February 14, 2019

Shelbourne's growing Hartford realty investments total at least $137M

HBJ Photo | Joe Cooper
HBJ Photo | Joe Cooper
75 Pratt St. in downtown Hartford.
HBJ Photo | Joe Cooper
New York landlord Shelbourne paid $2.35 million in August to acquire a pair of adjoining buildings at 196 Trumbull St. and 99 Pratt St.
HBJ Photo | Joe Cooper
57 Pratt St. in Hartford

New York landlord Shelbourne Global Solutions LLC earlier this week added to its Hartford commercial realty empire by spending $4.8 million on a trio of buildings fronting downtown's underutilized Pratt Street corridor.

But that investment is just a drop in the bucket compared to what Shelbourne has invested in Hartford since 2014.

Over the last five or so years, Shelbourne has spent at least $137 million buying up some of downtown Hartford's most prized office towers, city records show, cementing the realty investor as one of the center-city's most prominent landlords.

Its total downtown footprint includes at least eight buildings that encompass 1.2 million square feet of commercial real estate, city records show.

Shelbourne's buying spree, in many ways, mirrors the aggressive investments made decades ago by Massachusetts-based Northland Investment Corp. In fact, Shelbourne has even purchased former Northland assets, including the Metro Center at 350 Church St. Shelbourne bought that multi-story office tower, which Northland previously lost to foreclosure, in 2017 for $49 million, city records show.

Shelbourne officials have said they've been attracted to the city because of Hartford's efforts at downtown redevelopment, which has included the addition of hundreds of new apartments, Dunkin' Donuts Park, UConn's Hartford campus, among other amenities.

And the spending spree isn't likely over. In addition to plans to potentially redevelop Pratt Street, which has long been considered an underutilized and underdeveloped brick-paved thoroughfare in the heart of the city, Shelbourne also recently announced it was co-partnering with Hartford parking magnate Alan Lazowski on a bid to buy the 26-story Gold Building, which is one of the city's most iconic skyscrapers.

Online city assessment records list the total value of The Gold and its parking garage at $64.1 million.

The deals

Shelbourne's first downtown Hartford purchase was in 2014, when it dished out $44.4 million for 20 Church St., also known as the Stilts building, which has since been transformed, in part, into an innovation hub as home to Upward Hartford.

That deal was followed up in 2015 by Shelbourne's $36.9 million acquisition of the blue, glass-sheathed, 17-story 100 Pearl St. office tower.

In 2017 it bought the Metro Center.

More recently in August, Shelbourne paid $2.35 million for a pair of adjoining buildings at 196 Trumbull St. and 99 Pratt St., across from the XL Center, that span over 115,000 square feet. Its tenants include Caribbean bar-restaurant The Russell and Max Bibo's.

Its latest purchase was the three buildings at 57, 65 and 75 Pratt St.

Shelbourne said it views Pratt Street as a unique location that is primed for redevelopment.

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