new headquarters from a 20,000-square-foot building at 7 Trap Falls Road in Shelton. Raveis employs approximately 3,200 agents in seven states.

 

The search for a larger space began more than a year ago, according to William Raveis, chairman and CEO of the company.

 

“We looked everywhere in Connecticut,” Raveis said.  “Hartford County, Fairfield County, New Haven County.” After visiting a couple of dozen sites, Raveis discovered the right one “right in our backyard” when he spotted a “For Sale” sign at 2 Research Drive.

 

Raveis contacted the broker, Chris O'Hara of Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT, who represented the seller, Shelton Associates. The vacant building had previously been occupied by Dresser Industries and A.O. Sherman.

 

Raveis described the new headquarters as a “very modern-looking high-tech building with a pyramid glass entrance and interior garden.

 

“It’s something like you would see in Silicon Valley and unlike anything you see in Shelton,” he added. “That’s what I wanted.”

 

The architect is Seung Hyeon Park, principal of Archicord, LLC in Bridgeport.

Raveis said R.D. Scinto Inc. will renovate the building, which involves “knocking down 10,000 square feet” and reducing the footprint to 43,000 square feet. The demolition is expected to begin in late January or early February. Construction should commence in March and take approximately 18 months to complete.

 

SALES

 

$41M for W-bury Shopping Center

WATERBURY — Cole Real Estate Investments Inc. has purchased the Naugatuck Valley Shopping Center, 950 Wolcott Street for $41 million. Jim Koury and Coleman Benedict of Boston-based HFF marketed the shopping center for the seller, DDRTC Naugatuck Valley SC, LLC, and identified the buyer. Stop & Shop and Wal-Mart anchor the 382,864-square-foot retail facility, situated on 50.51 acres. 

 

Advance Auto Parts Building Sold

NEW HAVEN — Hasu Patel has acquired the former Advance Auto Parts building at 222-234 Whalley Avenue for $650,000. The seller was 226 Whalley Avenue Associates, LLC of Woodbridge. The Proto Group was sole broker in the transaction.

 

Investor Buy Orange Property

ORANGE — RTJ Properties LLC has purchased a 9,120-square-foot building at 307 Racebrook Road for  $625,000. Eileen Russell of Pearce Commercial Real Estate represented the buyer. Carl Russell of Pearce Commercial Real Estate represented the seller, RCF, LLC.

ASD Fitness Center has leased around 5,000 square feet in the building, joining tenants Merle’s Record Rack and Ferguson’s Center Ice Sports.

 

Brass City Bldg. Sold

WATERBURY —  Icarus II, LLC has purchased a 28,314-square-foot building at 969 West Main Street for $855,000. Michael Guidicelli of Regions Commercial, LLC represented the buyer. Gerry Matthews of Matthews Commercial Properties represented the seller, Russell Associates.

 

 

LEASES

 

Psyched Up in Branford

BRANFORD — Psychiatrist J. Craig Allen and psychologist Mark Bono have leased 700 square feet at 765 East Main Street. Kevin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors was sole broker in the transaction. The landlord is Captiva, LLC. 

 

Getting a Foot in the Door

BRANFORD — Connecticut Foot & Ankle Associates has leased 2,000 square feet in Lakeview Center, 249 West Main Street. Richard Gold and Phil Marshall of OR& L Commercial represented the landlord, Lakeview Center Associates, LLC. The tenant did not use the services of a broker.

 

Law Firm Leases in Branford

BRANFORD — The law firm of Licari, Walsh & Sklaver, LLC has leased approximately 2,400 square feet at 322 East Main Street, a 50,000-square-foot Class A office building. Ted Schaffer and Joel Nesson represented the tenant.  Steven Inglese of the New Haven Group represented the landlord, 322 East Main Street, LLC.

 

Auto Dealer Inks 5-Year Lease

MERIDEN — Go Auto Centers of Meriden has leased a 4,350-square-foot building on 2.2 acres at 171 South Broad Street.  The Proto Group, LLC was sole broker in the transaction for the former automobile dealership. The five-year lease is valued at $376,000. The landlord is 171 South Broad Street Meriden, LLC.

 

No More Sitting on Fence

MILFORD — Fence Me In, LLC has leased 1,500 square feet at 33 Eastern Steel Road. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors was the sole broker. The landlord is Connors Properties, LLC.

