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Two Downtown Buildings Sell For Steep Discount

One-Third Of Assessed Value

By Kenneth R. Gosselin

June 29, 2011

The team that planned a 22-story hotel and office tower in downtown Hartford in the late 1990s that was never built has sold at a steep discount two buildings at Pratt and Trumbull streets that would have been part of the development.

Alkon Trumbull Street LLC - owned by developers Simon Konover and Philip A. Schonberger - recently sold the buildings at 99 Pratt St. and 196 Trumbull St. for $1 million to a New York investor. The sales price is less than one-third of the $3.4 million pegged by the city assessor as the market value in 2010.

The two buildings, which are connected, encompass a total of 100,000 square feet of office and street-level retail space. The price paid reflects a 50 percent vacancy in the office space in the two structures, according to Rick Chozick of Chozick Realty in Hartford, which brokered the deal.

Downtown Hartford's office vacancy rate rose to 30 percent at the end of last year, as tenants put off signing new leases, worried about the tentative pace of the economic recovery. Vacancy in the central business district reached levels not seen since the devastating recession of the early 1990s.

A commercial building's value is tied heavily to leases and what income stream they will produce and over what period.

The price paid is $10 a square foot, but not easily compared with other sales because it represents a mix of retail and office space.

The properties, constructed in the late 1890s and early 1900s, were on the market for about a year. It wasn't clear late Tuesday how much Konover and Schonberger had originally paid for the buildings.

The buildings would have been incorporated into "Renaissance Place," a $200 million development that included a 370-room Westin hotel, 250,000 square feet of office space on 10 floors and more than 35,000 square feet of shopping and restaurants on Asylum, Main and Pratt streets.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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