GRDadof3

Setting a downtown housing goal

59 posts in this topic

Seems like there doing all the right things. When ever you can make a city walkable and more friendly is a good thing. What are the vacancy rates there for your office buildings?

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Seems like there doing all the right things. When ever you can make a city walkable and more friendly is a good thing. What are the vacancy rates there for your office buildings?

 I am taking over your thread man ... :)

 

But that is the bad news.  Our vacancy is insane.  there are several key factors that lead to this not based on econemy or demand.

 

Office vacancy is not measured in owner occupied space by all the realestate firms that publish those numbers.

We are lucky to have some HUGE owner occupiers in Hartford.

 

Aetna Insurance

The Hartford Insurance

Travelers Insurance

Phoenix insurance.

The first 3 EACH employ over 7000-12,000 employees each in or near downtown.  The fourth employs 600-1000

 

These 4 companies occupy literally millions of SF of space and they each own all of it or at least most of it.

 

The state offices also dont count/  The state employs another 10K+ in Hartford and they own their buildings, so they dont count either.  The also rent, but not class A space.

 

anyways.... its 26ish precent

 

Here is a recent article however about how it will be dropping into the 17% range this coming year.

http://courantblogs.com/ct-real-estate/state-office-move-downtown-would-push-down-vacancy-dramatically/

 

Truth is, it should get better than that since in addition to the 575K and 287K SF expected to be absorbed by the state as mentioned in the article...

UConn is going to lease or buy and occupy) a vacant office building that is 135K SF (200 constitution plaza)

and 3 of the housing developments I mentioned are office conversions gobbling up... 300K, 100K, 75K.

 

who knows, its definately an issue, but I would say that our vacancy rate is fairly high because we have signifivant ammounts of office space too.  the suburbs are much healthier.  Remember that Hartford invented the suburban office park when Connecticut General (now CIGNA) moved to the suburb Bloomfield. 

 

Vacancy or not, Hartford is lucky to be the HQ city of some seriously heavy hitters and the US HQ of a few others even

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 I am taking over your thread man ... :)

 

But that is the bad news.  Our vacancy is insane.  there are several key factors that lead to this not based on econemy or demand.

 

Office vacancy is not measured in owner occupied space by all the realestate firms that publish those numbers.

We are lucky to have some HUGE owner occupiers in Hartford.

 

Aetna Insurance

The Hartford Insurance

Travelers Insurance

Phoenix insurance.

The first 3 EACH employ over 7000-12,000 employees each in or near downtown.  The fourth employs 600-1000

 

These 4 companies occupy literally millions of SF of space and they each own all of it or at least most of it.

 

The state offices also dont count/  The state employs another 10K+ in Hartford and they own their buildings, so they dont count either.  The also rent, but not class A space.

 

anyways.... its 26ish precent

 

Here is a recent article however about how it will be dropping into the 17% range this coming year.

http://courantblogs.com/ct-real-estate/state-office-move-downtown-would-push-down-vacancy-dramatically/

 

Truth is, it should get better than that since in addition to the 575K and 287K SF expected to be absorbed by the state as mentioned in the article...

UConn is going to lease or buy and occupy) a vacant office building that is 135K SF (200 constitution plaza)

and 3 of the housing developments I mentioned are office conversions gobbling up... 300K, 100K, 75K.

 

who knows, its definately an issue, but I would say that our vacancy rate is fairly high because we have signifivant ammounts of office space too.  the suburbs are much healthier.  Remember that Hartford invented the suburban office park when Connecticut General (now CIGNA) moved to the suburb Bloomfield. 

 

Vacancy or not, Hartford is lucky to be the HQ city of some seriously heavy hitters and the US HQ of a few others even

 

 

Downtown Grand Rapids' general class A office space is hovering around 21%. Most of the vacancy is in office buildings that were built in the 70's and 80's. Converted loft spaces and renovated historic buildings are pretty hot for offices though. Also, a couple of the big office buildings downtown are getting some much needed makeovers.

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Yeah, our Class A is all from the 70s, 80s and early 90's  downtown.   There has not been a new office building built downtown since the realestate crash of 1991ish and the burbs have excelent shiny brand new buildings.  ING moved it North American HQ to a new building, The Hartford Life insurance company moved to a new building next door to that and Met Life moved from the premier downtown building, City PLace to a suburban building on the CIGNA campus.  that was all in the 2007-10 timeframe.  Aetna took over the ING space, but the Hartford Life space is vacant (being bought by the state)  and so is the met life space (also to be bought by the state)

 

Back in the 1991 era we were a booming office market but the realestate bust killed 4-5 projects EACH >600' that were each monsters but had already demolished the existing buildings.   those demolished buildings are the lofts and historic buildings you have (ours are mostly gone)  Instead we have seas of surface parking lots marking the location of each of those past office proposals (only one spot had been redeveloped since. 

 

some cool pics from the past.

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php/topic/45945-hartford-developments-that-never-happened/

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Yeah, our Class A is all from the 70s, 80s and early 90's  downtown.   There has not been a new office building built downtown since the realestate crash of 1991ish and the burbs have excelent shiny brand new buildings.  ING moved it North American HQ to a new building, The Hartford Life insurance company moved to a new building next door to that and Met Life moved from the premier downtown building, City PLace to a suburban building on the CIGNA campus.  that was all in the 2007-10 timeframe.  Aetna took over the ING space, but the Hartford Life space is vacant (being bought by the state)  and so is the met life space (also to be bought by the state)

 

Back in the 1991 era we were a booming office market but the realestate bust killed 4-5 projects EACH >600' that were each monsters but had already demolished the existing buildings.   those demolished buildings are the lofts and historic buildings you have (ours are mostly gone)  Instead we have seas of surface parking lots marking the location of each of those past office proposals (only one spot had been redeveloped since. 

 

some cool pics from the past.

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php/topic/45945-hartford-developments-that-never-happened/

 

And I thought GR was parking lot mad!   :shok:

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Reading the article about 99 Monroe got me thinking, what would it take to get interest from a company located outside Grand Rapids to build residential downtown? It seems that we have the right ingredients (revitalized downtown, market-rate housing in high demand, etc.). I wonder if Grand Rapids is just considered another "flyover city" or if we could attract interest from the outside. 

 

Thoughts?

 

Joe

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Aren't the people behind the new riverfront project (Woda Group) new to the area?

 

Yes. Apparently they're developing a downtown master plan, that will address housing goals and housing mix (market rate, low income).

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Great news. If we could get 3-4 national players in play with our local players (616, Locus, CWD, etc.) things could really pop. I'd love to see a national player that understands how to make a 10-20 story mixed use building work come into town and get the ball rolling. I think the market is ripe, I just wonder if we're invisible to these groups.

 

Joe

 

Yes. Apparently they're developing a downtown master plan, that will address housing goals and housing mix (market rate, low income).

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