NEW HAVEN –– Nationwide, investment in nonresidential construction declined 4.4 percent in the third quarter of 2012, despite 2.2 percent annualized growth in the U.S. economy, according to the Marcum Commercial Construction Index, a new quarterly index tracking the performance of the U.S. commercial construction industry.

Year-over-year national nonresidential construction spending rose  just 2.6 percent in the third quarter, compared to more than 19 percent growth in residential construction.

During 2012, sectors relying mainly on state and government capital funding declined most in spending, including water supply, down 12.7 percent, conservation and development, down 6.5 percent, education, down 3.2 percent and highway and street, down 2.2 percent.

Rapidly recovering sectors were lodging, up 25 percent, power, up 19.2 percent and transportation, up 11 percent.

In his report, Anirban Basu, chief construction economist for Marcum, a major accounting and advisory firm, attributed the slow recovery in nonresidential construction to tight credit, high vacancy rates and cautious investors, among other factors. He says the second half of 2013 could be “surprisingly good” for nonresidential construction if the White House and Congress manage not to tumble off the fiscal cliff, because of the large number of projects placed on hold during 2012.

 NEWS

 

Wareck D’Ostilio Opens in Milford

MILFORD –– Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate has opened a second office at 174 Cherry Street.

“This move puts us closer to many of our existing customers and prospective clients in the Orange, Milford and upper Fairfield County,” co-owner/managing broker John Wareck said. “We anticipate the hiring of more agents to fill both offices and to accommodate clients as the company continues its record growth.”

 

Colonial’s Messore Earns GRI

ORANGE — Fred A. Messore, a Realtor with Colonial Properties, has earned the Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) designation, after completing at least 90 hours of classroom instruction in contract law, ethics, sales and marketing, finance, environment and health issues, technology and dispute resolutions and other topics.

 

PruCT Wins 2 HOBIs

WALLINGFORD — Prudential Connecticut Realty’s New Homes and Land Division has received two 2012 Home Building Industry (HOBI) Awards from the Home Builders & Remodelers Association (HBRA) of Connecticut.

 

Terence Beaty, Director of the New Homes & Land Division and Lynn Rival, senior graphic designer, won Best Community Sales Brochure and Best Community Website for the Sonoma Woods development. 

 

Spirit of the Season

Employees in the Guilford and Clinton offices of H. Pearce Co. raised $200 for the Guilford Food Bank during their annual Coco Café event on November 30. The employees served cookies and peppermint sticks to the crowd at the Guilford Tree Lighting ceremony.

 

 

SALES

 

Dixwell Ave. Commercial Bldg.

HAMDEN –– Andrew and Anthony Civitello have purchased a 3,700-square-foot building at 2839 Dixwell Avenue for $320,000, to house the corporate offices of their two businesses. Stephen Press of Press/Cuozzo Realtors represented the buyers. Kevin and Kristin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors, represented the seller, the Charlotte A. Perry Marital Trust.

 

Middlesex Hospital Expands

MIDDLETOWN –– Middlesex Hospital has purchased two buildings at 117-121 Main Street Extension for $1.6 million. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate, LLC, represented the seller, the Carmelo J. Marino Trust. Coughlin Companies Management Services Inc. represented the hospital.

 

Liquor Store No More

MIDDLETOWN — A 4,336-square-foot building on 0.53 acres at 350 Main Street has been sold for $525,000. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate, LLC, represented the buyer, 350 Main Street Middletown, LLC and the seller, Joseph Savatore. The city of Middletown purchased Salvatore’s liquor license for $60,000 to prohibit the property’s future use as a liquor store.

 

Office/Warehouse Sold

OXFORD –– Local investment group 207 Oxford LLC has paid $360,000 for a 5,600-square-foot office and warehouse building on 1.7 acres at 207 Christian Street. Ed Godin Jr. of Matthews Commercial Properties represented the buyer. Bill Weirsman of Colonial Properties represented the seller, A&D Services.

 

M-Town Office Bldg. Bought

MIDDLETOWN — Edna Giardina Russo has purchased a 1,600-square-foot office building at 573 Newfield Street for $260,000 from 573 Newfield Street, LLC. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate, LLC represented the seller. Pam Rizy of Prudential Connecticut Realty represented the buyer.

 

Buying on Broad Street

MIDDLETOWN — Malik Mohammad has purchased 24 Broad Street for $157,500 from Melissa A. Didato. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate, LLC, represented both buyer and seller.

 

Research Park Fetches $3.8M

NORTH HAVEN –– The Phoenix Research Park at 408-410 Sackett Point Road has been sold for $3.8 million. Joel Nesson of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services was the sole broker, representing the buyer, SK PT LLC, and the seller, Lake A LLC. Set on 14 acres, the park contains five lab and industrial buildings totaling 104,000 square feet.

 

No. Haven Complex Sold

NORTH HAVEN — ADM Ventures, LLC has purchased 375 Washington Avenue, a two-building complex on 2.36 acres for $1,575,000.

 

One building is a 17,600-square-foot industrial/warehouse/office facility with a 4,800-square-foot office; the other is a free-standing, 3,000-square-foot masonry building. Stephen Press of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services represented the seller, 375 Washington Avenue Associates, LLC. Press/Cuozzo’s Joel Nesson represented the buyer. Peoples Medical/Peoples Pharmacy Express, which provides  respiratory and home medical equipment, will relocate its administrative offices, pharmacy and showroom to the complex.

 

LEASES

 

Major Murtha Park Lease

BEACON FALLS — Utz Quality Foods Inc. has signed a ten-year leased for 19,200 square feet in Building 4D located in Murtha Industrial Park on Railroad Avenue for a distribution center. Gerry D. Matthews of Matthews Commercials Properties represented Utz. Sean Duffy and Tim D’adabo Cushman & Wakefield represented the landlord, Murtha Industrial Four, LLC. 
 

Branford Office Condo Let

BRANFORD –– CPa Medical Billing, LLC, has  leased a 1,094-square-foot office condo at 420 East Main Street. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors represented the tenant. His colleague Kevin Geenty represented the landlord, Captiva, LLC.

 

Green Makes the Scene

MERIDEN –– Green Beacon Solutions has leased 1,347 square feet of Class A office space at 321 Research Parkway. Frank Hird of OR&L Commercial represented the tenant. David Barnes and Jennifer Gosselin of CB Richard Ellis represented the landlord, WE Research Parkway, LLC.

 

Corporate Center Lease        

MIDDLETOWN — Omega Flex Inc. has leased 3,719 square feet on the seventh floor at Middlesex Corporate Center, 213 Court Street. Tom Ford of Midfield Corp. represented the landlord, Midfield Associates. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate LLC, represented the tenant. 

 

Office Bldg. Gets Schooled

MIDDLETOWN — The Middletown Public Schools district has leased 1,026 feet in a retail and office building at 670 Newfield Street. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate, LLC, was the sole broker in the deal, representing the tenant and the landlord, Ottavio and Letizia Monarca.

 

New Biz for Biz Park

MIDDLETOWN — Middletown Business Park, 430-460 Smith Street has several new tenants. APEX Lighting Solutions has leased 6,362 square feet; Universal-Bach Transportation Services Inc. leased 583 square feet; Sabrina Cameron, MSW leased 393 square feet and Embedded Systems leased 362 square feet. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate LLC, represented the tenants and the landlord, BostonMiddletown, LLC.

 

New Hope for Change

MIDDLETOWN — Change Inc. has leased 1,118 at 98 Washington Street. Trevor Davis of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate, LLC, was sole broker in the transaction, representing the tenant and landlord, RAMO, LLC.

 

Gallery/Studio for Chapel St.

NEW HAVEN –– John Flynn and Josh Kelley have leased 4,000 square feet at 433 Chapel Street for a music studio, offices and gallery space. The Geenty Group was sole broker in the deal. The landlord is Peter Chapman of La Saraghina. 

 

Oxford Industrial Lease

OXFORD –– Triem Industries has leased 10,500 square feet at 6 Benson Road. Ed Godin was the sole broker. The landlord is Glen More LLC.

 

Apt. Building Fetches $1.2M

NEW HAVEN — A 12-unit apartment building at 2 Lyon Street has sold for $1.2 million. Brad Balletto of Northeast Private Client Group represented the buyer, Bright Stone Realty, and the seller, Petack Bepaz LLC of Great Neck, N.Y. 

