Not only are big real estate deals becoming scarcer, they also are getting tougher to negotiate.
Take Winstanley Enterprises’ recent 25-year lease of the former Advo building to Metal Management in Hartford’s north end along West Service Road. Winstanley’s journey began when it purchased the building and adjacent10-acres for $6.6 million in 2005.
Initially, Winstanley had plans to transform the property into a retail outlet.
“We originally had tried to get retail there with Target as a potential anchor store,” said Adam Winstanley, the company’s principal. “When Target backed out, that basically collapsed the retail effort.”
Next, the company considering building a factory retail outlet center at the site.
But those plans also deteriorated when retailers expressed concerns about the neighborhood.
“The area was too rough for retailers to get involved because of the industrial nature of the North Meadows neighborhood,” Winstanley said. “They didn’t think it would be conducive to customers driving past a jail and a methadone clinic to get there. It’s not that it’s not a safe area, but it just became obvious that retail wasn’t going to work.”
Three Times A Charm
After the factory retail outlet plan fell through, Winstanley discovered that there were multiple entities interested in the location for an industrial site.
That interest led Winstanley to cement its recent deal with Metal Management Aerospace. But notably, it was a deal that took about a year to work out, far exceeding the usual three to six months most other deals require.
Winstanley chalks it up as one of the longest periods of time he has devoted to a lease transaction, which he attributed to the complexity of the agreement combined with working with state and city officials.