 

CrossFit Milford Expands

MILFORD — CrossFit Milford has signed a lease renewal and expansion totaling 10,900 square feet at 49 Research Drive, bringing the 23,000-square-foot building to 100-percent occupancy, according to Jon Angel of Angel Commercial, who was the sole broker in the transaction. The landlord  is D’Amato Investments.

 

Child Center Pens New Lease

NORTHFORD — Twin Lake Children's Center of Northford has leased 3,500 square feet at 5 Ardsley Avenue. Lisa Whitney of Calcagni Commercial represented both the tenant and the landlord, Ardsley Ave., LLC.

 

Something’s Cooking in No. Haven

NORTH HAVEN — Small Kitchen-Big Taste has leased 862 square feet at 420 Sackett Point Road. Dave Melillo of Pearce Commercial was the sole broker. The property is part of an estate.

 

Skeletons in This Closet?

ORANGE — Jennifer Al Ghuraibawi, a spine and neuro-musculoskeletal disorders physician, has leased 1,100 square feet at 472 Boston Post Road. Carl Russell and Richard Lombardo of Pearce Commercial represented both the doctor and the landlord, Kelli Lepensky.

 

Let’s Go (Long) Beach

STRATFORD — Medical Imaging Systems is relocating its headquarters from Shelton to 4,000 square feet at 300 Long Beach Boulevard. Jon Angel of Angel Commercial  represented the radiology imaging equipment distributor and the landlord, Development Limited Partnership #300.

 

Interacter to Wallingford

WALLINGFORD — Interacter Inc. has leased 10,009 square feet at 10 Beaumont Road. Phil Marshall of OR&L Commercial represented the landlord, Beaumont Road Association.  The tenant did not use the services of a broker. 

 

Pizza Chain Invades CT

WOODBRIDGE — Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria has signed its first lease in Connecticut at D’Andrea’s Plaza, 1646 Litchfield Turnpike. The landlord is Litchfield Realty Trust. Steve Miller of Levey Miller Maretz was the sole broker in negotiating the ten-year lease plus options,  and is representing Grimaldi’s, which plans to sign leases for six to 12 locations in Connecticut in the next 12 months. Now in more than half a dozen states, the pizza chain originated in a Brooklyn pizzeria in 1905.

 

 Public input sought for $360 million mixed-use development

 

 

 

NEW HAVEN — The Economic Development Corp. of New Haven seeks public input for an ambitious new plan to redevelop the former site of Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

 

 

Through a two year planning process, the city of New Haven and Canadian commercial real-estate developer LiveWorkLearnPlay (LWLP) have developed a shared vision for a “human-scale,” mixed-use, mixed-income, community-gathering place centered on an activated public square and laneway.

 

 

When built the $360 million project would include 719 residential rental units (20 percent of which would be designated as affordable housing), 76,900 square feet of retail, 160 hotel rooms, 200,000 square feet of Class A office space, 52,620 square feet of public space and 785 parking spaces.

 

 

The development agreement calls for attracting more than 35 new small to mid-sized permanent businesses and up to 20 seasonal incubator businesses, along with a mix of housing options including affordable, workforce and market-rate housing for individuals and families. In addition, the project will generate approximately 4,700 construction jobs during the seven to ten years of project build-out beginning in 2014, and between 2,800 permanent jobs during full operation.

 

The plan represents the next phase of New Haven’s Downtown Crossing project, which aims to reconnect downtown, Union Station, the medical district and the Hill neighborhood and will rejoin South Orange Street across the current Route 34 on an at-grade street for pedestrians, cyclists and automobiles.

 

Two sessions are planned to solicit input from the public. A November 13 Finance/Community Development Committee meeting beginning at 7 p.m. will focus on the proposed development agreement.

 

 

A second session beginning at 6:30 p.m. the next evening (November 14) will be hosted by the city’s Legislation Committee will seek public input on the proposed zoning change at the site (from BD to BD-3).

 

 

Both meetings will take place in the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall, 165 Church Street.

 

 

Interested parties unable to attend are invited to submit testimony about the proposed redevelopment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 BRANFORD — RE/MAX Alliance has merged with RE/MAX Property Consultants in Groton, creating a combined force of 29 full-time agents. RE/MAX Alliance broker/owner Greg Scott will be in charge of both offices. Lian Obrey, the former broker/owner of RE/MAX Property Consultants, will be focusing on his “listing and selling business.”

