Brakels ArcherCENTERBROOK: Centerbrook Architects & Planners has hired René Brakels and Cassie Archer to the architectural staff.

Brakels joins Centerbrook with a “diverse background of 15 years in the architecture industry that includes positions in his home country of The Netherlands, Ireland, Latvia and New York. Most recently he served as a job captain at RGB Architects in Providence. Brakels earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Architecture in The Netherlands, where he is a licensed architect.

Archer, who grew up in Nigeria and England, comes to Centerbrook from Kenneth Boroson Architects in New Haven, where she was a senior job captain. After graduating from Wentworth Institute of Technology in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Architecture, Archer began her career as a designer in California.

Both Brakels and Archer joined Centerbrook in February and have “hit the ground running on Quinnipiac University projects.”

UA SugarLand 123ORANGE: A new entertainment complex is coming Orange, occupying a former big box rtailing location.

Kevin Weirsman, broker and vice president of Colonial Properties, Inc. represented the landlord, Bull Hill Associates, LLC in the leasing of 85,000 square foot at 260 Bull Hill Lane. The building, formerly occupied by Builders Sq. and prior to that, K-Mart, was leased to Urban Air Family Adventure Parks, a national franchise operation with more than 40 locations.

Urban Air plans to open in late spring. The location will feature trampolines, laser tag and go-karts. Urban Air was represented by Andrew Callahan of Venture Retail Partners.

“This property had long been vacant and was another example of a growing trend of undesirable, hard to fill empty big box buildings in today's changing retail landscape. We were pleased to lease the entire building to an alternate, entertainment tenant, which has proven an effective use for large retail vacancies,” said Michael Richetelli, president and designated broker of Colonial Properties.

middletown ridgeMIDDLETOWN: Connecticut’s apartment market continues to attract strong interest among investors as another apartment portfolio brings in a large investment., Institutional Property Advisors (IPA), a division of Marcus & Millichap, completed the sale of Middletown Brooke and Middletown Ridge, a two-property, 518-unit multifamily portfolio located in the Westlake District. The portfolio sold for $62.65 million

“The Westlake District is a highly sought-after area for renters by choice, Millennials, empty nesters and employees working in the greater New Haven to Greater Hartford metropolitan areas,” said Victor Nolletti, executive director and lead advisor for the IPA Northeast team. “This location, which provides residents with access to two major employment areas, has consistently been one of the most stable multifamily sub-markets in the state. These assets are well positioned to benefit from a combination of modest amenity and unit upgrades, further enhancing an already attractive in-place yield.”

QAM StJohn QAM StJohn Rendering
St.John Tower, 1971 Rendering of Makeover, to "enhance the visual impact."

STAMFORD: Quisenberry Arcari Malik, LLC (QA+M Architecture) of Farmington has been selected as the designer for the renovation of St. John Towers in the city’s downtown. The project includes the complete rehabilitation of two 17-story silo-like apartment towers with 120 units of residential housing in each tower. The buildings were built in 1969 and are currently occupied.

“With this renovation project, we see an opportunity to enhance the visual impact of the St. John Towers while improving the facilities for the tenants,” said David Quisenberry, a QA+M Architecture principal. “We feel that we could help create an optimistic solution for the cost-conscious residential towers while improving the facilities’ presence on the Stamford skyline.”

695stamfordcreditacoreSTAMFORD: Webster Bank has leased 25,000 square feet of office space at 200 Elm Street, .a class A office property located in downtown. Owned by Building and Land Technology (BLT), more than 250,000 square feet of office space at 200 Elm in less than 18 months, including 200,000 square feet to tenants that are new to the city market.

200 Elm is one of the two recently renovated downtown office towers that formerly housed the headquarters of Gen Re. With the renovations, according to BLT “200 Elm now has a new four-story entrance atrium, modernized elevators, new roofs, new bathrooms, new large conference facility and collaboration areas. Amenities including a full-service café with rotunda seating area, outdoor central courtyard, full service fitness center managed by Exhale Mind Body, manned security stations with surveillance, control gates and card key access 24/7/365.”

45glover norwalk 01


Factset's New Home at 45 Glover Avenue, Stamford

STAMFORD: Although it was a turbulent first quarter for certain submarkets, Fairfield County’s office fundamentals remained stable while Westchester County saw office leasing activity fall but asking lease rates rise in key submarkets, according to Colliers International Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CIGI, TSX:CIG).