 

MD Invests in Newtown

NEWTOWN –– Family physician Alex Afshar, MD has bought two buildings on 1.84 acres at 33 Church Hill Road for $1.5 million. He plans to open a medical care facility in one building and lease the other one. Jon Angel of Angel Commercial brokered the sale of the foreclosed property for Customer Bank. Atherton & Associates commercial property represented the doctor.

 

A Taste of Italy

OXFORD –- Newtown investor Walter Schnieder has acquired a 6,800-square-foot industrial condo at 91 Willenbrock Road for $345,000 and leased it to the U.S. office of Italy-based Villa Radiology Systems. Ed Godin Jr. of Matthews Commercial Properties was the sole broker. The seller was Trident Properties IV.

 

 NEWS

 

Fieldstone Village Cited

ORANGE –– Fieldstone Village has won the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Connecticut’s HOBI award for “Best New Haven County 55 + Community.” Free-standing homes in the active-lifestyle complex feature energy-efficient elements and range from 1,450 to 3,000 square feet, with prices starting at $369,900. All exterior maintenance is included.

The award will be presented on November 14 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.

 

Pearce Hosts Coat Drive

GUILFORD –– H. Pearce Co., Realtors Shoreline regional offices are seeking jackets and coats in good condition for their 23rd annual coat drive. Donations can be dropped off in Guilford between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and in Branford or Clinton between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The deadline for donations is November 30.

 

 

SALES

 

Industrial Building Sold

BEACON FALLS –– KOLGA Land, LLC has paid $1.125 million for a 20,000-square-foot industrial building situated on more than five acres at 65 Lancaster Drive. The R. Calabrese Agency was sole broker in the deal. The seller was 65 Lancaster, LLC.

 BEACON FALLS  ­­–– Thirty-nine undeveloped parcels in the 99-unit Pond Spring Village active adult community at 135 Pond View Circle have been sold for $1,125,000. Independent broker Sam Berkowtz represented the buyer, Pond Spring Village, LLC. Ralph L. Calabrese of the R. Calabrese Agency represented the seller, 135 Pond Spring Village, LLC. In addition to one fully completed model, there are six partially completed units, six foundations and 26 approved building lots. The duplex units range from 1,296 square feet to 1,304 square feet.

 

NY Group Buys in Wooster Sq.

NEW HAVEN –– Bright Stone Realty has purchased a 12-unit apartment building at 2 Lyon Street in the Wooster Square neighborhood for $1.2 million, or $102 per square foot. Bradley Balletto, Northeast Private Client Group’s regional manager for southern Connecticut, represented both buyer and seller, Petack Bepaz, LLC of Great Neck, N.Y.

 

“High occupancy and growing rents in New Haven are driving strong demand for multifamily properties,” Balletto said in a statement. “In today’s still uncertain financial market conditions, income-producing real estate is still the best vehicle for generating and preserving wealth.”

 

Chef’s Equipment to Orange

ORANGE –– CEE Orange, LLC has acquired a 13,660-square-foot building on 0.97 acres at 449 Boston Post Road for $1,450,0000 for a Chef’s Equipment store. Fred A. Messore of Colonial Properties was the sole broker, representing the buyer and seller, Niko Realty, LLC.

 

$65M Rocky Hill Office Deal

ROCKY HILL –– KS Partners, a New-York based real estate investment and development company, has paid $65 million for New Boston Fund’s eight-building, 620,000-square-foot Rocky Hill office portfolio, making it the largest such transaction since the portfolio first traded in 2000.

 

The portfolio has two office complexes; Corporate Ridge, with three Class A office buildings, 500 Enterprise, 55 Capital Boulevard and 175 Capital Boulevard; and five single story buildings with office and flex space at I-91 Tech Center, 795-805 Brooker Street.

 

John McCormick, Patrick Mulready and Michael Puzzo of the Hartford Office Leasing and Investment Properties Team at CBRE/NE represented New Boston and procured the buyer. KS Partners was unrepresented.

 

At the time of the sale, the portfolio was 87-percent leased with tenants including AT&T, United Healthcare, Verizon Liberty Mutual and the American Cancer Society.

 

Lodging Group Eyes Southington

SOUTHINGTON –– Briad Lodging Group has purchased 5.75 acres of vacant commercial property at 1096 West Street for $1.2 million. The R. Calabrese Agency was sole broker in the deal, representing both the buyer and the seller, Westcorp, LLC, which has retained the agency to market a one-acre pad site remaining on the property for ground lease or for lease as build-to-suit.

 

RHP Bets on Brass City

WATERBURY –– Renewable Heat Products has purchased a 36,000-square-foot, single-story industrial building on more than five acres at 55 Fulkerson Drive. Ralph Calabrese of the R. Calabrese Agency represented the seller, T. Sendzimir Inc. Sean McDonald of Cushman & Wakefield represented the buyer.

 

 

LEASES

 

Branford Office Condo Leased

BRANFORD –– CPa Medical Billing, LLC, has leased a 1,094-square-foot condo unit at 420 East Main Street in the Thimble Creek Condominium complex. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors, represented the tenant. Kevin Geenty represented the landlord, Captiva, LLC.

 

Leasing in Lakeview Center

BRANFORD –– See Us Grow has leased 11,200 square feet in Lakeview Center, 249 West Main Street. OR&L Commercial’s Richard Gold and Phil Marshall represented the landlord, Lakeview Center Associates. The tenant was unrepresented.

 

Law Firm Doubles Down

BRANFORD –– The law firm of Parks & Pearson has doubled its space to occupy 1,500 square feet — the entire first floor — at 765 East Main Street. The law firm specializes in real estate law and real estate closings. Kevin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors, was sole agent in the transaction, representing the attorneys and the landlord, Captiva LLC

 

Shoe Fits in Branford

BRANFORD ­­ –– New England Orthotic & Prosthetic System has leased 3,0000 square feet at 965 West Main Street. Frank Hird of OR&L Commercial represented the landlord, 965 West Main Street, LLC. The tenant was unrepresented.

 

Going for the Gold

BRANFORD –– Coastal Gold Exchange & Gifts, LLC, has leased 857 square feet at 71 West Main Street. The landlord is 71 West Main, LLC. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors, was the sole broker.

 

Church Finds Hamden Home

HAMDEN –– Iglesia Jehovah Mi Roca has leased an 8,247-square-foot building at 182 Welton Street. Bob Adnopoz of Colliers International was the sole broker, representing both the church and the landlord Barone Investments LLC.

 

Aeroteck Picks Hamden Ctr. II

HAMDEN –– Aeroteck Inc. has leased 5,051 square feet at Hamden Center II, 2321 Dixwell Avenue. Albert Scafati of Press Cuozzo, the exclusive broker for the Class A office property, represented the owner, Hamden Realty Associates, LP. Robert Adnopoz of Colliers International represented the tenant. 

 

Food for Thought

HAMDEN –– Nutmeg State Nutrition has expanded into 1,897 square feet at 2460 Dixwell Avenue. The Proto Group, LLC was the sole broker. The landlord is 460 Dixwell Avenue LLC.

 

Occupying Wall Street

MADISON –– The Stifel, Nicolaus Co. Inc. has leased 2,585 square feet at 64 Wall Street. Jay Stewart of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant. Frank Hird of OR&L Commercial represented the landlord, Overshore Associates.

 

Leasing 5K for 5 Years

NEW HAVEN –– Jeffrey A. Kaslowitz of Greenwich Fleet Leasing, LLC, and Albert Lomoriello of Eastern Region Re-Marketing Services, LLC, d/b/a Automotive Co-Op, have signed a five-year lease for 5,000 square feet at 345-355 Forbes Avenue.   Barry Stratton of the Geenty Group, Realtors, was the sole broker.

 

The landlord is John LaViola.

 

Industrial Supplier Leases

ROCKY HILL –– MSC Industrial Supply Co. has leased 8,704 square feet at 50 Inwood Road. Keith Kumnick of Colliers International represented the tenant. Dave Barnes and Jen Gosselin of CBRE represented the landlord, WE 50 Inwood LLC.

 

Baking a Bigger Pie

WATERBURY — Little Caesar's Pizza Take Out has leased 2,090 square feet at the Colonial Plaza Shopping Center, 111 Thomaston Avenue. Gloria McMann of Merrigan & LeFebvre Realty represented the tenant. Matt Halprin of New England Retail Properties represented the landlord, Stop & Shop Supermarkets Inc.

 

Thank Heaven in Waterbury

WATERBURY –– 7-Eleven has signed a long-term lease to occupy 2,296 square feet at 1051 Wolcott Street. The lease value is in excess of $500,000. Tom Hill represented the landlord, Kenneth B. Warner Jr. Associates LLP. The Proto Group exclusively represents 7-Eleven throughout Connecticut.

