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June 12, 2023 / 2023 Power 25 Real Estate

2023 Power 25 Real Estate: Avner Krohn & Brian Zelman

HBJ PHOTO | STEVE LASCHEVER Developer Avner Krohn in New Britain.

Developer Avner Krohn may hail from New York, but he is having a tremendous impact in Connecticut, especially in New Britain, where his developments are poised to add hundreds of market-rate units, several restaurants and new retail spaces to the downtown.

Brian Zelman

Krohn has also partnered with West Hartford-based developer Brian Zelman on a string of commercial and apartment developments outside of New Britain, including a project of at least 300 apartments on 25 acres in East Hartford. Their target is 402 units, but that will depend on the scope allowed by lenders.

Krohn’s ongoing developments in New Britain include:

  • A $20 million renovation of the former Burritt Bank property on Main Street into a 107-unit apartment building with 5,450 square feet of restaurant space. The project, named “The Brit,” launched a little over a year ago and is expected to wrap this fall.
  • A $25 million renovation of the former Amato’s Toy & Hobby building into 114 apartments with 3,000 square feet of restaurant space and another 3,000 square feet of retail. “The Highrailer” building is expected to be ready for occupancy late this year or in early 2024.
  • A roughly $25 million construction of a new 100-unit apartment building on a city-owned lot near the corner of Main and Chestnut streets that used to house the Strand Theater. The Strand will include about 3,700 square feet of first-floor retail space, possibly divided between a restaurant and retail use. Krohn expects to begin work this fall and complete construction about 15 months later.
  • Krohn paid $775,000 for a 36,530-square-foot office building in downtown New Britain in June 2022, and has performed about $1 million in renovation and repair work, claiming a portion of the property for his Connecticut headquarters.

Krohn and Zelman this fall plan to begin a two-year effort to build their Concourse Park apartment development in East Hartford.

They are also partnered with Rich and Zach Korris on a roughly $20 million, 48-unit apartment development with more than 10,000 square feet of first-floor commercial space on Farmington Avenue in West Hartford. The ongoing project is expected to wrap in early 2024.

Zelman and Krohn are also partnered on a nearly completed, 111-unit apartment building on 17 acres in Bloomfield. The Residences at Washbrook will offer a range of amenities and 15 acres of conservation land. The project at 65 Jolly Drive began in summer 2021, and will be largely completed by early June.

Check out the other 2023 Real Estate Power Players

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