The Voice of Reason

IN PROGRESS: 777 Main Street Residential Redevelopment

77 posts in this topic

So, with Bank of America moving out of the building the prospect of converting 777 Main into condos is back on the tabple apparently.

Its likely just spin, but at least people are talking residential projects again.

now I am not sure this building would make the best home, but the location would be just awesome!

here is the link and the quote

http://www.courant.com/business/hc-bank-of-america-history.artapr16,0,7876215.story

Michael Grunberg said he may revive a long-dormant plan to place condominiums in the upper floors, an idea he floated in 2006, shortly after he purchased the building.

He said he dropped those plans because Bank of America didn't want to move from those floors.

With the housing market showing some signs of recovery, the timing could prove right. But Grunberg will still have to deal with an empty building and attracting new commercial tenants to downtown Hartford is tough, even in better economic times.

Now, Grunberg said, there will be no restrictions on the options.

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So, with Bank of America moving out of the building the prospect of converting 777 Main into condos is back on the tabple apparently.

Its likely just spin, but at least people are talking residential projects again.

now I am not sure this building would make the best home, but the location would be just awesome!

here is the link and the quote

http://www.courant.com/business/hc-bank-of-america-history.artapr16,0,7876215.story

Michael Grunberg said he may revive a long-dormant plan to place condominiums in the upper floors, an idea he floated in 2006, shortly after he purchased the building.

He said he dropped those plans because Bank of America didn't want to move from those floors.

With the housing market showing some signs of recovery, the timing could prove right. But Grunberg will still have to deal with an empty building and attracting new commercial tenants to downtown Hartford is tough, even in better economic times.

Now, Grunberg said, there will be no restrictions on the options.

With no real prospect of landing a commercial tenant for this building, I don't see why Grunberg wouldn't seriously consider an apartment conversion. All of the recent real-estate developments in downtown have shown that there is pretty high demand for smaller apartments. Why not convert a few floors into 1 bedroom units aimed at younger people and see how they do and if the demand is there convernt a few more floors? How awesome would it be for the city to have a big builing right in the geographic center of downtown filled with young people?

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well if they could make the building look better, its location could demand a premium and therefore larger units.

i do agree however that small places would have the higher demand.

maybe if the design were a little flexible like you said. start on the lower floors with smaller units and finish them out as you go up and if demand warents you combine 2 small units. heck extra plumbing never hurt anyone.

and ya could start selling condos once you get the apartment mix the way you want it.

http://www.grunbergrealty.com/index.php

he only owns 2 residential buildings

one with 36 units and one with 42?

also i do not see him as a residential developer.

it will be interesting though

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Perfect plan: more residential downtown...

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feel free to later merge this into the 777 Main thread...

In front of the planning and zoning commission is a site plan to change 777 main street from office to 286 studios and one bedroom and two bedroom MIXED INCOME apartments. this means he is getting some kind of federal state city aid to include the mixed income units. Not a bad idea really, the fed just gave the state a ton of money for these kinds of things.

the site plan also includes 35000SF for retail commercial, and less parking.

not sure what less parking entails, but it could be something as small as eliminating a few spaces to removing the garage, who knows???

Guarantee this will hit all the papers pretty son

Developer is Becker development LLC Bruce Becker as agent

owner is Grunberg

Bruce Becker for your info is the dude that developed 360 State Street in New haven... so this seems legit!

http://www.beckerandbecker.com/profile.php

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286 apartments is a great number too.

With 199 on the plaza, and 286 here, we have a pretty significant increase to our total. and this property is right in the center of downtown, so I am thrilled.

This building also kind of acts as a connector between the housing cluster around the Linden and Bushnell tower to the cluster on the corner of Main and Pratt.

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286 apartments is a great number too.

With 199 on the plaza, and 286 here, we have a pretty significant increase to our total. and this property is right in the center of downtown, so I am thrilled.

