Finance firm downsizes, returns to Stamford

ICON International takes 61K sf at RFR office plaza

RFR principal Aby Rosen and 107 Elm Street in Stamford

RFR principal Aby Rosen and 107 Elm Street in Stamford (Getty, LoopNet)

In the Connecticut office market, what’s old is new again.

ICON International is taking 61,000 square feet at RFR Realty’s Stamford Plaza office complex, its previous home, CT Insider reported. The financial firm will move from Greenwich to the top two floors of the 253,000-square-foot building at 107 Elm Street in the Connecticut city.

The move says two things about the office market in Fairfield County and, for that matter, most everywhere.

One is that tenants are downsizing their digs, in this case by about 24 percent. The second is that they are looking for places their employees want to be so they will come to work. And sleepy, suburban Greenwich was not it.

ICON was coaxed to return to its former digs after RFR made a series of renovations to the 1-million-square-foot complex in the intervening years.

Asking rent and duration of the lease were not disclosed. Margaret Carlson represented RFR in-house in the negotiations.

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In a statement to the publication, ICON executive Dawn Montelione noted the redesigned property and said the “staff really wanted to be back in a thriving city, with great restaurants and bars and a very active nightlife.”

ICON’s Stamford lease was the largest signed in Fairfield County last quarter, according to CBRE. The company will join a tenant roster heavy with other financial firms, as well as consumer goods, media and life science businesses.

Greenwich is often seen as a hub for financial firms — in part because it’s where hedge-fund CEOs can buy Connecticut’s most expensive estates — but Stamford is starting to absorb some of that activity. Asset management firm Hudson Bay Capital recently signed a 47,000-square-foot sublease — the largest deal of the fourth quarter in the county, according to CBRE — at Shippan Landing in Stamford, despite already having offices in downtown Greenwich.

Viking Global Investors, meanwhile, is set to move from downtown Greenwich to downtown Stamford this year.

Holden Walter-Warner

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