 MILFORD — DeForest (Frosty) Smith has been named Pearce Commercial Real Estate’s top producing agent for its Milford office for the third quarter of 2013, and Rich Guralnick has been named the top producing agent for Pearce’s North Haven office.

A former president of the Connecticut chapter of CCIM, Guralnick recently completed a five-year stint as a co-chair for the Connecticut/Westchester chapter of CoreNet Global, a leading national association for corporate real estate executives.

According to Pearce, Smith, a Yale graduate with more than 45 years of commercial real estate experience, is the only Realtor in America to simultaneously hold the designations of Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR), Graduate Realtors Institute (GRI), and Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB).

“Frosty is a regarded nationwide as a leader in the field of real estate, whom we are lucky to call a Pearce Pro,” said Pearce president Barbara Pearce in a statement.

 WALLINGFORD — Prudential Connecticut Realty has a new name and identity. Acquired in April 2012 by an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway, the company has rebranded, with a new logo, to become Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties. President/CEO Candace Adams will remain in charge, overseeing the Wallingford-based affiliate.

“We’re excited to be among the first Prudential affiliates in the nation to make the transition,” Adams said in a statement. “Berkshire Hathaway is a name that commands respect, and it’s synonymous with trust, integrity and quality — three traits that the Prudential organization has long embraced as part of its core values.”

 SALES

 

Exchange Bldg. Fetches $2.7M

 NEW HAVEN — Developer Paul Denz has purchased a four-story 39,993-square-foot building at 123-127 Church Street for  $2.7 million. CBRE represented the seller, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which recently vacated 30,000 square feet of Class A space in the historic building, constructed in 1832 and known as the “Exchange Building.” The only current tenant, Sovereign Bank, leases 10,000 square feet on the first floor. Denz has hired CBRE as the leasing agent. 

 

 Cheshire Commercial Bldg. Sold

 CHESHIRE — Common Goal Assoc., LLC has purchased a  7,748-square-foot commercial building at 1573 Highland Avenue for $350,250. Toby Brimberg of OR&L Commercial, represented the buyer. Carol Karney and Bob Gaucher of OR&L Commercial represented the seller, Elaine Richard.

 

Guralnick Does It Again

 BRANFORD — A 20,000-square-foot office building at 388 Main Street has sold for $825,000. Rich Guralnick of Pearce Commercial represented the seller, Davie Enterprises LLC of Connecticut, and the buyer, 388 East Main, LLC.

 

 Whitney Ave. Deals

 HAMDEN — An eight-unit multi-family building at 118 Whitney Avenue has changed hands. John Cuozzo of Press/Cuozzo represented the seller, D&L Manchester, LLC. Gary Damato of Press/Cuozzo represented the buyer, 1181 Whitney, LLC. The sale price was $885,000.

 HAMDEN — SG & SG LLC has purchased a 13,340 square foot medical office building at 2447 Whitney Avenue. Stephen Press of Press/Cuozzo Realtors represented both the buyer and seller, Whitney Medical Group LLC. The sale price was $990,000.

 

Former Vet Hospital Sold

 NEW HAVEN — Citizen's Television (CTV) Inc. has purchased 843 State Street for $815,000. VTN Associates, LLC, a consortium of veterinarians, sold the 7,400-square-foot building, occupied by New Haven Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine. David Hansen of CBRE represented the buyer. The seller was unrepresented. The veterinary hospital is moving to a new facility in North Haven.

 

Alden Ave. Apts. Acquired

 NEW HAVEN — Fountainville, LLC has purchased a nine-unit apartment building at of 200-204 Alden Avenue for $800,000. Richard Gold and Frank Hird of OR&L Commercial represented the landlord, Nipote, LLC. Frank D'Ostilio of Wareck D'Ostilio Real Living represented the buyer. The building has seven one-bedroom and two two-bedroom apartments.

 

One Fewer Farm in No. Haven

 NORTH HAVEN — A developer has purchased a 4.34-acre farm at 520 Washington Avenue and plans to construct 125 residential units and 3,000 square feet of commercial space on the property. Albert Scafati of Press/Cuozzo Realtors represented the D'Addio family, owners of the 60-year-old farm. Steve Inglese of the New Haven Group, arranged the sale on behalf of the buyer, 91 Leffingwell Road LLC. The sale price was $2.65 million.