 

 Statewide sales prices hit 10-year nadir

 

As single-family homes prices in Connecticut reached their lowest level in a decade, sales increased again in September. So says the latest report by the Boston-based Warren Group.

All told 1,900 single-family homes changed hands in Connecticut in September, a 4.5-percent increase from the 1,817 sales recorded in September 2011. Sales also increased for the third quarter, rising to 7,266 from 6,188 during the same period in 2011. Year-to-date sales are up 13.1 percent at 18,300, compared to 16,180 during the same period a year ago.

That increase is fueled by falling prices. In September the median sales price of single-family homes statewide fell 7.2 percent to $230,000, down from $248,000 a year earlier. Third-quarter median prices declined 1.6 percent to $250,750 from $255,000 in the same period of 2011, while year-to-date prices fell 4.0 from $250,000 in 2011 to $240,000 this year.

A similar trend is evident in the residential condominium market. In September condo sales rose more than seven percent from a year earlier — to 503 from 470. For the third quarter the rise was even more dramatic: up 12.6 percent to 1,760 from 1,562 a year earlier

Median condo prices in September fell 9.3 percent, to $157,000 from $173,089 in September 2011. Third-quarter median prices are down 9.8 percent, decreasing to $160,000 from $177,450 in the prior year. The year-to-date median price of condos in Connecticut is $160,000, down 8.5 percent from $175,000 a year ago.

“Home sales have increased every month in 2012, a strong sign that the housing market is recovering,” said Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr. “This suggests that consumers have regained some confidence in the economy, and are making home purchases with more enthusiasm.

"The drop in prices is concerning, but it's typical to see sales volume increase before prices do in a recovery period,” he added.

 CBRE is looking for good ideas to improve sustainable practices for commercial buildings. The global commercial real estate services company has launched a Real Green Research Challenge, which will award as much as $1 million over the next four years for independent academic research in areas such as productivity studies proving the benefits of sustainable building occupancy and best practices or systems software to reduce operating costs or enhance revenue through recycling. As many as 15 qualifying submissions will receive initial funding of up to $15,000 in February 2013, and be eligible for additional funding of up to $250,000. Winners will collaborate with CBRE.

Abstracts of research proposals are due by December 31 at cbre.com/rgrc.

 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has acquired the assets of three Richter Real Estate offices in Stratford, Fairfield and Trumbull. The offices, doing business as Century 21 HomeServices Richter Real Estate, will merge into Coldwell offices in Fairfield and Trumbull, and Richter owners Paul Richter and Robert Richter will join Coldwell.

 OLD SAYBROOK –– RE/MAX Valley Shore and Genovali Realty have joined forces.

Principals David and Lisa Genovali bring more than 30 years of experience in residential and commercial sales, new construction and land development to the new company, which will employ 24 brokers. RE/MAX broker/owners Lorrie and Craig Milton have worked in residential real estate for more than a decade. 

 NORTH HAVEN — More than 50 H. Pearce Co., Realtors agents and employees spent September 14 — the company’s 11th annual Day of Caring — sprucing up the interior and exterior of the Connecticut Hospice in Branford. As usual, all Pearce offices were closed for the day while its workers washed hospice windows, painted, weeded and cut brush, among other tasks.

 SALES

 

 

 

Westville Apartment Complex Sells for $42M

 

NEW HAVEN ­–– UOB Eagle Rock Multifamily Property Fund LP has bought Wintergreen of Westville, a 294-unit Class A multifamily property at 400 Blake Street for $41,650,000.  Steve Witten and Victor Nolletti of Institutional Property Advisors represented the buyer and seller, SA Wintergreen LLC.

 

Built in 2008, Wintergreen is operated as a luxury rental property, with five four-story buildings housing one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, 586 parking spaces and amenities such as a 24-hour fitness “club-caliber” center, club room with a big-screen TV, gourmet kitchen and high-tech business center.

 

“We believe the new ownership has the opportunity to increase cash flow and occupancy through operational and managerial enhancements in one of the country’s best performing apartment markets,” Nolletti said in a statement.

 

 

 

Medical Building Sold

 

ANSONIA –– An investment group headed by John Aversa, MD has purchased a 6,285-square-foot medical building at 111 Wakelee Avenue for $410,000. Stephen Press of Press/Cuozzo Realtors represented the buyer, GHMA LLC. Alan M. Fischer of Fischer Real Estate represented the seller, 111 Wakelee Avenue Assoc., LLC. 

 

\hed\B. Falls Lures Manufacturer

 

BEACON FALLS ­­–– Kolga Land, LLC has acquired a 20,000-square-foot industrial building on more than five acres at 65 Lancaster Drive, for $1,125,000. Ralph L. Calabrese of the R. Calabrese Agency was sole broker in the transaction. The seller was 65 Lancaster, LLC. Kolga manufactures shields for the nuclear medicine, X-ray and nuclear power industries.

 

 

 

Med Building Fetches $6M

 

HAMDEN ­­–– Westport Investment, LLC has purchased 9 Washington Avenue, a three-story medical building, for $6.03 million, or $167.50 per square foot. Harden Crawford IV of HLC Realty represented the buyer. Mike Barr of MNBarr Commercial Real Estate represented the owner, Drazen 1993 LP.

 

\hed\Silver City Saab Story

 

MERIDEN — A former Saab dealership facility at 171 South Broad Street has attracted a new owner. Stephen Press of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services represented both the buyer, 171 South Broad, LLC — which paid $640,000 for the 5,500-square-foot building with showroom and service area sited on 2.8 acres — and the seller, Swedish Automotive Group, LLC.

 

 

$7.7M Rental-Unit Sale

 

MERIDEN –– An apartment building at 234 Sherman Avenue has changed hands. The buyer, 234 Sherman LLC, paid $7.7 million for the property, which has 58 units — 34 one-bedroom, 20 two-bedroom and four three-bedroom apartments, along with 29 two-bedroom townhouses and one three-bedroom townhouse. Originally built as a school in 1924, the structure was converted to apartments in 1988. Taymil Britannia, LLC was the seller. Steve Witten, Victor Nolletti and Eric Pentore of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services were sole brokers in the transaction.

 

 

Milford Office Bldg. Sold

 

MILFORD –– A 6,000-square-foot office building at 200 Rowe Avenue has been bought by 200 Rowe Avenue, LLC for $400,000. Lambert Paving was the seller. John Bergin of Pearce/George J. Smith was sole broker in the deal.

 

 

 

$1.8M Naugy Apt. Sale

 

NAUGATUCK –– Trowbridge KRC, LLC has purchased a 33-unit apartment building 38 Highland Avenue for $1,840,000. The seller was Limerick Properties, LLC. Steve Pappas and Tom Boyle of Chozick Realty were sole brokers in the transaction.

 

 

 

\Firm Buys on Court Street

 

NEW HAVEN –– Performance Environmental Services has purchased a 2,300-square-foot building at 107 Court Street for $375,000. The seller was Ahern Properties. Frank D’Ostilio of Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio was the deal’s sole broker.

 

 

 

Two to Tango

 

NEW HAVEN –– Two buildings at 402 Crown Street and 45 Howe Street have been bought by 402 Crown, LLC for $720,000. The seller was Alex Rivera. Frank D’Ostilio of Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio was the sole broker.

 

 

Hilton Eyes Southington

 

SOUTHINGTON –– Briad Lodging Group, LLC has acquired a 5.75-acre property at 1096 West Street for$1.2 million for development as an upscale Homewood Suites Hotel by Hilton.  The seller was Westcorp LLC. The R. Calabrese Agency, LLC was the sole broker.

 

 

Stratford Industrial Sale

 

STRATFORD ­­–– Penmar Industries has purchased a 14,220-square-foot building at 35 Ontario Street for $850,000. The seller was Mondary Real Estate, LLC. Jon Angel of Angel Commercial was sole broker in the deal.

 

 

New Life for Old Hotel

 

WATERBURY –– VBF Capital, LLC has purchased 49 apartments and six retail stores at 380 West Main Street for $1.48 million. The seller was Rational Real Estate IV, LLC. Rick Chozick and Steve Pappas Chozick Realty were sole brokers in the transaction.

 

Built in 1910 as the Waterbury Hotel, the property was redeveloped into an apartment building in the 1980s with 17 studio apartments, 28 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom units. The structure also houses 13,000 square feet of retail space. 

