Clarion Partners’ Norwalk business campus lands two big tenants

MBI, LBB Specialties combine to take 58K sf

Marcus Partners' Paul Marcus and Clarion Partners' David Gilbert with 301 Merritt 7 building 501's outdoor plaza

Marcus Partners’ Paul Marcus and Clarion Partners’ David Gilbert with 301 Merritt 7 building 501’s outdoor plaza (The MIT Corporation, Clarion Partners, Bilyana Dimitrova, Getty)

Two tenants are moving into 58,000 square feet at a massive business property in Norwalk, a positive development for the landlords but a troubling sign for the office sector at large.

Clarion Partners and Marcus Partners recruited MBI and LBB Specialities to Merritt 7 in the Connecticut city, according to a press release. The duration of the two leases was not disclosed.

MBI, a consumer products marketing company, is taking 33,000 square feet at Building 501, while LBB, a speciality distribution firm, is taking 25,000 square feet at Building 601. Asking rents were from $34 to $36 per square foot.

Newmark’s Jacqueline Durels and Tim Rorick represented MBI in the lease, while Newmark’s Greg Frisoli represented LBB. CBRE’s Tom Pajolek and Ned Burns represented ownership for the MBI lease and JLL’s Ed Tonnessen and Betsy Buckley represented it in the LBBS deal.

The landlords have leased up more than 100,000 square feet at the 1.4-million-square-foot campus in the past year.

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The downside of the latest deals for the market, though, is that both leases represent sizable reductions in space for the tenants.

LBBS is consolidating from two different Fairfield County locations, while MBI previously occupied a 100,000-square-foot office. That property is being redeveloped into a Wegmans.

Parties involved in the deals said they are part of the flight to quality — a relocation by companies to better spaces that will lure employees back to the office. The landlords have spent the past year and a half upgrading their buildings at the sprawling campus.

MBI’s building has an indoor/outdoor multipurpose center and a 35,000-square-foot outdoor plaza that connects directly to LBB’s building. Building 601 features a redesigned lobby and a 9,000-square-foot amenity space with a food hall, barista bar and flex work lounge/meeting room.

The corporate campus is also getting its own Metro-North train station, scheduled to open in the coming months.

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