 

Costume Bazaar Bldg. Sold

 NORTH HAVEN — Leeway Inc. has purchased 1593 State Street for $515,000. Carl Russell of Pearce Commercial Real Estate was the sole broker. The former owners of the Costume Bazaar sold the 13,750 square foot building.

 

Investor Buys Industrial Bldg.

 WALLINGFORD — Wiehl Holdings, LLC has purchased a 30,000-square-foot industrial facility at 228 North Plains Industrial Road for $1.65 million. Bill Wiehl of Colonial Realty represented the buyer. Chris Nolan of Pearce Commercial, represented the seller, DBS Properties.

 

LEASES

 

Personal Trainer Pens Lease

 CHESHIRE — Horizon Personal Training has signed a five-year lease for 3,525 square feet at 1701 Highland Avenue. Joel Nesson of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services was the sole broker. The landlord is Fazzone Investments & Properties, LLC.

 

Consultant Chooses Cheshire

 CHESHIRE — Andrews Consulting Group has leased 11,500 square feet at 1154 Highland Avenue. David Barnes of CBRE represented the tenant. Richard Guralnick of Pearce Commercial Real Estate represented the owners, Marshall Enterprises LLC.

 

Dodge Ave. Lease

 EAST HAVEN — TXX Services, Inc. has leased 3,289 square feet at 250 Dodge Avenue, a large, light industrial building near Tweed-New Haven Airport. Kevin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors represented both the tenant and the landlord, Dreadnaught Properties CT, LLC.

 

 Broker to Leeder Hill

 HAMDEN — Fairfield Investment Corp. has leased 2,560 square feet at 105 Leeder Hill Drive. Joel Nesson of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services was sole broker in the deal. The landlord is Stengel & Tomasoco Realty LLC.   

 

 Rt. 10 Talbots Going Nowhere

 HAMDEN — Talbots has renewed its long-term lease for more than 9,000 square feet at 3490 Whitney Avenue. No brokers were involved. The clothing store dealt directly with the landlord, Westwoods Corner Partners, LLC.  Talbots has occupied the space since 1989.

 

 YNHH Leases in Madison

 MADISON — Yale-New Haven Hospital has signed a long-term lease for 4,124 square feet at 1291 Boston Post Road for an expanded urological center. Rich Guralnick of Pearce Commercial represented landlord, 1291 Boston Post Road, LLC. Cushman & Wakefield represented YNNH.  

 

 The Doctor Is In

 MERIDEN — A physician has subleased a 1,347-square-foot office suite at 321 Research Parkway from Green Beacon Solutions, LLC. Jennifer Gosselin of CBRE represented the doctor, Paul Horton. Frank Hird of OR&L Commercial represented Green Beacon Solutions. The sublease term is four years.

 

 Car Talk Yields Deal

 MIDDLETOWN — Umut Yucel has leased 9,904 square feet at the former Schaller Subaru at 1138 Newfield Street for a used-car dealership. Jonathan Cohn of Goman & York represented the tenant. Carol Karney and Steve Foote of OR&L Commercial represented the landlord, European Motorcars. 

 

Indust. Condo Leased

 MILFORD — KeeClean Management Inc. has leased an 800-square-foot industrial condo at 185 Research Drive. Kristin Geenty of the Geenty Group represented the tenant. Bill Clark The Geenty Group also represented the landlord, D'Amato Investments LLC.

 

Wood Broker Leases

 MILFORD — CNC Cutting & Design, LLC, has leased an 800-square-foot industrial condo at 282 Woodmont Road for a custom wood products business. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group was the sole broker. The landlord is D’Amato Investments, LLC.

 

 Construction Firm Leases

 NEW HAVEN — Bond Construction has inked a five-year deal for 5,800 square feet at 370 James Street. David Hansen of CBRE was the sole broker. The landlord is the Acorn Group.

 

Taken for Granite

 NEW HAVEN — D’Elia Gillooly DePalma, LLC has leased 4,680 square feet the in the Granite Square building at 700 State Street. David Hansen of CBRE was the sole broker. The landlord is the Acorn Group.