 

 

 

$2M for W.H. Apartments

 

WEST HAVEN ­­–– A 35-unit apartment building at 771-773 Savin Avenue has been acquired by 771 Savin Navcapman for $2.025 million. Brian Dornan of Pyramid Realy and Steve Pappas of Chozick Realty were co-brokers. F&L Virzi LLC was the seller.

 

 

 

LEASES

 

 

 

By the Grace of God

 

BRANFORD –– Grace Church has extended its lease for 4,000 square feet at 965 West Main Street. Barry Stratton of the Geenty Group, Realtors, represented the tenant. Frank Hird of OR&L Commercial represented the landlord, 965 West Main, LLC. The property includes 190,000 square feet of industrial, office and flex space.

 

 

 

Easter Seals Inks Lease

 

 

BRANFORD –– Easter Seals/Goodwill Industries has leased 11,400 square feet at 249 West Main Street for a thrift store and donation center scheduled to open this autumn. OR&L Commercial’s Toby Brimberg represented the tenant. OR&L Commercial’s Richard Gold and Phil Marshall represented the landlord, Lakeview Center Associates, LLC.

 

Biz Park Lures Tenant

 

MERIDEN –– National Default Servicing has signed a seven-year lease for 25,000 square feet at 500 South Broad Street. Sean O'Neil of Jones Lang LaSalle represented National. Frank Hird and Steve Foote OR&L Commercial represented the landlord, Meriden Business Park LLC.

 

 

Chipotle Chooses Chapel St.

 

NEW HAVEN –– Chipotle Mexican Grill has signed a ten-year lease for 2,300 square feet at 900 Chapel Street, formerly occupied by Caffé Bottega. Mike Shanahan of Fairfield Retail Partners represented Chipotle. Dan Johnson of MJB Real Estate Services Corp. represented the landlord, PMC Property Group. “They came to us in February or March [2012], and it took months [to close the deal],” Johnson said. “I think it’s going to be a tremendous use for that corner. We had a lot of interest, but we were just waiting for the right tenant. We wanted a national tenant and that’s what we got.”

 

 

Washington Ave. Yogurt Shop

 

NORTH HAVEN –– Cheri Swirl has leased 1,235 square feet at 323 Washington Avenue. Press/Cuozzo’s Albert Scafati was sole broker in the transaction, representing the yogurt shop and the landlord, TFJA, LLC. 

 

 

Direct-Mail Lease

 

WALLINGFORD –– Connecticut Direct Mail Corp has leased a 4,940-square-foot unit at 65 South Turnpike Road. The landlord is 65 South Turnpike, LLC. Bill Clarkof the Geenty Group, Realtors in Branford, was sole broker in the deal.   

 

 

From Oxford to Waterbury

 

WATERBURY –– Eemax Inc. has signed a five-year lease with a five-year renewal option for 36,000 square feet at 400 Captain Neville Drive. Ed Godin Jr. and Gerry Matthews of Matthews Commercial Properties represented the landlord, Cornerstone Realty. Frank Micali of Capitalize 360 Group represented the tenant, which manufactures electric tankless water heaters and is relocating from Oxford to a larger space.

 

 

W. Haven Retail Lease

 

WEST HAVEN ––Tile Liquidators, doing business as Tiles of Distinction, has leased 1,280 square feet in the Twelve Oaks Business Park, 375 Morgan Lane. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors, represented both the tenant and landlord, John C. D’Amato Jr. and the LAD Trust.

 

BRANFORD –– Two Thimble islands are on the market. Belden Island is listed for $3.95 million and Jepson Island for around $2 million, according to Madison agents for William Pitt Sotheby’s, which has the listings.

 

The seller is Christine Svenningsen, who owns ten of the Thimble islands.

 

Milford Mayor Benjamin Blake and Milford Chamber of Commerce members were among those who attended a September 6 ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8 Daniel Street to welcome Stacy Blake Realty, LLC to the local business community. A grand opening celebration for the residential real-estate brokerage followed the ribbon-cutting.

SALES

Park City Property Bought

BRIDGEPORT –– Joseph Palmieri has purchased a 3,200-square-foot building and car parking lot at 25-27 Burr Court for $190,000. Bruce Wettenstein of Vidal/Wettenstein represented the buyer. Alan Fischer of Fischer Real Estate represented the seller, the Community Bank.

 

Auto Facility Acquired

BRANFORD –– Premier Holdings, LLC has paid $1,55 million for a 12,313-square-foot automotive facility at 205 North Main Street. Tim McMahon and Frank Hird of OR&L Commercial represented the seller, 155 North Main Street, LLC. Peter Brown of H. Pearce represented the buyer, Premier Holdings, LLC.    

 

Former Bernie’s Sold

MIDDLETOWN –– Baker Properties has bought a 184,000-square-foot building sited on 17 acres at 1559 King Street for $5.2 million. The seller was Bristol Fields, LLC. Jay Morris and Colleen Sheridan of OR&L Commercial were sole brokers in the transaction. The property formerly was occupied by Bernie’s corporate offices, retail showroom and distribution center.

 

USPS Facility Fetches $2M

NEW HAVEN — Sonata 22, LLC has purchased the 23,700-square-foot former U.S. Postal Service Distribution Center building at 151 Frontage Road. The sale price was $2,020,000. The building will become Quality Honda of Branford’s new showroom. Phil Barber of Pearce/George J. Smith Commercial Division represented the buyer. Matt O’Hare of CBRE represented the seller, the U.S. Postal Service.

Oxford Office Sale

OXFORD — Ed Godin of Matthews Commercial has acquire]ed a 5,600-square-foot office/flex building at 207 Christian Road for $360,000. Bill Weirsman of Colonial Properties represented the seller, A&D Services, LLC.

W.H. Commercial Bldg. Sold

WEST HAVEN  –– Roger Jansen has purchased a 1,500-square-foot commercial building and adjoining 1,000-square-foot garage on 0.25 acres at 10-12 Gilbert Street for $100,000. Dan Sunderland of Dan Sunderland Realty represented Jansen. Mike Richetelli of Colonial Properties represented the seller, the Lou Govanelly Family Trust.

Major Post Rd. Transfer

WEST HAVEN –– Universal Hotel Liquidators has paid $2,450,000 for an 8.20-acre parcel at 555 Boston Post Road with several buildings and more than 70,000 square feet. One of the buildings, which most recently housed Dadd’s Xtreme Sports, will be a retail showcase and warehouse. “It’s probably the largest piece of commercial property on the Post Road in West Haven,” explains Mike Richetelli of Colonial Properties, who represented the buyer, David White, owner of Universal Hotel Liquidators and Bart Realty, its real estate company, which purchased the property. Robert Cole of Arnold Peck Commercial World represented the seller, Hide Realty Associates LLC of West Hartford. Universal caters to college students.

 

LEASES

Lakeview Center Lease

BRANFORD –– Easter Seals Goodwill Industries has leased 11,400 square feet at Lakeview Center, 249 West Main Street. Toby Brimberg of OR&L Commercial represented the tenant. Richard Gold and Phil Marshal of OR&L Commercial represented the landlord, Lakeview Center Associates, LLC.

New Branford Eatery

BRANFORD –– New Hanami Restaurant has leased 3,250 square feet at 906-930 West Main Street. Lani-Liu of Sovereign Properties represented the tenant. Fred Messore and Vin Bagdasarian of Colonial Properties represented the owners, Bruno and Angela Ceniccola.

 

Local COG Leases

ESSEX –– The Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments has leased 5,200 square feet at 145 Dennison Road, Barry Stratton of the Geenty Group, Realtors, represented the tenant. Mary O’Brien of Mary O’Brien Realty represented the landlord, John Dresty Jr.

 

MHQ Chooses Middletown

MIDDLETOWN –– MHQ has leased 10,000 square feet space 750 Newfield Street for its vehicle upfitting services, which include the installation of body armor. Steve Foote and Carol Karney of OR&L Commercial represented the building owner, Tom Staron. Foote also represented the tenant.

 

Moving to Marsh Hill

MILFORD –– Product Development Corp. has signed a three-year lease for 2,000 square feet at the Marsh Hill Business Park, 4 Oxford Road. Mike Richetelli of Colonial Properties represented the tenant. Dana Barnes of Concord Equity Group represented the landlord, Sanibel 955, LLC.

 

Subway Expands Footprint

MILFORD –– The Subway sandwich chain has signed a ten-year lease for 100,000 square feet of warehouse space at 500 Bic Drive. Chris O'Hara of Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT represented the tenant. Joe Coci, managing director of Connecticut properties for the landlord, New Jersey-based Mountain Development Corp., handled the negotiations. The warehouse will be occupied by Subway’s Franchisee Shipping Center Co., LLC.

