Avison Young in Hartford
Avison Young entered the Hartford marketplace in 2015 as part of its plan to expand the company’s Northeast operations. Avison Young’s Hartford office enables the firm to facilitate more cross-border transactions, with its proximity to major Eastern markets including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Toronto and Montreal.
Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, is located in Hartford County in the center of the state, midway between Boston to the north and New York City to the south. The metropolitan region’s stable economy draws its strength from a diverse business and industrial community. Nicknamed the “Insurance Capital of the World,” metro Hartford is the historic international center of the insurance industry with companies such as Aetna Inc., The Hartford Financial Services Group, Travelers Property Casualty Corp., CIGNA, Phoenix Home Life, Lincoln Financial Group and The United Health Care Company based in the city. Hartford is also home to an extensive list of major high-tech manufacturing firms producing such complex products as aircraft engines, nuclear reactors, space suits and missile components.
Though leasing activity is historically behind that of neighboring metropolitan areas, Hartford’s strong intellectual capital has made it a promising future location for investment as evidenced through a growing construction pipeline. Driving the new development in a city that is almost 400 years old is a new convention center, added hotels, a revitalized riverfront and the construction of the Connecticut Science Center.
With Hartford’s traditionally high vacancy rates, pressure is focused on landlord representatives to fill the approximately 25 million-square-foot market, while tenant representatives have an easier time finding space and servicing their clients. The city’s prime location between major northeast metropolitan hubs is increasingly attracting more technology-based tenants.
Hartford’s retail market is aligned with the “power center” structure utilized in the southwest part of the state that services New York City area employees. These “power centers” are large retail blocks with a variety of amenities, usually anchored by one major tenant. Neighborhood shopping centers fill the gaps between these major retail blocks.
Hartford serves as a popular junction connecting significant transportation corridors such as Interstates 84 and 91, and Routes 4 and 44. The city’s total industrial market comprises approximately 95 million square feet, and traditionally enjoys the lowest vacancy rates compare to office and retail.
Hartford’s strong industrial market attracts industrial REITs seeking long rent roles and credible tenants. First-time office investors continue to enter the market, drawn by Hartford’s ideal location and steady and consistent increases in rental rates.