This building also kind of acts as a connector between the housing cluster around the Linden and Bushnell tower to the cluster on the corner of Main and Pratt.

Exactly. This location is essentially "ground zero" for downtown. 500 or so residents there can have a huge impact on so many locations throughout the CBD and really tie things together.

BTW, on an semi-related note, the most recent Hartford Business Journal has an article about the Bushnell where their director mentions the possibility of the State donating the DPH lab building once it moves to Rocky Hill and the Busnell partnering with a private developer to turn it into housing.

Edited by MichaelQReilly

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Exactly. This location is essentially "ground zero" for downtown. 500 or so residents there can have a huge impact on so many locations throughout the CBD and really tie things together.

it will be interesting to see the unit breakdown. If its heavy on the studios as has been popular in hartford as of late, I suspect a decent amount of single occupancy. and maybe a lower population, but seriously this is more units than H-21, and surely will have a higher occupancy rate because less corporate rentals. and you know the retail will do pretty well.

BTW, on an semi-related note, the most recent Hartford Business Journal has an article about the Bushnell where their director mentions the possibility of the State donating the DPH lab building once it moves to Rocky Hill and the Busnell partnering with a private developer to turn it into housing.

The paper version? I didn't see anything online.

Thats great news, I feel like the state will be making much of the buildings along the park available for development with their RFP to buy office space downtown.

But the DPH is on capital over past the courant and the office supply company right? its the building next to the office supply company.

that would be great if both were renovated!

Edited by The Voice of Reason

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it will be interesting to see the unit breakdown. If its heavy on the studios as has been popular in hartford as of late, I suspect a decent amount of single occupancy. and maybe a lower population, but seriously this is more units than H-21, and surely will have a higher occupancy rate because less corporate rentals. and you know the retail will do pretty well.

The paper version? I didn't see anything online.

Thats great news, I feel like the state will be making much of the buildings along the park available for development with their RFP to buy office space downtown.

Yes, the recent paper version.

But the DPH is on capital over past the courant and the office supply company right? its the building next to the office supply company.

that would be great if both were renovated!

I'm not sure exactly who operates the lab. It is the one that is behind the DEP.

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Great news -- hope it comes together. At least one of these developments will eventually happen, fill up, and have a tremendous positive effect on downtown. There is demand.

Edited by Chessplayer

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The online article is now up for the Bushnell.....WOW

the building they are looking at is the one on Clinton Street. its the once behind the church that is essentially 2 buildings, both of a decent size. one being 5 stories, the other being 5 as well, but the bottom floor is parking.

I think that potential project is worthy of its own thread... when HT comes along he can merge this one with 777 main and Ill make a new thread for Clinton St.

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A little mor info on 777 main.

its 26 floors as we know, and totals 300,000 SF I think its actually 305k

the upper floors are all 12Ksf each

assuming that the top 25 floors would be apartments and maybe even one f them would be used for public space like a fitness center lunge or whatever.

this plan averages 11-12 apts per floor. I paid a little better attention driving around this weekend for chores etc, and i gotta say that this building does have great views! its easily visible for many floors from both the east and west. really, only the S and SW is no good.

An East facing apartment even on the 10th floor would have a great look at the statehouse, and even have maybe some river visibility. above 15 the views would be good east or west. you would be above the phoenix and state house square would be nearly level etc...I bet this will be a very popular building!

I am most interested in what the plan is for the retail and the garage etc...

even when leased, this building does not interact well with the street. I hope this 36000 SF of retail will include a good number of smaller spaces for retail and such. that bank branch location is massive and honestly archaic by todays standards. I hope its broken up and divided. I also hope those massive black planters are removed and some more retail entrances are created along pearl.

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http://www.courant.com/business/real-estate/hc-777-main-street-redevelop-20120402,0,2983553.story

so they got one up earlier than I thought :) 6:30 pm :)

no real news, just a quote from the head of planning.

it also says 35000 sf of ground floor retail. not sure if thats an assumption or clarification. I was wondering if it was all ground floor.