“The market is still feeling the effects of GE’s consolidation as they formally market their 275,000-square-foot space in the Stamford Non-CBD submarket,” said Sean Cullen, director of research for Colliers’ Stamford office. “However, healthy leasing activity of 832,465 square feet has led to a net increase in availability of just 20 basis points from last quarter. Pricing fell slightly by 1.0 percent to $35.90 per square foot.”


trump estateGREENWICH: A Waterfront estate formerly owned by President Donald Trump is on the market for $45 million.

The property, ‘commands” a 6-acre peninsula and on by the waters of Long Island Sound, and is currently the highest-priced residential property currently available for sale in Greenwich.

The 20,000-square-foot brick Georgian Colonial, designed by Polhemus and Coffin Architects, was purchased by the current owners 20 years ago and has undergone extensive updates and additions since.

cheshire skyCHESHIRE: Sky Management Services, LLC with offices in Philadelphia and New York, has purchased 611-617 West Johnson Avenue a four building flex complex totaling 210,000 square feet, with all four buildings adjacent to one another. Sky says it is “conducting an aggressive capital improvement and marketing program at the site and is seeking to secure new tenants by offering very competitive leasing terms, while remaining dedicated to the retention of existing tenants.

The price for the complex was reportedly $2 million. Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports are both tenants in the facility, with distribution and headquarters offices.

“We are pleased to acquire our third property in Connecticut, which is extremely

house bar graph arrow up2BOSTON: Single-family home sales in Connecticut fell 3 percent in February compared to February 2017, while the median sale price spiked 7.2 percent, according to the latest report from The Warren Group, publisher of The Commercial Record.


A total of 1,688 single-family homes were sold in Connecticut during February 2018, compared to the 1,741 homes sold in February 2017. Meanwhile, the median single-family home price increased to $237,000, compared with $221,000 a year ago. This marked the biggest year-over-year price jump since September 2013. Year-to-date, single-family home sales totaled 3,817 with a median sale price of $235,950.

"Sales may have slowed in February, but the rising price is a good sign for any current homeowners who are thinking of selling,” said Timothy Warren, CEO of The Warren Group. “The inventory of homes for sale is dropping in Connecticut and the tighter supply may be pushing up prices. Closings from the Spring real estate shopping season peak in the summer months. We’ll soon know if this trend continues or if homeowners rush to put their homes on the market to take advantage of higher prices.”

TSKP LibraryHARTFORD: The city’s “long awaited” Park Street Public Library has a a new design presented by architects TSKP Studio of. Hartford. The two-story, 12,000 square foot building offers adult and children’s library functions, community spaces and a “protected” outdoor courtyard.

The main library and community room portion will be built using exposed wood timber construction, which according to TSKP will “result in a warm and inviting atmosphere for these public areas.”

mathewshomeThe estate of former New Haven Developer Bob Mathews, now under federal indictment. The home was priced for auction at $26.5 million, but has been listed on for $44 million.


By Mitchell Young

NEW HAVEN: A flash from the past as 90’s era real estate developer Bob Mathews has been indicted, with the Federal government alleging he ‘scammed foreign investors.”

Mathews had developed what is now the city’s premier bio-science building 300 George Street, after buying it for $500,000 from SNET. It was mostly vacant when Winstanley Enterprise purchased it for $$27 million in 2000, Winstanley spent more than $25 million to develop the building for bioscience use.

mathewsMathews was a close friend and involved in several transactions with former Governor John Rowland, including purchasing his Washington apartment at what was seen as an inflated price. Mathews was fined $2000 for ethics violations relative to a transaction with Rowland but was not charged with any crimes.


WESTPORT: A team of three brokers, David LindlandFranco Fellah and Matthew Keefe, has completed the sale of the 201 Main Street property for $3.25 million. HK Group was the sole broker involved in the transaction. The property features three separate buildings totaling 10,050 s/f, on 0.39 acre zoned restricted business district.

The seller was the estate of Anna Nappa, the property was first purchased around 1964. Nappa Sales, doing general glass and screen repairs, selling windows, doors and glass is a current retail occupant

The property contains 13 residential units and a retail store. The new owner, Belden Place, LLC has plans to redevelop the property into a “first class” residential property with 14 apartments and a retail store. Three of the apartments will be classified as affordable.

crossfitWATERFORD: New London CrossFit, LLC, has leased 11,750 s/f of space at 132 Cross Road. Ron Lyman, CCIM, Lyman Real Estate CEO, brokered both sides of the deal between Michael Penta of New London CrossFit and landlord James Wray of 132 Cross Road, LLC

The lease extends six years, ending December 31, 2023. The property is located between Rte. 85 and I-95, just off Exit 81. According to the branded fitness regimen’s website, “CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.” The global network of CrossFit affiliates numbers more than 13,000.

