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June 12, 2023 / 2023 Power 25 Real Estate

2023 Power 25 Real Estate: Martin Kenny and Alan Lazowski

HBJ PHOTO | MICHAEL PUFFER Martin Kenny, owner of Hartford-based Lexington Partners, inside the former sanctuary at the Sisters of St. Joseph convent property in West Hartford.

Martin Kenny runs Hartford-based multifamily investment, development and management firm Lexington Partners. Alan Lazowski sits at the head of national parking giant LAZ Parking and is an influential real estate investor.

The pair have long been friends, and Lazowski never misses an opportunity to invest in one of Lexington’s developments. In fact, Lazowski has been an investor in all of Lexington’s projects since 2006, including some of the largest currently in the works in Greater Hartford.

Lexington is closing in on completion of a 292-unit apartment redevelopment of the 22-acre Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery campus in West Hartford. The mostly converted convent — the nuns have lifetime rights to inhabit a wing of the building — on May 1 debuted 92 apartments, which have seen brisk demand.

Lexington continues work on the grounds and a new building that will host 200 additional units. Kenny said he expects work on One Park to be completed in July or August. The roughly $70 million venture has financial backing from Avon-based investor Corridor Ventures and Lazowski.

Lazowski and Kenny partnered with Hartford’s largest landlord — Shelbourne Global Solutions — in the recent $9.1 million conversion of the Sage Allen rental townhomes in downtown Hartford into 86 apartments, as well as conversion of nearby office buildings on historic Pratt Street into more than 100 apartments.

HBJ PHOTO | STEVE LASCHEVER
Alan Lazowski, head of Hartford-based parking empire LAZ Parking and a key area real estate investor.

Challenges have come in 2023, as borrowing costs surged and building supply delays continue globally. But Lazowski and Kenny are keeping busy.

Lexington continues to recruit tenants and outfit first-floor retail spaces for the Pratt Street buildings, as well as its 554-unit downtown Hartford Spectra apartments portfolio.

Kenny and Lazowski are partnered to transform a vacant historic courthouse off the scenic central green in downtown Litchfield into a 20-room boutique hotel, with an upscale restaurant.

Lexington, with Lazowski’s backing, is also working to move forward an estimated $100 million mixed-use redevelopment of a 12-acre former Red Lion Hotel property in Cromwell. Town officials had signed off on a plan to knock down the abandoned hotel building to make way for 265 apartments, 24 townhomes and 30,000 square feet of retail.

Kenny said designers are revisiting plans to mitigate rising costs, delaying the project’s start. Kenny said a tax abatement plan also needs to clear the town council.

“We are just looking at ways to bring down the construction costs right now,” Kenny said. “That’s something we always do, now even more so.”

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