The reason I say this is that the existing building shows 26K Sf of ground floor space on the tax map.

now thats just me counting sf on the map. the tax map also shows another 8022 sf on the 2nd floor behind the tower.

the finished space listed for first floor is 13500, and 8022 on the 2nd floor

45 asylum street (the garage) includes 12,841SF of retail space

so, I guess by my count, 38000 sf of ground floor potential and another 8k on the 2nd floor.

If you consider the need for a respectable sized lobby for the apartment building, and also consider that there is currently a 2500 sf loading dock and there will need to still be a loading dock... the math doesn't work

It seems to me there is a decent chance for some 2nd floor retail, or there would be additional ground floor retail built out to maximize the property.

I'm def interested in seeing the site plan.

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I'm very encouraged by this development. Glad a developer with a decent track record is prepared to take a crack at it. In my opinion this is one of the real game changing projects for Downtown Hartford that could have a tremendous positive impact. It will bring in a ton of new residents right in the Heart of Downtown and reduce the office vacancy rate significantly. The location is so perfect that it's an easy walk from there to the XL Center, Train Station, or to Constitution Plaza and Front Street. It will help tie those two edges of Downtown together.

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http://www.courant.c...0,2983553.story

it also says 35000 sf of ground floor retail.I was wondering if it was all ground floor.

The reason I say this is that the existing building shows 26K Sf of ground floor space on the tax map.

now thats just me counting sf on the map. the tax map also shows another 8022 sf on the 2nd floor behind the tower.

the finished space listed for first floor is 13500, and 8022 on the 2nd floor

45 asylum street (the garage) includes 12,841SF of retail space

So I just realized how confusing my post was...

As I walked from the gold building garage through this property towards City Steam Friday night I observed the potential of this part of Pearl Street.

286 apartments at 777 Main added to say 164 at 101-111 Pearl would make 450 apartments on this short stretch of road with as many as say 6-700 residents. The 35000 SF of retail split between the pedestal and parking garage would surely find some tenants with that many residents!

also, the retail on the ground floor of the Gold building garage would surely find tenants. lastly the Louis Street corner would perk up as would Pearl down to Trumbull.

The thing is that I think of this street as dead, completely dead and devoid of activity, but its potential is actually pretty good. If 101-111 Pear and 36 Louis St. happen then I suspect Louis Street would perk up quite a bit and connect life from the park up to Pearl. The 777 garage would have re energized retail adding not only to Asylum but also pear and the alley connecting.

the end result is there will be 12,841SF of retail in the 777 Garage back open for business. there will be around 7773 in 95 pearl and 10297 in 111 Pearl less lobby space, plus the Peoples bank in the gold building, the Welcome center story and the bank in 100 Pearl.. maybe a little street scaping and or redesign of the 777 main pedestal space, and there is a nice area here for the future of the city

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For both buildings, parking becomes the problem. If these buildings went up today, 777 and 101 would have parking lots below the buildings. There are too few spaces for 777 and 101 would have to share with Trumbull on the Park. Parking spaces are an ammenity that improve the chances of a building's success. Once again, the parking squeeze is a inhibitor. There is space behind 777 for a garage -and eyesore or not- it would improve both projects.

Edited by beerbeer

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The garage on the 777 main property is adequate for the apartments. In fact, the city allready approved the 286 apartments and the retail without adding any additional parking. Residential actually uses less parking than Office, so this SHOULD help the Supply/demand issue compared to when BOA was in there.

Also, The garage associated with Trumbull on the park holds 620 cars. When it was built it was agreed that the garage had to reserve parking for 101 and 111 Pearl and their future redevelopments. At the time this was for a hotel at 111 and I am not sure what 101 Was supposed to become in that round of RFP. Even Still if 200+ spaces are taken for 101-111 That garage is still more than big enough for The existing 100 units as well as the potential 200+ proposed units. There would still be the ability to lease spaces to nearby Offices and any potential retail tenants.