38trumbullNEW HAVEN: The iconic mixed use building at 38 Trumbull Street was sold for $1,325,000 to Toplift Peak LLC. The seller was a local real estate partnership, Block and Kahan Properties. The building, a mix of office and multi family units, is at the gateway to Yale University at the corner of Orange and Trumbull Streets.

Steven Inglese, principal of the New Haven Group Inc., represented the seller in the transaction. The buyer was represented by Ken Ginsberg of RLWD Commercial [Real Living Wareck D'Ostilio].

 sketchersHAMDEN: The city’s Director of Economic Development and Neighborhood Revitalization, Dale Kroop, released a statement saying “despite the challenges in the retail and shopping center marketplace, Hamden has been getting positive news about its largest shopping centers.”

He added, “we are seeing continued interest in the Magic Mile and interest at Putnam Plaza in terms of alternative uses that will be good in the long run for the tax base and residents.”

The discount supermarket Aldi is set to open at the Hamden Mart on April 12th, the locally based Wine Merchant will relocate next door to Aldi during the summer.

WEST HAVEN: For those that take notes write this down. At least one hands on printer is showing that ink on paper still matters. Panagrafix inc. [USA Notepads], of Cascade Road in Milford has purchased a 20,520 square foot light industrial building on 1.8 acres, for $225,000 at of 50 Fresh Meadow Road to accomdate its more than 100 employees.

Michael Richetelli, president of Colonial Properties, Inc., represented the seller, Fresh Meadow Properties, LLCJoel Hausman of Colonial Realty in Fairfield represented the buyer.

The seller’s legal counsel was attorney Larry Langerman, of Milford. The property was formerly home to Seaboard Metal Finishing and will be used as a print shop by the new buyer.

stratfordSTRATFORD: A three parcel development site were sold recently on East Main and Sidney Streets for $1.7 million. The sites included are approximately 3 acres and adjacent to Stop and Shop and across from Home Depot. The buyer was the neighboring property owner, Urstadt Biddle, the owner of the Dock shopping Center located nearby. UB brought the site through zoning for a self-storage development. The seller was Zoar, LLC.

The company is reportedly in negotiations to also bring a restaurant to the site. The CT Post previously reported that the company’s plans for the site and the storage facility could exceed $14 million in costs.

Steven Inglese, principal of the New Haven Group Inc., marketed the property on behalf of the seller in the transaction and was the sole broker in the deal.

Walsh Kimberly CNA Simpson Kimado CNA
Walsh Simpson

GLASTONBURY: Cheryl Newton Architects (CNA) appointed Kimberly Walsh as business development manager. Prior to joining CNA, she worked as the marketing manager for Consulting Engineering Services in Middletown. With over a decade of AEC industry marketing experience, Walsh’s depth of talents includes lead generation, graphic design, photography, writing, social media, and website management.

Screen Shot 2018 03 28 at 9.12.38 AMWILTON: The home of the Omnicom Group in town and the northeastern of Enterprise Rent-A-Car has sold. The 52,500 square foot one-story office and flex building located at 131 Danbury Road sold for $9.225 million.

Omnicom (OMC) is a long-time tenant in the building and is one of the world’s largest global marketing and corporate communications companies and employs more than 74,000 people worldwide. The company recently entered into a long term lease renewal and have invested several millions of dollars upgrading their space.

uconn torringtonTORRINGTON: UConn has contacted to Torrington city leaders to offer the municipality the first chance to buy the University’s property that had as UConn’s regional campus until mid-2016.

The former mini campus has three buildings on 95-acres, where the University ended academic programs in mid-2016 due to dwindling enrollment.

EdAdvance, one of Connecticut’s six Regional Education Service Centers (RESCs), has expressed an interest in buying the M. Adela Eads Classroom Building and property around it for use in the educational programming it offers for 24 school districts in western and northwestern Connecticut.

Tyre Michael AmentaEmmaSTAMFORD: Michael Tyre, AIA, an “award-winning designer” with Amenta Emma Architects, has been promoted to managing principal of the firm’s Stamford office.

