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July 18, 2022 / 2022 Power 25 Real Estate

2022 Power 25 Real Estate: Chris Ostop

Chris Ostop

Chris Ostop is another top broker in Hartford.

He’s the managing director of JLL, which did $110 million in commercial volume activity in 2020.

Ostop is JLL’s broker lead for central Connecticut and western Massachusetts and is active locally, having served as a board commissioner of the Hartford Business Improvement District.

Ostop and JLL have been part of some of the biggest real estate transactions in Hartford, including selling, on two separate occasions, City Place I, the city’s and state’s largest office tower. City Place last traded hands in 2015 when it was purchased by Boston real estate investment firm Paradigm Properties for $113.3 million.

JLL now represents Paradigm as the property’s broker.

Interestingly, Ostop has turned some of his attention to the New Haven market where demand for lab space has spurred new major developments and office space conversions. For example, JLL was selected as the leasing agent for Winchester Works, a New Haven life sciences building that received a multimillion-dollar facelift in recent years to attract new bioscience companies.

“Distribution and lab properties are seeing the most activity,” Ostop said. “Activity at traditional office buildings is picking up but many companies are opting for short-term leases as they solve for their future space needs.”

Ostop said it’s becoming clear that employees will return to the office but with much more flexibility.

“Most national real estate firms forecast a 15% reduction in office demand as flexible work takes hold,” Ostop said. “However, the increase in vacancy will not be shared equally by every building. In every market across the country the demand for top-quality buildings in a ‘live, work, play’ environment is far outpacing demand for the low-cost alternative options with fewer tenant amenities and higher-deferred maintenance. To the employee, the office experience must be ‘worthy’ of their commute. Better space in desirable areas is another tool to lure employees back to their desks and to attract and retain top talent.”

He added that vibrant, work, live, and play areas like West Hartford Center and Somerset Square in Glastonbury are seeing higher-than-normal activity.

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