Arts Group to Universal Dr.

NORTH HAVEN –– The Jared Andrew Studio for the Performing Arts has leased 12,000 square feet at 222 Universal Drive. Chris Nolan of H. Pearce Real Estate represented Jared. Barry Stratton and Kevin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors, represented the landlord, Branco Inc.

 

Post Road Sublease

ORANGE — Trebco Specialty Products, Inc. has subleased 1,200 square feet at 501 Boston Post Road from Roni Deutch Tax Services. Mike Richetelli of Colonial Properties represented the tenant. Fred Messore of Colonial Properties represented the landlord, D’Amato Investments, LLC.

 

Retailer Pens Lease

ORANGE –– Batteries Plus has signed a five-year lease for approximately 4,000 square feet at 481 Boston Post Road. Phil Barber of Pearce/George J. Smith Commercial represented the tenant. Carl Russell of Pearce/George J. Smith Commercial represented the landlord, ASO, LLC.

 

Orange Farmers Market

ORANGE — Efes Produce has signed a three-year lease for 6,300 square feet at 254 Bull Hill Lane for a retail store called Orange Farmers Market. Fred Portoff of Weichert Realtors represented the tenant. Fred Messore and Brita McGee represented the landlord, Bull Hill III Ltd.

Three’s No Crowd

ORANGE — Three tenants have signed leases at 109 Boston Post Road. Supercuts, LLC, represented by Brian Nadler of National Commercial Brokers, leased 2,000 square feet. Fred Messore of Colonial Properties, representing the landlord, Simone Development of Orange, was sole broker in the other two transactions, in which Arizona LS, LLC [d/b/a Medi-Weight Loss] leased 2,000 square feet and the University of New Haven leased 1,439 square feet.

Business Park Deal

ROCKY HILL –– DocuSource Business Solutions, LLC has leased 6,350 square feet at WinBrook Business Park, 716 Brook Street. Jay Morris and Robert Gaucher of OR&L Commercial represented both the tenant and building owner, WE 716 Brook Street, LLC, c/o Winstanley Enterprises.

 

Southington Ground Lease

SOUTHINGTON — Galaxy Development has signed a ground lease for a 3.4-acre retail redevelopment parcel at 365 Queen Street. Phil Marshall, Toby Brimberg and Frank Hird of OR&L Commercial represented both the owner, Doubleday, LLC and Galaxy, which will reconstruct part of the site for Webster Bank.

 

Hardware Firm to N. Farms Rd.

WALLINGFORD — Wesco Aircraft Hardware has signed a five-year lease for 5,000 square feet at 1070 North Farms Road. Phil Barber of Pearce/George J. Smith Commercial Division, represented the tenant. Kyle Roberts of CB Richard Ellis represented the landlord, 1070 North Farms Road, LLC.

 

Direct Mail Firm Pens Lease

WALLINGFORD — Connecticut Direct Mail Corp. has leased a 4,940-square-foot industrial unit at 65 South Turnpike Road. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors was sole broker in the transaction. The landlord is 65 South Turnpike LLC.

Major Wallingford Deal

WALLINGFORD — Resources for Human Development has inked a seven-year lease for 8,000 square feet at 135 North Plains Industrial Road. Phil Barber of Pearce/George J. Smith Commercial Division represented the owner, David Cook. Steve Wollman of Wollman Realty represented the tenant.   

Manufacturer Sets Up Shop

 

WATERBURY — IMS Waterjet Inc. has leased 29,500 square feet at 562 Captain Neville Drive. The company is a manufacturer of industrial cutting machines. Ed Godin Jr. and Gerry Matthews of Matthews Commercial Properties represented the tenant and landlord, Cornerstone Realty.

 

 NEW HAVEN — The aldermanic Legislation Committee last month approved a zoning change from light industrial to general business for the New Haven Register building at 40 Sargent Drive. This will allow the newspaper company to market the 193,000-square-foot building on 13.1 acres for retail use. The Register, which no longer prints newspapers on Sargent Drive, seeks to move downtown and recast itself as a “digital media hub.”

“The Register cannot stay here,” attorney Marc Wallman told the committee. “It has to move. The property is barely occupied and it is very expensive. We do not want the property to become vacant.”

Two venerable real estate brokerage firms have become one.

 

“It made a lot of sense,” says Barbara Pearce, president and CEO of H. Pearce Real Estate, which recently purchased the assets of George J. Smith & Son Real Estate, a commercial brokerage in Milford.

 

Pearce will continue to serve as CEO of Pearce Real Estate.

 

Smith president DeForest W. (Frosty) Smith will become a Pearce senior vice president.

 

The courtship was brief. “We’ve been keeping our eyes open for an opportunity to merge for a couple of years,” says Smith, who contacted Pearce several months ago after discussions with his three agents. “I asked the guys who would you feel comfortable with, and they said, ‘Pearce would be a good fit.’”

 

The partnership, Smith added, “really expands our services. They have over 100 agents, and their strong commercial division will allow us to do things we couldn’t do before, like appraisals, senior-citizen advice and mortgages.”

 

The deal also was a good geographical fit, expanding Smith’s reach into Pearce’s much wider territory — from greater New Haven and the shoreline north to central Connecticut — and giving Pearce, whose commercial and corporate offices are in North Haven, a strong presence in and around the Milford area.

 

“We wanted to maintain our Milford office, which was a little awkward because I own the building and Barbara had to sign a lease,” Smith explains. “In the southwestern portion of New Haven County, including Milford, Orange, West Haven and Woodbridge, we’ll be know as Pearce/George J. Smith. Realtors.”

 

Real estate runs in the blood of both new partners.

 

Pearce’s father, Herbert H. Pearce, established his eponymous company in 1958; Smith’s grandfather founded his firm in 1886.

 

Both Smith and Pearce said a union was appealing because of similar company histories and business practices.

 

“Our combined force is one of the largest, if not the largest, outside of Fairfield County,” Pearce said.

It may be getting larger.

 

“We’ve been approached by some individuals and agencies as a result of our merger,” Pearce says.

 

Adds Smith, “We’re talking with some agents about expanding the footprint into Fairfield County.”

BRIDGEPORT –– Viking Construction recently completed a new 25,000-square-foot housing project for homeless veterans in Griswold. Viking was general contractor for the $4.5 million project, which involved demolishing two homes, renovating a three-story brick building and constructing a new addition to create 18 one-bedroom, wheelchair-accessible apartments.

 

Viking also has installed 126 solar panels on the roof of its Bridgeport headquarters. The panels generate 30 percent of the company’s electricity needs.

 

"Viking has long been using energy-efficient products and solutions for the buildings we construct,” said company President Anthony Gaglio Sr. in a statement. "This solar project is one more step in that direction.”

NEWS

 

Fairfield County leasing activity during the second quarter of 2012 was “significantly down” from mid-year 2011, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s latest market report.

 

Overall leasing (Class A and B) for the first half of 2012 totaled 758,069 square feet, representing a 23.9-percent decrease from the 1,125,804 square feet leased during the first six months of 2011.

 

 

“In theory, quite a few ten-year transactions that were signed in 2003 should have been up for renewal this year,” said Jim Fagan, senior managing director and market leader of Cushman’s Fairfield and Westchester County regions. “With the difficult economy over the last few years, however, a number of early renewals and blend-and-extend transactions have taken some of the vitality out of leasing activity this year.”

 

 

SALES

 

Former Woolen Mill Sold

 

BEACON FALLS — Beacon Mill Village, 2 North Main Street, a 188-unit condominium-style multifamily residential complex on the banks of the Naugatuck River, has been acquired by UOB Eagle Rock Multifamily Property Fund, LP for $21.7 million. The seller was BMV Associates, LLC. The 184,000-square-foot property includes eight historic buildings originally constructed between 1851 and 1911 as a mill for the Home Woolen Co. The property was converted to residential units in 1988. Steve Witten and Victor Nolletti of Institutional Property Advisors represented the seller in the transaction.

 

Cooll Customer in Hamden

HAMDEN –– Taylor Freezer has paid $250,000 for a 20,000-square-foot building at 130-150 Welton Street.

Stephen Press of Press Cuozzo represented the buyer, while Rich Lee of OR&L Commercial represented the owner, People’s United Bank.

“Taylor will use about two thirds of the space and lease the rest,” said Hamden economic development director Dale Kroop. The company also will benefit from a city business incentive program giving it a 100-percent waiver of building permit fees and a 50-percent tax abatement for three years on building improvements, Kroop added.