 

 Sullivan Tire to No. Haven

 NORTH HAVEN — Sullivan Tire of Connecticut Inc. has leased 10,500 square feet at 130 Universal Drive. Kyle Roberts of CBRE represented the tenant. Kevin Geenty and Kristin Geenty of the Geenty Group represented the landlord, Universal Drive LLC.

 

 Eatery to Brass City

 WATERBURY — Jimmy’s II Family Restaurant has leased 3,100 square feet at 579 Watertown Avenue. John Famiglietti of Drubner Commercial Real Estate Services represented the tenant. Ralph Calabrese and Tony Valenti of the R. Calabrese Agency represented the landlord , Watertown Associates. John Famiglietti of Drubner Commercial Real Estate Services represented the tenant.

 

Bloody Deal

 NEW HAVEN — Yale-New Haven Hospital has signed a 5.5-year lease for a blood-draw center at Whalley Commons, 1467 Whalley Avenue. The Proto Group represented the landlord, ACL/Smartyale.

 

Fitness Club Relocates

 WATERBURY — Spark Fitness has inked a four-year lease for 3,000 square feet at Steelebrook Plaza, 1630 Watertown Avenue. Brian Godin of Matthews Commercial Properties represented the tenant. The Proto Group represented the landlord, Steele Brook Development LLC.

 

 August Conn. home sales highest in six years

 

BOSTON — Sales of single-family homes in Connecticut rose almost ten percent in August, marking the highest sales volume for the month since 2007, according to the latest report by the Warren Group.

A total of 2,893 single-family homes sold in August, up from 2,639 in August 2012. This represented the best August since 2007, when 3,726 deals were closed. It is also the second-highest number of sales for a month in 2o13 to date, bettered only by July, when there were 3,126 sales. Year-to-date sales have increased 4 percent to 17,110, compared to 16,458 during the same period of 2012.

"We're already seeing how the seasonality affects the market, with sales dropping in August compared to July, and this will probably continue in the fall and winter months," said Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr. "While the market has proved to be strong so far this year, there is much concern over how the government shutdown will impact the overall economy."

The median price of single-family homes statewide rose for the 11th consecutive month. The median price climbed to $285,000 in August, up almost 12 percent from $255,000 during the same month of 2012. The median sale price for homes sold January through August also increased 9.5 percent to $265,000, up from $242,000 during the first eight months of 2012.

Also in August, Connecticut condominium sales rose almost three percent. Sales statewide increased to 683 in August, up from 664 in August 2012. This is the highest number of condo sales recorded for the month since 2009. Year-to-date condo sales are also up about seven percent, increasing to 4,438 from 4,141 during the previous year.

The median sale price of Connecticut condos increased almost 16 percent in August to $190,000, up from last year's $164,250. The year-to-date median price of condos in Connecticut rose more than seven percent to $172,500, up from $161,000 a year ago.

 $60M redevelopment to include 158 apartments

 

NEW HAVEN — A nearly $60 million apartment complex will inject new life into the long dormant Winchester Repeating Arms Co. complex.

Winchester Lofts will be a nearly 200,000 square-foot mixed-use building with 158 market-rate and affordable housing units, plus office space. The redevelopment of the old factory at the corner of Winchester Avenue and Munson Street is the second of a two-phase project for further development of the former industrial campus, now home to Yale’s Science Park campus.

The first phase of this development project involved the renovation of 140,000 square feet of adjacent factory space that is now home to the offices of technology finance company Higher One, which relocated there in 2012.

“The Lofts project will clean up more of this underutilized site and bring new quality market-rate and affordable housing while also preserving these beautiful buildings that have long been a part of New Haven’s history and a fabric of the Newhallville neighborhood,” explains city Economic Development Administrator Kelly Murphy.

Twenty percent of the housing at Winchester Lofts, or 32 units, will be designated affordable housing, with half of those for people earning 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), and the other half for those earning 100 percent of the AMI. Otherwise, market rents are likely to be about $1,800 per month.

Winchester Lofts is being developed by Cleveland, O.-based firm Forest City, which is pitching $10.6 million of its money to the project; additional funding sources for the $59.26 million project is coming from loans, state and federal tax credits, and a $4 million Competitive Housing Assistance for Multifamily Properties (CHAMP) grant from the state’s Department of Housing.

Murphy adds that New Haven’s residential vacancy rates are low, and more housing will allow continued reinvigoration. The developments at Science Park and investments in new sidewalks, street paving and the Farmington Canal Line, she says, has had a ripple effect for the surrounding neighborhood.

