The Real Deal New York

Westchester & Fairfield Cheat Sheet: Office vacancy rates fall in Fairfield, Robert Redford’s retail brand sets up shop in Westport … & more

By Maya Rajamani | February 06, 2019 04:30PM

Clockwise from top left: Former baseball player and wife list their Greenwich home for $1.785 million, three new tenants sign leases at a Stamford office complex, Robert Redford’s retail brand to open a new store in Westport and an 11-unit rental apartment building in Yonkers trades hands for $2.2M.

Report finds office vacancy rates falling in Fairfield County
Fairfield County saw office vacancy rates decline at the end of 2018, as property owners became “more proactive in attracting tenants by lowering pricing objectives,” according to a fourth quarter commercial market report by Houlihan Lawrence. Greenwich was one place where leasing rates fell — the town’s rates dropped 22 percent in 2018 — although it also recovered 4 percent of occupancy in the second half of 2018 as a result, the report said. Stamford, meanwhile, enjoyed a good year due to its proximity to public transit and “the many conveniences found in urban hubs,” according to Houlihan Lawrence, which was absorbed by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in 2017. Properties like the former UBS building on Washington Avenue and a 15-story facility at Gateway Harbor Point reaped the benefits of a Stamford boom. Charter Communications has signed a lease to make the latter its new headquarters, while the UBS building’s new private equity owners hope an $87 million renovation will help the property find leasing success. [Houlihan Lawrence]

Robert Redford’s retail brand opening new store in Westport
The Sundance Film Festival may have just ended, but Robert Redford is now making moves elsewhere. Sundance Holdings Group, the famed actor and director’s retail brand, has signed a 3,920-square-foot lease for a block of high-end retail space at 69-97 Main Street in Westport that used to house an Ann Taylor store, the Fairfield County Business Journal reported. Redford started the retail brand, which sells clothing, jewelry, accessories and home decor, as a general store in Utah back in 1969, according to its website. (The Sundance Film Festival is a program put on by the Park City, Utah-based Sundance Institute, a registered nonprofit.) Thomas Durels, an executive vice president of real estate at Empire State Realty Trust, which owns the Westport property, said in a statement that the space is “the best retail location on Westport’s Main Street.” Durels added that Redford’s retail brand “will have great visibility, the best central location and easy access to public parking for their customers.” [FBJ]

Ex-Mets player, broadcaster seeks $1.8M for Greenwich home
With spring training on the horizon, former New York Mets outfielder and one-time television broadcaster Lee Mazzilli and his wife, Dani, have put their Greenwich home on the market as they prepare to find a new residence in the leafy enclave. The couple is looking to downsize now that their three kids — including son L.J. Mazzilli, who plays in the minor leagues for the New York Yankees — have moved out of the five-bedroom, four-bathroom house at 67 Stonehedge Drive South, Greenwich Time reported. The Mazzillis are currently seeking $1.785 million for the home, which property records show was purchased by the couple in 2000 for $810,000. The house has a home theater, picture windows and walk-in closets in the master bedroom. “The location was great, close to the stadium,” Lee Mazzilli told the outlet about the couple’s decision to move to suburban Connecticut roughly four decades ago. “There were no state taxes back then.” The property is “absolutely right for a family,” added Dani Mazzilli. “I’d love to see somebody get another 20 years out of it with their kids.” [Greenwich Time]

Greenwich mansion takes steep price cut from $17M ask
A 5.29-acre estate in Greenwich that first hit the market seeking $17.35 million in 2015 is now available for roughly half that sum. The Wall Street recently spotlighted a 10,881-square foot property at 781 Lake Avenue in Greenwich, which is being marketed for $8.775 million by Brad Hvolbeck and Marijane Bates Hvolbeck of Sotheby’s International Realty. The English manor-style home, purchased by hedge funder Ellen Adams and her ex-husband for $6.8 million in 2002, subsequently went through two years of renovations oversaw by architect Laurent “Rink” DuPont that cost $9 million, the outlet reported. The home has seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms and two half-bathrooms, as well as a pool, wine cellar, family room and playroom. Bloomberg noted in 2017 that the stately property had previously been put up for sale under a different address, 16 Old Mill Road in Greenwich, which came with nearly double the price tag. The home’s ask was reduced to $11.45 million before the listing was pulled in late 2017. [Wall Street Journal]

Stamford office complex inks 3 new tenants, renews another
An office complex in the South End of Stamford has signed on three new tenants, the Fairfield County Business Journal reported. Independent broker-dealer Amherst Pierpont and international trading house DXT Commodities signed leases for 2,392 and 3,496 square feet of space at One Dock Street, according to the outlet. Six One Commodities, a new business formed when Pinnacle Asset Management last year acquired Sierentz Global Merchants’ North American natural gas wholesale trading unit, inked a lease for 1,608 square feet at One Dock Street. The building also retained a tenant, renewing G3 Architects’ 1,304-square-foot lease. The building, a converted 19th-century mill, is owned by ClearRock Properties and Juster Properties, the outlet reported. A Newmark Knight Frank team led by Tim Rorick and Jack McDermott advised ClearRock and Juster on all four transactions, as well as Amherst Pierpont. Commercial Property Executive reported that Cushman & Wakefield’s John Altieri and Jay Hruska took the lead for DXT and G3, respectively. Six One handled leasing matters in-house. [FBJ]

11-unit Yonkers rental apartment building sells for $2.2M
A week after the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency gave preliminary approval for $13.6 million in sales tax and mortgage relief to developers seeking to build 1,000 rental apartments in distressed downtown neighborhoods, an 11-unit rental apartment building at 11 Lawrence Street traded hands for $2.2 million, LoHud reported. Lawrence St. Yonkers LLC sold the building, which isn’t far from a Metro-North train station anchoring a Yonkers revitalization effort, to another anonymous limited liability company. Michael Nukho of NuRealty Advisors, which brokered the sale, told the outlet that the new owner plans to make improvements to the property to increase its value. [LoHud]

Developer gets $3.3M in financing for Old Saybrook retail
The commercial real estate group at Washington Trust announced on Feb. 1 that it had provided $3.3 million in financing to construct a pair of retail sites in Old Saybrook. The funding for the property at 923 Boston Post Road in Connecticut’s Middlesex County will be used to construct a 15,000-square-foot building leased to home and garden retail center Agway, as well as a 2,000-square-foot space for a Dunkin’ Donuts store, according to Real Estate Weekly. 923 Boston Post Road Associates, an affiliate of Southport-based Anthony F. Izzo Commercial Real Estate Development and Management, secured the funding from Washington Trust. “This is a fabulous project bringing some important retail to the lovely town of Old Saybrook, with a design that is appropriate and in keeping with the area,” said a statement from Julia Anne Slom, head of Washington Trust’s commercial real estate team. [REW]