 

In 2011, nine businesses used the program when leasing or buying commercial properties in Hamden.

 

Kroop expects at least that many for 2012. In the last couple of months businesses receiving grant money and waiver of permit fees include Deric Currie Insurance, which purchased a commercial condo at 3208 Whitney Avenue.

 

“We have approved more than 100 applications since the program got underway in 1999,” Kroop said. “I don’t think many suburban communities offer as much as we do. We focus on small businesses which really need this help.”

 

Residential/Commercial Sale

HAMDEN –– GTB Properties has purchased a 1,200-square-foot residential unit and 2,400-square-foot commercial building at 330-336 Welton Street for $280,000. Albert Scafati of Press Cuozzo represented the buyer and seller, Donna Oliveri.

 

Milford Showcase Sold

MILFORD — Fairfield developer Ceruzzi Properties, LLC has paid $5.8 million for the former Showcase Cinemas at 230 Cherry Street. National Amusements, the seller of the nine-acre site, never listed it with a broker, according to Bob Gregory, Milford’s director of economic and community development. Ceruzzi, which redeveloped a Post Road [Ryder] mobile home park into a mall anchored by Walmart and transformed the Milford Jai Alai on Old Gate Lane into a Lowes, apparently is mulling over options for the property. “We like what [company principal Louis CVeruzzi] does,” Gregory said.

Zink Buys in N. Branford

NORTH BRANFORD –– Philip Zink has purchased a vacant 20,000-square-foot industrial building at 27 Ciro Road for $575,000. Joel Galvin of Pearce Commercial Real Estate represented the sellers, Christian Jensen and Paul Tupey. Bill Parry of Joy Real Estate represented the buyer.

No School for Scandal

FARMINGTON –– Miss Porter’s School has paid $810,000 for the Grist Mill Restaurant on 1.7 acres at 44 Mill Lane. Stephen Press of Press/Cuozzo represented the sellers, the Trustees of the Estate of Mario Zacco, who transformed the 5,600-square-foot 17th-century mill into the restaurant more than two decades ago. Gayle Talbo and Bruce Cagenello of Prudential Connecticut Realty represented Miss Porter’s, whose campus abuts the restaurant property.  



LEASES

 

Business Is Exploding

BRANFORD –– Uncle Guido's Xtreme Paintball and Fireworks has leased 857 square feet at 71 West Main Street. Geenty Group Senior Vice President Bill Clark, represented both the tenant and the landlord, 71 West Main, LLC.

 

Biotech Startup Puts Down Roots

BRANFORD –– AxioMx Inc. has leased 2,735 square feet in Orchard Research Park, 688 East Main Street. Kevin Geenty and Kristin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors represented both the landlord, Parish Farm Partners, LLC and the tenant, a startup biotech firm founded by senior members of the Affomix and Illumina corporations.

 

Auto Firm to Cheshire

CHESHIRE –– Auto accessories maker Aftermarket Specialty Co. Inc. has leased 4,825 square feet at 182 Sandbank Road. Joel Nesson of Press Cuozzo was sole broker in the transaction. The landlord is B&S Realty, LLC.

 

Two for the Show

NEW HAVEN — Two new tenants have inked five-year leases for an aggregate 5,000 square feet at 345-355 Forbes Avenue. The tenants are Greenwich Fleet Leasing, LLC, and Eastern Region Re-Marketing Services. The space will be used for automobile sales as well as car and truck rentals.  The landlord is John LaViola. Barry Stratton of the Geenty, Group, Realtors was the sole agent in this transaction.

 

Boris Good Enough

CHESHIRE –– Boris Construction Co. has leased 4,800 square feet 184 Sandbank Road. Joel Nesson represented the landlord, B&S Realty LLC. Ed Grodin of Matthews Commercial Properties represented the tenant.

 

No Room at the Inn

FAIRFIELD  –– Cimbali USA and Ifficient Inc. have leased 6,000 square feet at 418 Meadow Street, bringing the 24,000-square-foot building to full occupancy. Cimbali, which makes espresso and cappuccino machines, will occupy approximately 3,600 square feet for its U.S. headquarters. Internet marketer Ifficient Inc. will occupy the remainder of the space. Brett Sherman of Angel Commercial represented Ifficient and landlord Bao Partners, LLC. William Raveis represented the tenant.

 

TV, Or Not TV?

GUILFORD — GoodTV, LLC has leased 360 square feet at 2415 Boston Post Road. The landlord is Mariner Properties, LLC. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors was the sole agent in the deal.

 

Taylor-Made in Hamden

HAMDEN –– Taylor & Francis Group, LLC has leased 1,400 square feet at 2440 Whitney Avenue. Joel Nesson of Press Cuozzo represented the landlord, WTE 2428 Whitney, LLC. Albert Scafati of Press Cuozzo represented the tenant.

 

Clothes Encounters

HAMDEN –– Campus Clothing Co. Inc. has leased an entire 19,500 square foot building at 1004 Sherman Avenue. The landlord is WTE Sherman 1004, LLC. Joel Nesson of Press Cuozzo was sole broker in the transaction.   

 

Career Move

MERIDEN –– Connecticut Career Coaches, LLC has signed a three-year lease for 1,400 square feet at 1501 East Main Street. The Proto Group represented the landlord, Cucinelli Properties LLC. Gil Julian of NAI Elite represented the tenant.

Oil’s Well That Ends Well

MILFORD –– Finnish-based Lamor Corp. is moving its U.S. operations from Seymour to 36,560 square feet at 155 Hill Street. Jon Angel of Angel Commercial represented both the tenant, which makes oil spill-recovery products, and the landlord, Clarke Avenue Properties, LLC.

New Denny’s A-building

NEW HAVEN –– C&L Whalley, LLC has leased 4,200 square feet of the former Blockbuster Video store at 1467 Whalley Avenue for  a  Denny’s Restaurant. The Proto Group represented the landlord,  ACL/Smartyale, LLC. Jason Wuchiski of Rhys Commercial represented the tenant.

YNHHS Renews Lease

NEW HAVEN –– The Yale New Haven Health System has renewed a two-year lease for 11,065 square feet at 1 Church Street. The Proto Group represented the landlord, One Church Street, LP. No other broker was involved in the deal.

 

All the News That Fits

NEW HAVEN  –– Tribune Co., owner of the Hartford Courant, New Haven Advocate and WTIC-TV, has inked a ten-year lease for 5,000 square feet for an Advocate office and broadcast studio at 107 Whitney Avenue. Chris Nicotra of Olympia Properties represented the landlord.  Evan O’Brien of Cushman and Wakefield represented the tenant.

 

Whitney Ave. Lease

NEW HAVEN  –– Asian Ivy Lab has signed a ten-year lease for 5,000 square feet at 97 Whitney Avenue. Landlord Chris Nicotra of Olympia Properties was sole broker in the transaction.

 

Basket Case

NORTH HAVEN –– The Basket Gallery, LLC has leased 1,000 square feet at the 55-57 State Plaza. Joel Galvin of Pearce Commercial Real Estate represented both the tenant and landlord, John DeChristofaro.

 

Med Office Opens in orange

ORANGE –– Urology Group, PC has leased  1,600 square feet in the Lambert Professional Center at 291 South Lambert Road. Bill Weirsman of Colonial Properties represented both the tenant and the landlord, Sunny Ledge Group, LLC.

 

No Bones About It

SHELTON –– Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists has leased 6,466 square feet at 889 Bridgeport Avenue for a medical office and physical therapy facility. Dan Boynton of Boynton Commercial Real Estate represented the tenant. Michael Dillion of CB Richard Ellis represented the landlord, Rugby Realty.

 

“This will be our eighth medical office and seventh for physical therapy,” said Laura Whinfield, marketing director for Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists. The other medical offices are in Branford, Guilford, Hamden, Milford, New Haven, Orange and Wallingford. All except for New Haven have physical therapy provided by STAR Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation.

The new space is being renovated, and is slated to open on September 1.

 

Food for Thought

STRATFORD –– El’s Kitchen has signed a ten-year lease for 3,000 square feet at 300 Benton Street. Jon Angel of Angel Commercial was the sole broker, representing the gluten-free snack food manufacturer and the landlord, 300 Benton Street, LLC.

Air Apparent

WALLINGFORD –– Wesco Aircraft Hardware has signed a five-year lease for 5,000 square feet at 1070 North Farms Road. Phil Barber of H. Pearce Co. represented the tenant. Kyle Roberts of CB Richard Ellis represented the landlord, 1070 North Farms Road LLC.