“We are seeing additional investments by individual homeowners in buying and fixing up homes, and small commercial investors in buying smaller apartment buildings and investing in them,” Murphy says. “This is exactly what you want to happen.”

Aside from the retail space in the Science Park parking garage, no further developments are in the works, as Murphy points out the city would rather not risk overbuilding leading to vacant spaces.

Forest City has developed, owns and manages properties in 26 states and was attracted to the Winchester project after conducting other adaptive reuse projects of former industrial sites in the Northeast, according to company officials.

The Winchester Lofts are expected to be complete in summer 2014.

 

 When the state’s new health insurance exchange opens on October 1, two enrollment center storefronts should be open for business.

 Already leased is a 2,000-square-foot space at 200 Main Street in New Britain. The other likely will be at 55 Church Street in New Haven, where a contract was pending as of press time.

 “We have an LOI letter of intent),” explains Eric Amodio, a commercial broker with Farmington-based Amodio & Co. who has been scouting locations in both cities for the exchange, Access Health, since the end of this May.

 “They came to us with some parameters,” Amodio explains. “They’re trying to get a highly trafficked area in as prime a spot as they can afford. First they were looking at shopping centers. But any of the good ones don’t have any space, which led us to retail stores, around 2,000 to 2,500 square feet.

 “Because of the extent of the sign up period, they were looking at one-term leases, and a lot of landlords didn’t want to deal with that,” Amodio added. “It just kind of boiled down to which spots would take them.”

 In New Britain, there were five options, “but with delays several were snapped up,” Amodio says. The space he was able to lease, at 200 Main Street, previously was an H&R Block location.

 “New Haven was even harder,” Amodio adds. “There certainly was space available but certainly not in the condition the client wanted.”

 Amodio came up with four options. Most were near the Green on Chapel Street. But the 2,800 square feet at 55 Church Street seemed best suited, because of its location, good condition and layout.

 Access Health CEO Kevin Counihan has credited the Apple Store as the inspiration for the street-level state health-insurance enrollment center storefronts.

 “Right when you walk in there’s a seating area where you can view a four- to five- minute video of whole [enrollment] process,” Amodio says. “Then there will be computer terminals where you can go and sign up. In the back there will be kind of like a help desk. They’re also looking to have a few private office rooms where insurance brokers can come in. At 55 Church Street there already are three offices built out in the space. “

 Amodio said most of the storefronts “are going to be used as is, with minor improvements.”

 They will be recarpeted and repainted, according to Tony Crowe, Access Health’s retail projects manager. “We have been negotiating a deal with Ikea to furnish them,” he adds. The storefronts also are being situated in “well-lit, safe neighborhoods with easy access to public transportation,” according to Crowe. “We want some foot traffic and some parking.”

 The enrollment centers will be open daily: noon to 8 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. “The plan is to get as many people as we can to sign up,” Crowe says.

 The New Britain and New Haven storefronts are the pilots for other storefronts, which Access Health CEO Kevin Counihan has said could open in other cities, including Hartford, Bridgeport, Danbury and Stamford.

 Said Crowe, “Right now we’re concentrating on these two.”

 

 Sales

 

 Spice of Life

 MIDDLEBURY — JRS Holdings, LLC has purchased six acres on North Benson Road to construct a 17,000-square-foot plant for packaging herb and spice blends. The sale price was $270,000. The seller was Stacey Drubner. David Theroux, managing partner of Drubner Commercial, was the sole broker. The buyer owns the Pilot Seasoning Co. in Waterbury.

 

 Surgery Clinic Planned

 ORANGE — South Orange Center Road Holding Co., LLC has purchased a 1.56-acre parcel, Lot 1A, South Orange Center Road for 370,000. Tom Cavaliere of Weichert Realtors represented the seller, Oakwood Associates. Rich Guralnick and Carl Russell of Pearce Commercial represented the buyer who, according to Russell, plans to build a two-story, 5,000-square-foot plastic surgery clinic on the lot.

 

 Retail Center Sold

 WATERBURY — Jaswant Mand and Sangita Patel have bought a 2,500-square-foot retail center at 15-21 Woodtick Road for $275,000. The seller was Sharon Sousa. David Theroux of Drubner Commercial Real Estate was the sole broker.