Tyre will oversee a staff of six, with Anne Loh Russo serving as lead senior designer. The Stamford office focuses on corporate and commercial interiors. This focus will continue, with a long-term plan to develop additional studios in other markets.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to lead this team and elevate Amenta Emma’s core mission of bringing world-class design and technical expertise to help solve the challenges our clients face,” said Tyre.

CBRE TrumbullLoftTRUMBULL. Construction of Trumbull Loft Apartments will be moving forward with the financing secured through CBRE Capital Markets’ debt & structured finance of $39.6 million l

The property is situated on an 8.57-acre site just off of Exit 49S of the Merritt Parkway (Rte. 15)

and consists of three garden-style, 4-story elevator-served apartment buildings and five free-standing carports with 39 spaces

The CBRE Hartford team of Michael Riccio, Susan Larkin, and Anna Pfau secured the floating rate loan on behalf of the New Jersey-based developer Continental Properties. Financing was provided by Washington Trust Company and Peoples Bank of Holyoke.

Press 2HamdenHAMDEN: Press|Cuozzo Commercial Services completed the sale of 2 Hamden Park Drive, a one-story, masonry office/warehouse facility built in 1990 and containing 11,340 s/f.  The building is set on 1.29 acres in the Hamden Industrial Park.  

The transaction closed on January 11, at $610,000.

Stephen Press, SIOR represented the seller M.R. French Inc. of Sea Cliff, N.Y.  The buyer J.F.D. Tube & Coil Products, Inc. was represented by Dan Orlowski of Newtown Realty.

PROCON BrightviewSHELTON: Foundation work is underway on a new Brightview Senior Living Community. The latest addition to Brightview’s assortment of communities is located at 30 Beard Sawmill Road. off Rte. 8. Brightview Senior Living Development chose PROCON of Manchester, N.H. as the architect and construction manager for the 168,000 square foot “continuum senior living community.”

The Shelton community is PROCON’s ninth collaboration with Brightview and the second to be located in Connecticut, in 2016, a 70,000 square foot Brightview on New Canaan in Norwalk was opened.. Shelton’s design features 161 apartments in a variety of styles and care options. The apartment choices include 87 independent living, 48 assisted living and 26 Wellspring Village apartment homes. Wellspring Village is a “specialized Brightview neighborhood designed to enhance the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.”

UMF PembrokeCourtMANCHESTER: United Multi Family (UMF) brokered the sale of 22 units known as the Pembroke Court Apartments located at 131 Hilliard Street for $1.3 million. Handled by Kurt Cawley of the Boston office, the brick residences were built in 1968 and comprised of all one-bedroom units.

There are onsite laundry facilities and parking in the rear of the property for the tenants. The value-add opportunity presents investors with a stable asset in a strong rental market with the ability to increase rents through unit renovations. Recent capital improvements include a new roof in 2013.


Learning Exchange Signs Up for a 10,000 Square Foot Space In New Haven

NORTH HAVEN: The Proto Group has released details on several leases bringing in more than $1.78 million in upcoming revenue and nearly 62,000 square feet of space throughout greater New Haven.

  • Connex Credit Union of North Haven has purchased the former HSBC branch at 155 Main Street for $950,000. The building is 3,000 square feet on .72 acre. The seller was 155 Main Street LLC and was represented by Dom Musilli of True Commercial Real Estate and Connex Credit Union was represented by The Proto Group.
  • Louis Salatto has leased 900 square feet of retail space at the newly redeveloped retail plaza now known as Washington Commons in North Haven. The tenant signed a 3-year lease with Commercial Investment Group LLC of Hamden. The Proto Group LLC of North Haven is the sole broker.

Pirie Laura PirieBy Laura Pirie, Pirie Associates Architects

Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we use at Pirie Associates to create environments for our clients. This is true for projects that range from retail fit-outs to university buildings to city and community planning projects. In fact, the greater the number of stakeholders, the more critical storytelling is.

Most people think of architects as designers of form, and that’s true, we are. In fact on a typical project, 75% of our time is spent on developing the form. However, there is an essential 25% that can make an ordinary project extraordinary.

Imagine that before any form is crafted, the most important 25% of the effort is expended eliciting and defining intentions: our client’s intentions. Why do this? Because environments are woefully underutilized if they only look beautiful and function appropriately.

CoreConst CherryStLofts 1

Construction Resources reaches 55% completion of Cherry Street Lofts development

BRIDGEPORT: A project that was met with skeptics when proposed four years ago to convert a former factory buildings on the west end of the city into a mix of apartments, retail spaces and a charter school, is moving forward apace.

