Connecticut Office Market Offers an Abundance of Choices for Large Tenants


Thomas Pajolek, CBRE

Large blocks of space in the Connecticut office market have typically been associated with financial services firms and the wide open trading floors found in investment bank offices. However, for a new breed of tenant looking for sprawling, open and contiguous office space, the state of Connecticut currently offers a myriad of choices across multiple submarkets — from Trumbull to Norwalk to Stamford. And recent leasing figures suggest that prospective tenants are taking note.

TAMI — or technology, advertising, media and information — tenants are no longer a Manhattan-only phenomenon. CBRE’s Westchester/Fairfield Counties office is increasingly seeing these tenants joining financial services tenants in cherry picking from an abundant group of large spaces. These TAMI tenants often favor the open spaces and giant floorplates that have become known for increasing collaboration and productivity among their employees. They can also offer consolidation and cost savings for companies.

One of the most notable recent examples was 2014’s largest lease transaction for Fairfield County, which saw information technology firm Datto lease 100,398 square feet of space at Norwalk’s Merritt 7 Corporate Park. CBRE’s Paul Jacobs, Colin Reilly and Barbara Segalini represented Datto in the lease at the 22-acre campus, which Datto said it chose because of its central location and amenities.

In January 2015, professional services firm Deloitte took 117,700 square feet at Building and Land Technology’s 695 East Main Street, or the BLT Financial Centre, a 594,000-square-foot Class A office building made up of two interconnected six-story buildings. Several large blocks of contiguous space remain available at the building in sizes that exceed 77,000 square feet. A total of 411,131 square feet of such space is currently available and being marketed in-house by a BLT leasing team.

Also in Stamford, at 201 Tresser Boulevard, there are two contiguous spaces available from owner Purdue Pharma LLC — both over 43,000 square feet each.

But there is more space where all of this came from. At 48 Monroe Turnpike in Trumbull, there is roughly 250,000 square feet of contiguous space available — located across two floors of 125,000 square feet each. That building is privately owned and the space is being marketed by CBRE, as is Stamford’s 201 Tresser Boulevard.

Over in Norwalk, at 10 Norden Place, Cushman & Wakefield is marketing 220,000 square feet of contiguous space for owner Fortis Property Group within Norden Park, according to data from CoStar.

Matrix Realty Group is also marketing 144,555 square feet of contiguous space at its Matrix Corporate Center in Danbury, at 39 Old Ridgebury Road. The park offers spaces that can be configured in a variety of ways.

Because these spaces are available in multiple submarkets, companies have the ability to choose from a variety of price points as well. Prices per square foot are lower from Greenwich further east, and in areas less accessible by public transportation. So tenants looking for back office space, for instance, might choose to locate those operations in a more affordable area in a secondary suburban area. Such locations provide the trade-off of affordability for mass transit.

For these reasons, it may be time to advise larger tenants on the fence about starting to search for new space not to renew, but rather to shop around. The range of options would suggest that many of the state’s markets deserve a look and careful consideration. Tenants in the 100,000-square-foot range don’t always have such a wealth of choices. Now is their moment across Connecticut.

— By Thomas Pajolek, Executive Vice President, Brokerage Services, CBRE. This article originally appeared in the June/July 2015 issue of Northeast Real Estate Business magazine.

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