October 23, 2006
By CHRISTINA H. DAVIS, Hartford Business Journal Writer
The region’s CBS television affiliate hasn’t even moved out of its space in downtown Hartford for greener pastures in Rocky Hill, but there are already deals on the table for the station’s building at Three Constitution Plaza.
Klarn DePalma, general manager for WFSB-TV Channel 3, said that two serious offers have come in for the building, one of which is more than halfway through a 60-day “due diligence period.”
“We have got someone who’s very serious and all the logistics are in place…Now it’s just a matter of having them close and get a contract signed,” he said.
DePalma would not disclose the names of the interested buyers. But one local real estate source, who declined to be named for this story, said one was Calare Properties Inc. of Hudson, Mass., which purchased MassMutual’s former headquarters at 140 Garden St. in Hartford for $7 million in May.
William Manley, founder of Calare Properties, did not return calls seeking comment by deadline.
Jonathan Putnam of Cushman & Wakefield, rumored to be the broker on the deal, said he could not comment for this story.
While DePalma wouldn’t say who made the serious offers, he did say that “the process is moving along rather swiftly.”
Mark McGovern, director of economic development for the City of Hartford, said he had “not heard anything definitive” on the potential sale of Three Constitution Plaza and would not comment on who possible buyers might be. However, he added, “We fully expect it’s going to be sold.”
WFSB, and its parent company Meredith Corp., announced last year that it would scrap a plan to build a new building on a vacant 3.2-acre parcel on Main Street in Hartford. Instead, much to the chagrin of Hartford officials, the station opted to build its $22 million to $25 million, 60,000-square-foot headquarters on a six-acre parcel Rocky Hill.
Construction on the building began earlier this year and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2007.
The new Rocky Hill location will be a major update for the station. Its current Constitution Plaza home was built in 1961 and stands on just over half an acre.