281,000SF Office Trades in Hartford

The Silverman Group has just taken a premier office property in downtown Hartford, Conn., off the hands of New Boston Fund. The Silverman Group snapped up the building, which will soon have a total vacancy of about 50 percent, for $18 million, according to sources familiar with the transaction. New Boston Fund had owned 100 Pearl (pictured) since 1999, when it acquired the property for nearly $33 million via its Fund IV. Located in the heart of Hartford’s Central Business District,100 Pearl was developed nearly two decades ago by Fusco Corp. as the headquarters for Mechanics Savings Bank and Bank Boston Connecticut. The property encompasses a 17-story structure, a six-story structure, a 274-space underground parking garage, as well as a conference center and a fitness facility. Occupants at 100 Pearl include Guilford Specialty Group, Regus, law firm Cohn Birnbaum & Shea, Robert Half International and Trust Company of Connecticut. Webster Bank and Sovereign Bank, presently occupying a total of 80,000 square feet, have opted not to renew their leases and will soon vacate their spaces. An art gallery and a café occupy retail space. Real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis-NE Partners L.P. brokered the sale of the property on behalf of New Boston Fund and represented the company in the transaction, as well. According to John McCormick, vice president in CBRE’s Hartford office, 100 Pearl attracted many suitors. “The building, in terms of competition, has very distinctive architecture, and it’s a mid-rise structure in the downtown market for both large and small tenants,” McCormick told CPN today. “It’s a repositioning story.” In addition to the 80,000 square feet that the two banks will leave open, PriceWaterhouseCoopers relocated to CityPlace I last quarter, leaving an additional 60,000 square feet vacant. “From a repositioning standpoint,” he said, “there is approximately 50 percent of the building to relet, and the fact that they can talk to both small and large tenants is appealing in the next 24 months.” For the Silverman Group, the acquisition of 100 Pearl marks the company’s entrée into the Connecticut office market, where it intends to increase its presence with future acquisitions. And New Boston Fund, which owns 23 properties accounting for over 2.1 million square feet in Connecticut, remains keen on the Hartford market, as well as the state in general. Boston-headquartered New Boston Fund is a 15-year-old real estate investment, development and management company that manages in excess of $1.2 billion in private equity capital for investors. Its ownership and management portfolio encompasses over 20 million square feet of commercial real estate properties in the eastern United States.