HSB to Acquire 500 KSF Hartford HQ from Hines

One State Street, a 500,000-square-foot office building in Hartford, is about to become tenant-owned. The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co., the property's lead occupant with 168,000 square feet of space, has entered into an agreement to acquire its corporate headquarters location from Hines.

One State Street - 2One State Street, a 500,000-square-foot office building in Hartford, is about to become tenant-owned. The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co., the property’s lead occupant with 168,000 square feet of space, has entered into an agreement to acquire its corporate headquarters location from Hines.

“As the building owner, we can control our cost for the space we occupy”, an HSB spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive. “Ownership also gives us more flexibility and control over how we use our space, including floor plans.” Indeed, the company already has some alterations in mind.  “We plan to redesign our workspace, open up work spaces and add technology that links people and teams to one another to create a high-energy environment that fosters innovation,” the spokesperson added.

Had HSB opted to leave the 24-story tower for other digs in Hartford, it most likely would have been presented with quite a challenge, as, according to a fourth quarter report by commercial real estate services firm CBRE/New England, there are limited opportunities for large contiguous blocks of space exceeding 100,000 square feet.

However, HSB had no intention of departing its home base. “One State Street is an ideal location for Hartford Steam Boiler’s headquarters,” the spokesperson concluded. “It provides easy access to two interstate highways and offers extensive building amenities. Plus, it is an Energy Star building and is LEED certified; as Hartford Steam Boiler’s headquarters it demonstrates our commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability.”

The acquisition of One State Street will make HSB a landlord with responsibility for the roughly 302,000 square feet of the tower’s 470,000 square feet of prime leasable space that the company doesn’t occupy. Presently, the leasable space is approximately 90 percent occupied.

As for Hines, which developed the property in 1983, it will not sever its relationship with the asset entirely after the anticipated closing of the sale in late January; the company will stay on as manager.