 

HR Firm Inks Lease

WALLINGFORD –– Resources for Human Development has signed a  seven-year lease for 8,125 square feet at 135 North Plains Industrial Road. Phil Barber of H. Pearce Co. represented the landlord, UPC Realty. Steve Wollman of Wollman Realty represented the tenant.

 

Scene and Heard

WEST HAVEN –– Steve Heard has renewed a two-year lease for 900 square feet at 38 Sawmill Road. The Proto Group represented the landlord, Mail-One LLC.  Krista Foster of ERA Property World represented the tenant.

 

EXCLUSIVE LISTINGS

 

SHELTON — Cushman & Wakefield has been named the exclusive leasing agent for a 175,000-square-foot Class A office property at 6 Armstrong Road.  Marcus Partners recently purchased the building from Fusco Management Co. for $8.2 million, and announced its intention to spend $4.5 million for improvements including upgraded lobbies and common areas and new mechanical and control systems.

 

 MILFORD — Finland-based Lamor Corp. will relocate its Lamor USA operations from Seymour to 36,560 square feet of industrial flex space at 155 Hill Street in Milford.

Lamor (Larsen Marine Oil Recovery) develops, manufactures and supplies oil spill recovery equipment and services. The company performs contingency planning, risk assessments, equipment maintenance and service coupled with training. The company has offices in China, Russia and the U.S. and an agent network that covers 90 countries. The company says it has sold equipment to more than 120 countries over the past 20 years.

The property at 155 Hill Street is a multi-tenant complex with a total of 167,000 square feet. Explained Jon Angel of Angel Commercial, LLC, who represented the landlord, Clarke Avenue Properties, LLC, and tenant in the deal: “Lamor USA’s criteria included administration offices, warehouse and a clean room for manufacturing some of its products. Moreover, they required a suitable yet centrally located property for its staff to commute to. Following a comprehensive search and evaluation process to meet Lamor USA’s needs, we assessed that 155 Hill Street in Milford as the best choice that met all their requirements.”

The space is currently undergoing a complete buildout to the tenant’s specifications. “Although these are costly,” said Angel, “the landlord is willing to invest in this tenant given their financial strength and their willingness to commit to a long-term lease of the property.”

Said Lamor USA CEO Janne Suokas: “The location and the property is perfect for our operational needs. Lamor USA in Milford represents our continued commitment to our clients in the North and South American markets.”

 WALLINGFORD — The mild winter of 2011-12 contributed to a warming trend in Connecticut’s residential real estate market this spring.

 

According to Prudential Connecticut Realty’s first quarter market report, prices of single family homes and condominium homes dropped from the first quarter of last year. These lower prices provide opportunity for buyers to take advantage of continued low mortgage rates.

 

Pending contracts jumped 25.9 percent for single-family homes. According to PCR, pending sales haven’t been this strong since the first quarter of 2010. Single-family closed sales are also up 8.4 percent (11.4 percent in New Haven County) while condominium closed sales increased 3.6 percent, reversing the downward trend of the last few quarters.

 

A major driver of surging sales is the continuing decline in median selling prices. Statewide, single-family homes prices fell 7.3 percent, to $222,500, year over year, with every county posting a decline.

 

Price pressure on sellers has not positively impacted average days on market, which rose during the first quarter 6.4 percent, to 165 days for single-family homes  (157 days for condominiums).

 

The old saw about real estate (“They’re not making any more of it”) is certainly true for Connecticut’s residential market. Statewide just 2,837 housing permits were issued for all of the 2011 — the fewest, the PCR report observed, “in a very long time.”

 

Among New Haven County municipalities, the largest number of single-family homes sales by far occurred in Waterbury, where 145 homes changed hands in the first quarter — nearly three times the number sold in New Haven. It is probably not a coincidence that the average selling price in the Brass City — $98,000 — was likewise the lowest of any community in the county.

 

“We are seeing positive signs for the Connecticut real estate market,” said Peter Helie, PCR’s chairman and CEO. “It is clear that Connecticut is on the road to a housing recovery in 2012.”

 

A key indicator of market stabilization in Connecticut is the recovery of a third of the jobs that were lost during the great recession. Combined with other market signs such as historically low interest rates and well priced inventory, buyers are finally re-entering the market with confidence, according to PCR.

 The average vacancy rate for Class A commercial office space in Fairfield County increased from 20.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 21 percent in the first quarter of 2012, according to a report from commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

According to the quarterly market report, the Stratford/Shelton submarket saw the largest increase in overall vacancy rates, rising from 8.8 percent in the first quarter of 2011 to 13.6 percent in the first quarter of 2012. That change is due in large part to the 174,000 square feet of space that came on the market when Pitney Bowes moved its operations from Shelton to Danbury.

As the vacancy rates have inched up, so too has the average rent per square foot. According to the report, the average rate in Fairfield County increased from $35.74 per square foot in the first quarter of 2011 to $36.57 per square foot in the first quarter of 2012.

Despite the increase in vacancy rates, "the investment sales market showed definite signs of improvement this quarter, with sustained increases in sales activity expected for the remainder of 2012," the commercial real estate firm emphasized.

 WEST HAVEN — Fred A. Messore, vice president of Colonial Properties, has been named 2012 Businessperson of the Year by the West Haven Chamber of Commerce. A former executive director of the West Haven Economic Development Corp., Messore has played an active role in the development of the West Haven rail station and the expansion of the University of New Haven campus. The commercial Realtor has been active in the chamber since 2000.

 WALLINGFORD — Prudential Connecticut Realty has launched a new mobile application that is available for free in Apple, Android and Blackberry app stores and markets, announced company President Candace Adams.

Features include the ability to search listings based on your current GPS location, as well as through the traditional list and map search methods.  Users can easily view listing details on all homes for sale throughout Connecticut and Rhode Island; such as price, square footage, property features and more directly from a Smartphone, iPad or tablet device.

To download the Prudential Connecticut mobile app, visit the app store or marketplace and search for Prudential CT & RI Realty or type in m2.prudentialCT.com in your mobile browser to be taken directly to the download page.

 SALES

 

 

 

Shopping Center Fetches $7.5M

 

NEW HAVEN — A grocery-anchored shopping center at 466-480 Foxon Boulevard has sold for $7,475,000, or about $230 per square foot. Seller Krypac Development, LLC of New Haven began developing the property in 2007 as a 49,000-square-foot shopping center on 8.5 acres. During development Aldi Supermarkets purchased its 17,000-square-foot parcel from the developer. Currently the center is 90-percent occupied with tenants including T-Mobile, TD Banknorth and AutoZone. Edward Jordan, CCIM of the Northeast Private Client Group represented both the seller and the buyer, Longford Associates of White Plains, N.Y.

 

 

 

Orange Street Eatery Sold

 

NEW HAVEN – The former Red Restaurant at 56 Orange Street has been sold by the principals of Miso to native Brazilian Philippe Franco, who plans to open New Haven’s first Brazilian restaurant, Premivera Brazil, in the 3,000-square-foot space. Frank D’Ostilio of Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio was sole broker in the transaction.

 

 

 

LEASES

 

 

 

No Room at the Inn

 

WALLINGFORD — Wallingford Tobacco has signed a five-year lease on 3,100 square feet at 900 North Colony Road. The lease is valued at $175,000. Albert Scafati of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services, exclusive agent for the 14,000-square-foot retail center owned by TFJA, LLC, reports that with the execution of this lease, the center is 100-percent leased. Wallingford Tobacco joins tenants Heritage Floor Covering, Sirinan’s Thai and Japanese Restaurant and Little Caesars Pizza.

 

 

 

Maxxed Out in Southbury

 

SOUTHBURY — TJ Maxx has signed a long-term lease for approximately 22,000 square feet in Southbury Plaza, 100 Main Street North. Jason Wuchiski and Tyler Lyman, both of RHYS Commercial, represented landlord Southaven Associates, LLC. A division of the TJX Cos., TJ Maxx is the largest off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions in the U.S.

 

 

 

Ballou’s Opens in Branford

 

BRANFORD — Ballou’s Wine Bar of Guilford has entered into a long-term lease transaction for 4,183 square feet at 2 Sybil Avenue from landlord Bud’s Realty, LLC. The property will house Ballou’s second location adjacent to area landmark Bud’s Fish Market. Proprietors Steve and Debbie Kaye plan a May opening. H. Pearce Commercial’s Richard Guralnick, CCIM was sole broker in the transaction.