 

M0bury Warehouse Sale

 MIDDLEBURY — Southford Road Associates has purchased a 175,000 square foot retail/commercial warehouse on four acres at 1100 Southford Road for $1,350,000. The seller was Sun Design LTD. David Theroux of Drubner Commercial Real Estate was the sole broker.

 

Bassett Building Sold

 SHELTON — An affiliate of Cambridge Hanover Inc. has purchased an 81,500-square-foot office, production and warehouse facility on 10 acres at 100 Trap Falls Road Extension for $3.32 million. Sean Cahill of CBRE’s Fairfield/Westchester office represented the buyer. Bruce Wettenstein of Vidal/Wettenstein, represented the seller, W.E. Basset Co.

 

A Little for a Lot

 STRATFORD — VDM Companies, LLC has purchased a half-acre lot at 1350 Barnum Avenue for $1.05 million. The sale included a ground lease for an HSBC bank that never was built. Bob Horvath and Todd Tremblay, vice presidents of investments at Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, represented both the buyer and seller, 1370 Barnum, LLC. Horvath said the buyer would continue to collect rent for the three years remaining on the ten-year lease ($210,000 annually) before developing the property.

 

Leases

 

Social Worker to Rt. 1

 BRANFORD — Tracy Mitchell has leased 400 square feet at 2415 Boston Post Road. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group,  Realtors represented the landlord, Mariner Properties, LLC. Linda Heinig of Century 21 All Points Realty represented Mitchell, a clinical social worker.

 

Woodmont Road Lease

 MILFORD —  Jared James of Connecticut Posts, LLC has leased 800 square feet at 282 Woodmont Road. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors was the sole broker. The landlord is D’Amato Investments, LLC. 

 

Buckley Program at Home

 NEW HAVEN — The William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale has leased 7,500 square feet at the landmark William F. Taft Mansion at 111 Whitney Avenue. Stephen Press of Press/Cuozzo was sole broker in the transaction. The landlord is One Eleven Whitney, LLC. Named for the late National Review founder and editor (and the author of God and Man at Yale), the program aims to promote intellectual diversity at Yale with conferences, a speaker series, summer internships and other activities.

 

 Whitney Ave. Lease

 HAMDEN — Alina Alfiris has signed a five-year lease for 1,170 square feet at 2440 Whitney Avenue. Joel Nesson of Press/Cuozzo Realtors represented the tenant and the landlord, WTE 2428 Whitney LLC. 

 

At the Center of It All

 HAMDEN — Turtle & Hughes Integrated Supply has leased 5,500 square feet on the fifth floor of Hamden Center II, 2321 Whitney Avenue. Steven Press of Press/Cuozzo Realtors represented the tenant and the landlord, Hamden Realty Associates.

 

 Core Competency

 NEW HAVEN — Sarah Aldrich Pilates has signed a three-year lease for 5,000 square feet at 50 Elm Street. Frank D'Ostilio and Bill Ludwig of Real Living Wareck D'Ostilio represented the tenant and the landlord, Ahern Family Partnership.

 

 New Ninth Square Gallery

 NEW HAVEN — Giampietro Gallery has leased a 1,000-square-foot first-floor storefront at 91 Orange Street. Frank D'Ostilio of Real Living Wareck D'Ostilio was sole broker in the deal. The landlord is Ninth Square Limited.

 

 The Bird Is the Word

 NEW HAVEN — Inspired Turkey has leased 1,300 square feet at 86 Crown Street. Frank D'Ostilio of Real Living Wareck D'Ostilio represented the tenant and the landlord Ninth Square Limited.

 

 Driving a Hard Bargain

 WALLINGFORD — All-Star Driver, LLC has leased 1,500 square feet at 950 Yale Avenue. Garett Palmer of Goodellow Ashmore represented the tenant. Joel Nesson of Press/Cuozzo represented 950 Yale Avenue, LLC, the owner of the 66,000-square-foot retail and office center.

 

 Accounting Firm Pens Deal

 NEW HAVEN — Gebric & Gebric has signed a five-year lease for 1,200 square feet at 321 Whitney Avenue. Sal Albraccio of Weichert Realtors represented the accounting firm. Stephen Press of Press/Cuozzo represented the owner, 321 Whitney LLC. 

