Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - StamfordAdvocate.com - By Richard Lee
A Greenwich address has always been a sought-after prize for many companies, and the manager of a long-established office park in town expects to capitalize on it after launching a $10 million capital improvement program at the 425,000-square-foot complex.
Located on 23 wooded acres, the nine buildings in Greenwich Office Park were constructed between 1970 and 1978 and have never undergone a complete, in-depth upgrade, according to David Block, senior vice president at the Stamford office of CBRE Group, which markets the property.
"All nine buildings will be addressed in three or four years," Block said. "This is a unique environment that can't be duplicated in Fairfield County. This will help us compete for tenants with the Greenwich central business district. We're at a lower price point."
The general asking price is around $51 per square foot, he said, while Class A office space in Greenwich typically runs in the $63 per-square-foot range.
Clarion Partners, the asset manager of Greenwich Office Park, owned by the Oregon Public Employment Retirement Fund, worked with CBRE Group, Granoff Architects in Greenwich and Sun & Moon Marketing Communications in New York City to create the vision and master plan for the renovation.
"Greenwich Office Park has built a sought-after brand over the years, reflecting our commitment to offer a balance between corporate needs and personal priorities," said Margaret L. Egan, senior vice president, asset management with Clarion Partners, in prepared comments.
The capital improvement program includes renovation of entryways, lobbies, rest rooms, common corridors, signs, landscaping and the cafe at Building 5. Security improvements include a new card key access system in each building, heating, ventilating and air conditioning upgrades.
Building 1 will receive a complete renovation with a new brick façade, new lobbies, new rest rooms, new HVAC, upgraded electrical service and new elevator controls, as well as full-height windows, providing views of the pond and woodlands.
Because of the extensive work, tenants are being moved from Building 1 to other buildings. The entire 40,715-square-foot building is available and will be ready for occupancy during the third quarter of 2013.
The park, which is 81 percent occupied with about 40 tenants, can accommodate renters seeking from 1,800 to 79,000 square feet, including all of Building 1 and 79,000 square feet at Building 5, which contains the cafe and fitness center, Block said.
The improvements should attract potential tenants, said John Hannigan, a principal in Stamford-based Choyce Peterson, which represents businesses in their search for office space.
"The landlord is taking a very proactive position in putting a significant quantity of money into the park. I'm encouraged that this is a comprehensive project," he said. "Tenants that want to be in Greenwich recognize that they have to pay higher rent for the address."
Besides the cafe, the complex offers a private fitness center; direct shuttle service to the Greenwich train station and on-site management. Amenities include dry cleaning, shoe shine and repair, mail delivery and pickup and a car wash and detailing service.
The project enhances a complex that already has myriad attributes, according to Marcia O'Kane, executive director of the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce.
"They are in a unique setting, and it's all-inclusive with those amenities," she said. "It will be attractive for the right business where it's not essential to be in central Greenwich."