Heck, 100 Pearl has some underground parking I know and The gold building has a 1200 space monster also on this street. I do not see either building suffering for parking. especially with the nearby surface lot and street parking added to the mix...

That being said, IF the surface lot on Asylum and Main is ever developed it better have a huge underground garage associate with it or we will have a problem.

in summary, that section of Pearl Street likely has more parking than almost anywhere else in the city.

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It is all but official... This is happening!

http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120917/PRINTEDITION/309149971/0/NEWS

here is the meat n potatos

The agency recently set aside $17.7 million to help fund the conversion of the iconic 777 Main St. office tower in the heart of Hartford's central business district into apartments. The investment will be in addition to the $5 million in state incentives that the $79 million project has already received. The build out will yield 286 apartment units.

Hopgood said the apartment conversion still has some issues that need to be sorted out, but it is at the top of the priority list for new housing in the city. Additionally, in a CRDA meeting slated for later this month, Hartford and East Hartford officials are expected to unveil a list of housing projects at the top of their wish list, Hopgood said.

So you can take this really in one way... this building is happening if the state has anything to say about it.

I am guessing its one of those things where the state called up Mr. Grunberg and said "Sorry Bud but we are not buying your building... we have our eyes on other properties, but we want you to turn this into apartments"

then they called Mr Becker and said "Becks, nice work you just did in New Haven!.. now do it again in Hartford and we will make it worth your while."

so, now the state has provided $5M for the 40 mid income apartments, and another $17.7 million here.

This property has 22.7 million is likely the figure that will buy the property from Grunberg and remediate the asbestose. Building out the apartments will be the rest of the cost and its pretty safe to assume makes this a potentially profitable development rather than something unafordable.

I hope they iron out the final bumps in the way and we can get this underway ASAP!

Total project cost is expected to be $79 million BTW.

so, 22.7/79 seems like a good start.

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Wow, great news on this front as well. I really think this building has so much potential to transform the entire downtown. Having it sit empty right in the middle of everything really hurts the vibe down there and getting it filled with residents and activity will be absolutely huge. Hopefully they plan on some retail at street level.

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35,000SF of street facing retail is what the zoning app said. now, keep in mind, some of that is in the parking garage already (not much I highlighted that on the last page.)

the retail may include mezzanene level as well, but this project looks like it will have room for some pretty big establishments if any are interested

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Another article, this time on the tax assessment of the building. The project is also 51% low and moderate income, and 49% market rate. I don't know the breakdown of %AMI they're using for the income restricted units.

http://courantblogs....ower-developer/

Edited by Chessplayer

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Was just gonna post that....

Interesting...

I wonder what the breakdown will be.

51% is gonna be between 144 and 146 for the low to mid income segment. I can only assume that these will be lower floors and smaller units designed for the young professional. there likely will be some segment of true low income in the 60% of median bracket. this is people earning under 39K Again, this might include waiters and other hospitality undustry staff. I expect most of that number will be set at 80% which is moderate income or about < 60K/year.

They only got 5 million for low income so I just cannot imagine they are required to go too low on income.

regardless... This project looks like it it is very close to getting a final go ahead.

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http://courantblogs.com/ct-real-estate/apartments-at-the-former-bank-of-america-tower-in-hartford-what-affordable-really-means/

WOW

was I off

So, it seems they are after even more Federal low income housing money.

The developer can charge no more than 30 percent of a tenant’s gross income for rent and utilities, Deller said. To qualify for one-person, or studio, apartment, tenants can earn no more than $37,500 per year. For one- to two-bedroom apartments, which would accommodate one- to three-person families, the salary range for qualified tenants must be $45,500 to $58,500 ($45,500 is the maximum for one-person units, while $58,500 is the maximum for three-person units).

still no true breakdown.

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