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July 18, 2022 / 2022 Power 25 Real Estate

2022 Power 25 Real Estate: Joel Grieco

Joel Grieco

Commercial brokers in downtown Hartford tend to have staying power. Many have been in the market for decades, not just years.

That’s the case with Joel Grieco, executive director in Cushman & Wakefield’s Hartford office. He has 30-plus years of experience and has been in the middle of several recent major deals.

He brokered the sale of the 570,000-square-foot, three-building complex at Gillette Ridge in Bloomfield, now known as The Atrium. He’s handling leasing for the new owners, who recently invested $2 million in the property to lure office tenants.

Grieco is currently representing two of the largest law firms in Hartford as they re-think their space needs amid the new hybrid work environment. He also represented Hartford HealthCare and Yale in acquiring land in Wallingford where they will build Connecticut’s first proton therapy center to provide advanced radiation treatments.

Grieco said the region’s office market faces challenges and opportunities.

“The challenges are the obvious — hybrid working is here to stay, construction/renovation costs have increased over 30%, and the Hartford area is not attracting many new office users from outside the region,” he said. “The opportunity is that this area offers tremendous quality of life, great schools, great housing, and comparatively favorable costs. And since many companies have learned that a distributed workforce can be managed through technology, the Hartford area can be seen as a lower-cost alternative to New York City or Boston.”

Grieco said office landlords are competing with remote work, so the most appealing buildings are those with on-site amenities that enhance the employee experience.

“Fitness centers, game areas (indoor and outdoor), patios, coffee/food options, ‘decompression’ areas, walking trails, etc.,” he said. “Companies seek out the buildings that will make their employees want to be at work, or at least provide a reasonably positive environment as compared to [work from home].”

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