 

In the Pink(berry)

 NEW HAVEN — Think Pink New Haven, LLC has signed a ten-year lease for 2,300 square feet at 1064 Chapel Street, where Pinkberry plans to open a “handcrafted yogurt bar.” Tommy Febbraio of Coldwell Banker Commercial represented the tenant. John Wareck of Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio represented the landlord, Chapel Investment, LLC. Savitt Jewelers previously occupied the space.

 

 Shelton Lab Space

 SHELTON — TestAmerica has inked a five-year lease for 3,250 square feet of office and lab space at 12 Progress Drive. Stephanie Coleman of Cresa Fairfield County and Brett Merz of Cresa Orange County (Calif.) represented the tenant. Bruce Wettenstein of Vidal Wettenstein represented the owner, the Francini Organization.

 

160 rental units planned for College Street

 

 

NEW HAVEN — If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

A long-delayed development plan for a seven-story mixed-use building at the corner of College and George streets has been given the go ahead by the City Plan Commission after several revisions dating back to 2006.

Robert Landino, CEO of Middletown developer Centerplan Companies, is behind the proposed $50 million building at 188 and 196 College Street and 285 George Street, which will feature first-floor retail space, 160 residential rental units and 160 parking spaces in an underground garage. Centerplan’s original 2006 proposal for a 19-story luxury condo high-rise was scrapped after the housing market crashed, and further financing challenges put the kibosh on a revised plan for a $100 million, 225-room boutique hotel with street-level retail in 2008.

The new building will occupy the entire block from George Street to Crown Street, the same footprint as the original 2006 plan. The project was given zoning variances including those allowing for smaller side and rear yards, and less open space than is usually required to allow the project to fit on the site.

For the underground garage is planned 11 car lifts that will fit two cars in one space by lifting one on top of the other, accounting for 22 cars.

The existing storefronts at the corner of Crown and College streets will be demolished to make way for the new building. Previously existing businesses were evicted after the initial project was approved. Longtime tenant Cooper’s Dress Shop left for Orange in 2008 after 46 years at the location (and nearly 60 years total in New Haven). College Wine, a liquor store occupying the corner storefront, also moved out.

The People’s Art Collective, a non-profit artists group that organizes events and workshops, has been occupying the ground-floor space since last year. The former TK’s American Café, which sat at the opposite end of the block on George Street, was demolished.

Work on the new building could start as soon as this fall. Architect for the project is Orange Street firm Svigals + Partners.

 

 Home prices continue to rise, albeit slowly

 

Connecticut single-family home sales recorded modest increases in the second quarter and in the month of June, according to the latest report by the Boston-based Warren Group.

Second-quarter single-family home sales totaled 6,898, a near one-percent increase from 6,854 in the second quarter of 2012.

Single-family home sales in Connecticut also increased slightly in June, rising 0.4 percent, the second straight month of increases. A total of 2,602 single-family homes changed hands in June, up from 2,591 a year earlier. This marks the best month for sales since August 2012, when 2,639 sales were recorded.

"The housing market in Connecticut continues to show slow growth," said Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr. "As long as mortgage rates and home prices don't spike too high, we'll see a very steady recovery year for the market in 2013."

Statewide, year-to-date home sales are down about 1 percent. From January to June, a total of 10,947 single-family homes have sold, compared to 11,070 during the same period a year ago.

Year-over-year home prices rose 5.6 percent in June. The median sale price of a single-family home statewide increased to $283,000 in June, up from $268,000 in June 2012. This is the highest median price for any month since August 2008.

The year-to-date median sale price is $255,000, up more than 8.5 percent from $234,900 during the same period last year. Quarterly prices are also up more than eight percent to $269,000, up from $249,000 during the second quarter of 2012.

Connecticut condominium sales increased in June, rising almost two percent from a year earlier. A total of 652 condos sold in June, up from 641 a year earlier. Year-to-date condo sales are up almost one percent to 2,911 from 2,885 a year earlier.

Condo sales for the second quarter also climbed from a year earlier. In the second quarter, 1,792 condos sold, up 2.5 percent from 1,748 during the same period a year ago.

The median sale price of condos also rose in June. The median selling price was $176,000, up more than 7.6 percent from $163,500 a year earlier. The second quarter median condo price increased more than 8 percent to $175,000 from $162,000 in the second quarter 2012. The year-to-date median price of condos in the Connecticut is $168,000, up 5 percent from $160,000 a year ago.