Today the, Phase I of the project is more than 55% complete and according to the developers “will meet its scheduled finish date of December of this year.”

Located within a city block bordered by Cherry Street, Howard Avenue, Railroad Avenue and Hancock Avenue, it was the former home of the American Gramaphone Company which operated on the site from 1870 until 1934. Eight Additional buildings were constructed on the property from the 1930s and many different tenants occupied the industrial spaces until it became vacant in the 1980s

CBRE 1westport365PostRdJeffrey Dunne, David Gavin and Travis Langer of CBRE’s National Retail Partners represented the owner, CapFor Westport, LLC, at 1365 Post Road East (Rte. 1). The team was also responsible for obtaining the buyer..

1365 Post Road East is center situated on Rte. 1 (22,100 cars per day), the main retail corridor of the town. The property is 95% leased and is anchored by Balducci’s, a gourmet grocer, and Ulta, [cosmetics and beauty products] who is currently building out their space and expected to open in March. Additional tenants at the property include Tusk Home, W Hair & Color, Zaniac and Awareness Technologies, collectively providing an average remaining lease term over nine years.

trader joes
Trader Joe’s new 700,000 s/f distribution center is now under construction at Phoenix Crossing;

HARTFORD:, The Connecticut/Western Massachusetts chapter of SIOR announced the results of its semi-annual membership survey of commercial real estate market conditions. The survey is based on market activity for the period July through December, 2017 within Connecticut and western Massachusetts.

SIOR survey results point to “a continuation of the overall positive outlook established earlier in 2017. The industrial sector continues to outperform the office sector and overall the results indicate a market that is generally stable to improving.”

NewHavenSkyline 2NEW HAVEN: According to the most recent research report for New Haven from Colliers International the New Haven office market is undergoing a change.

“The office market in New Haven is now a few months into its new reality of high vacancy and vague prospects, the result of the bombshell decision last September by Alexion Pharmaceuticals [NYSE: Alxn] to move its headquarters to Boston.”

The report added, “following the mega-jump in 3rd Quarter vacancy due to the Alexion move – from 14.1 to 19.3 percent – the market settled back into its usual groove in Q4, ending the year with modest improvement and a vacancy rate of 19.0 percent. Net absorption for the quarter was 20,898 square feet.”

bms buildingWALLINGFORD: Massachusetts-based , Calare Properties, real estate development company  firm has purchased the Bristol-Myers Squibb property for $5 million, the property has a $46 million assessment from the town..

Calare said that it sees “exciting leasing potential for both office and pharmaceutical/biotech tenants as well as new development opportunities for a variety of uses including industrial.”

The company announced in 2015 it would be closing the Wallingford Campus by end of 2018 as part of a company wide reorganization. Employees will be offered positons in Cambridge, MA and New Jersey facilities to Cambridge.

ENFIELD exterior JUNE2014
After $38 million in improvements just three years ago Mass Mutual is leaving its Enfield location and consolidating operations across the border in Springfield.

SPRINGFIELD: MassMutual Insurance is consolidating its operations in Springfield and a new $2500 million facility on Boston’s seaport. The company says the consolidation will result in a total investment in Massachusetts its home corporate location, of $300 million.

The Springfield corporate office will see 1,500 over the next four years to reach more than 4500 jobs there, and 500 at the Boston location.

stanleybuildingNEW BRITAIN:  - The former Stanley Black & Decker building at 480 Myrtle Street is for sale.

According to Frank Amodio, owner of Amodio & Co. Real Estate who is representing the seller.

The five story 138,986 square foot building is outfitted with offices, a cafeteria, three elevators, a “modern atrium lobby”, and sits on a 5 acre parcel.

concrete truckWETHERSFIELD: Connecticut Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s [CRMCA] Build with Strength Committee, announced that the CRMCA will be marketing a comprehensive “Build With Strength” campaign to the Connecticut construction market. The campaign will be targeted to the Connecticut architecture, design and engineering communities to promote the versatile uses of concrete in construction.

house price decline1BOSTON: 2017 was an excellent year for single family home sales in Connecticut with the year over year sales reaching an eleven-year high. December on the other hand was not a Christmas celebration for many real estate agents and home sellers as the month was down 9.4% compared to last year, prices did inch up 2.2% for the month.

Warren Group, publisher of The Commercial Record reported a total of 2,472 single-family homes were sold in Connecticut during the month of December, compared with 2,705 sold in December 2016. Meanwhile, the median price of a single-family home rose 2.2% in December to $245,000, compared with $240,000 a year ago.