Gold Building joins list of major Hartford skyscrapers for sale
Talcott sees opportunity to cash out
May 15, 2006
By MATTHEW L. BROWN and DIANE WEAVER DUNNE, Hartford Business Journal Writers
The Gold Building on Main and Pearl streets is for sale, joining a list of other downtown office buildings that have gone on the block over the past year and half.
According to broker C.B. Richard Ellis, the 621,991 square-foot, 26-story building is being marketed without an asking price.
Broker Nicholas Morizio, president of Colliers Dow and Condon, said the building’s owner would “hope to get $125 per foot” for the Gold Building, but said it was unlikely that it would fetch more than $110 per square foot.
At $125 per square foot, the building would sell for $77.7 million. At $110 per square foot, it would sell for $68.4 million.
The asking rate for lease space in the building, formally known as One Financial Plaza, is $23 per square foot, according to C.B. Richard Ellis.
The Class A building’s current owner, Talcott Realty Investors, purchased the Gold Building in 2000 for $56.7 million, and has made several improvements to the building, including the recent refurbishment of storefronts on the building’s ground floor along Pearl Street.
The building has its own 1,112-car parking garage.
The Main Street landmark houses the corporate headquarters for United Technologies Corp., as well as other tenants such as IBM, Conning & Co, Reid and Riege, Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, Accenture, Henderson Global Investors, General Reinurance, People’s Bank, and KPMG.
According to Talcott, the 31-year-old building is 80 percent occupied, and Talcott intends to remain in the building as a tenant once it is sold.
Talcott is taking advantage of the city’s revitalization to sell the property, said Martin Kane, Talcott senior vice president. Talcott owns 4 million square-feet of commercial space throughout the U.S.
C.B. Richard Ellis is conducting a national marketing campaign to sell the Gold Building, and Talcott has also contacted potential buyers during the past month, Kane said.
Michael Grunberg of Grunberg Realty said he was approached about buying the Gold Building. He owns the Bank of America building just across Pearl Street from the Gold Building.
“They came to me two weeks ago, maybe a month ago, and asked if I was interested,” he said.
“It’s in my best interest that Talcott gets the most for their building,” Grunberg said. He said it was a shame the building hadn’t been advertised more aggressively.
However, Kane is confident their broker will find a buyer. “There is a lot of capital in the commercial real estate market nationally right now. We certainly see a good opportunity to have a significant number of qualified buyers,” he said.
Generally, Talcott fixes up and sells its investment properties within five to seven years.
Just two weeks ago, the mostly vacant One Corporate Center, a Class B office tower at the corner of Main and Church Streets, sold to the New Jersey-based Hampshire Real Estate Cos. for just under $20 million.
Grunberg paid $13 million for the Bank of America building in late March. Grunberg also bought 280 Trumbull St. in July 2004 for $65 million.
Last year, Goodwin Square sold for $41 million, and in 2003, State House Square sold to Virginia-based Harbor Group International for $66 million.