 

 

 

Cort Inks Wallingford Lease

 

WALLINGFORD — Chantilly, Va.-based furniture rental company, Cort Business Services Corp., recently leased 12,750 square feet of warehouse space at 4 Northrop Industrial Park Road. Cort will utilize the facility for its regional warehouse and distribution. The landlord is 1070 North Farm Road, LLC. Sentry Commercial and UGL Services represented Cort Business Services in the location of the new facility.

 

 

 

Major Milford Office Lease

 

 

MILFORD — The T3 Group has signed a long-term lease for approximately 5,500 square feet of Class A office space at 440 Wheelers Farm Road. The company, formerly known as SiteTrends, LLC, relocated from Shelton. Brett A. Sherman, CCIM, senior vice president of Angel Commercial LLC, represented T3, while CBRE represented the landlord, Sova Merritt, LLC.

 

Women’s Clothier to 9th Square

 

NEW HAVEN — Custom women’s clothier Nievelle Wisdom Designs has signed a five-year lease on 1,500 square feet at 83 Orange Street from Ninth Square landlord the Related Cos. of New York City. Frank D’Ostilio of Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio was the sole broker in the transaction. The new tenant is relocating from Westville Village.

 

 

 

Web Designer to Post Road

 

GUILFORD — Zinka Benton of GoodTV, LLC has signed a lease for 360 square feet at 2415 Boston Post Road. The Web design firm has leased two offices within a suite of several offices which include a common area conference room, common area reception room, and a common area utility room. The landlord is Mariner Properties, LLC. Bill Clark, senior vice president of the Geenty Group, Realtors, was sole broker in this transaction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXCLUSIVE LISTINGS

 

 

 

Industrial Flex Building $7.50 S/F NNN

 

TRUMBULL — Jon Angel of Angel Commercial has been named exclusive broker for 7120 Main Street. The 114,000-square-foot building on 10.1 acres is the former distribution for Read’s Department Store. Its 50,000 square feet of office space consists of open bullpen with perimeter offices. The 64,000-square-foot warehouse space features approximately 29- by 27-foot column spacing. Loading facilities include four covered loading docks with levelers and drive up ramp. Space in the building, a half-mile from the Route 25 Connector, is priced at $7.50 per square foot triple-net.

 

 Housing prices continued to decline in Connecticut in February compared to a year ago, even as the number of transactions remained essentially flat year-over-year.

According to date from RE/MAX of New England, a total of 1,630 housing units changed hands in February statewide, down slightly from the 1,635 transactions recorded in February 2011. Over the same period the median sales price fell 9.1 percent, to $232,500 from $255,750 a year ago. In addition, the average days on market increased from 117 in February 2011 to 124 this February.

Regionwide, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and New Hampshire posted significant increases in sales, even as all six New England states  saw average home prices decline.

“Increased sales across New England indicates a strengthening market,” observed Jay Hummer, executive vice president of RE/MAX of New England. “With the Obama administration reporting that we’re seeing the lowest national inventory of homes for sale since 2006, we should see pricing start to adjust accordingly.”

 State St.’s MakeHaven the newest ‘co-working’ space

 

 

NEW HAVEN — “Co-working” space is on the rise, and New Haven certainly is experiencing a bit of a boomlet in the phenomenon.

The newest to enter the fold downtown is MakeHaven, which is in the process of moving into newly leased two-floor space at 266 State Street.

MakeHaven is sort of industrial-tech cousin of shared office spaces like The Grove and The Bourse. The member-driven organization is a product of hacker ethic (not to be confused with those who break into computer systems; those would be “crackers”). It’s a place where members can come to design, build, modify or take apart and re-build devices of their own invention, or work with other members on theirs.

J.R. Logan is treasurer and one of the organization’s 17 members. MakeHaven will provide shared tools and shop space, which members can use to create and work.

“We’re looking for creativity — inventors, hobbyists, anyone who works with hardware,” he says. “They’ll be building their first prototype, or the first ten prototypes. Then we’ll test it, and break it, and build it again.”

MakeHaven’s members are programmers, designers, woodworkers, machinists and electronic engineers, and most work in various disciplines and institutions in the city, or are themselves entrepreneurs. As is the idea with shared workspaces, members can tap one another for information and share ideas. Logan expects there will be music and art-related projects, but also plenty of work purely “for the joy of inventing.”

The members are still gathering equipment and developing MakeHaven’s business and operational model, but Logan says members will regularly hold workshops, events and community programs at the space.

“We want something where people can share their ideas,” Logan says. “Maybe they create something and turn it into a business from there. We definitely plan to make it remarkable.”

A full membership is $50 a month, and Logan says with enough members, those fees can cover basic operating costs. The organization is currently applying for non-profit status, which would allow it to receive donations.

More information can be found at MakeHaven.org.

 Angel Commercial, LLC, Press/Cuozzo Commercial Realtors and Cushman & Wakefield are among the Westchester (N.Y.)/southern Connecticut winners of the 2011 CoStar Power Broker Awards.

Angel was a top leasing firm, along with Cushman, Press/Cuozzo and Matthews Commercial Properties, LLC. Angel company president Jon Angel was a top industrial leasing broker, as was Matt O’Hare of CBRE|New England, Ed Godin and Gerry Matthews of Matthews Commercial and Mark Glassman of Arnold Peck’s Commercial World.

Top sales brokers included Tim Fagen of CBRE|New England and Gary Witten, Victor Noletti and Steve Witten of Marcus & Millichap.

The annual awards recognize “the top commercial real estate brokerage firms and brokers who performed at the industry’s highest level and achieved remarkable sales and leasing success.”

 HARTFORD ­­–– The most recent survey of members of members of the Connecticut/western Massachusetts chapter of SIOR shows most are optimistic about commercial real estate market conditions in the region. More than 56 percent said conditions had either stabilized or improved during the second half of 2011, compared to the first six months of the year.

More than 66 percent of respondents expect improvement in market conditions during 2012, while 31 percent forecast no change and one percent anticipates further decline.  Members also indicated that industrial and office markets have stabilized, although a “significant minority” fret about further declines in market lease rates. Eighty percent of members believe industrial lease rates will remain unchanged while 20 percent anticipate a decline. Sixty percent think office lease rates will remain unchanged while 36 percent foresee a decline and four percent expect rates to increase.

Respondents expect industrial vacancy rates to decrease [48 percent], remain unchanged [44 percent] or increase [eight percent], while office vacancy rates will decrease [37.5 percent], remain unchanged [37.5 percent] or increase [25 percent].

 LEASES

 

 

Massaging the Numbers

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

 

 

 

Mexican Restaurant Moves

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

 

 

 

 A Gain for Pain

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

 

 

 

 Bysiewicz Leases HQ

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

 

 

 

Graphics Firm to Biz Park

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

 

 

 

 Middle St., Middletown

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

 

 

 

 Trio of New Tenants

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

 

 

 

 Computer Firm Leases

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

 

 

 

 Dance School Pens Lease

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

 

 

 

 Four on the Floor

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

 

 

UNH Leases in Orange

 

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

 

 

No Room at the Inn

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

 

 

 

 

 

SALES

 

 

 

Master of Disaster

 

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

 

New Cheshire Eatery

 

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

 

 

 Mftg. Firm Buys in Chester

 

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

 

 

 Former Circuit City Sold

 

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

 

New Use for Former Mill

 

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

 

 

 Start Bank Bldg. Sold

 

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

 

HANH Sells Grand Ave. Bldg.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Varipapa expects open his latest venture in May.

SALES

 

Oak Lane Finds Buyer

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Guilford Industrial Lease

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

 

Whitney Ave. Med Office

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

 

Office Conversion Eyed

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



LEASES

 

Staying Put in Hamden

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

 

Working Wood in Milford

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

 

Lower Chapel Law Office

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

 

CAA Leases on Whalley

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

 

Steamed in Stratford

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

 

W. Haven Industrial Lease

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

The brokerage is decidedly in a growth mode.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

SALES

 

Lawyers in Love (with Dwight St.)

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

 

UI Buys Goffe St. Site

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

 

 

LEASES

 

Sycamore Is the Way

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

 

From Germany to Branford

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

 

Good Fit in Cheshire

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

 

Major Orange Lease

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

 

Angel in Leasing Heaven

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

The deals include:

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

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

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


Alphabet Soup

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

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


Forever in Blue Genes

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


Sweet Deal on High St.

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


Universal Dr. Deal

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

 

Building in Wallingford

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

 

Holding Cort

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

 

Kamco Relocates 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

The brokerage is decidedly in a growth mode.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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