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June 12, 2023 / 2023 Power 25 Real Estate

2023 Power 25 Real Estate: Michael Belfonti

HBJ PHOTO | STEVE LASCHEVER Developer Michael Belfonti stands in front of the defunct former Ames headquarters in Rocky Hill, which he plans to convert into a sprawling mixed-use apartment development.

Over three decades, Belfonti Cos. has owned and managed more than $2 billion in real estate.

Today, it has some major projects ongoing or pending in Connecticut and elsewhere, including an estimated $60 million-plus redevelopment of the former Ames headquarters site in Rocky Hill, a long-awaited venture. Ames stopped operations there in 2002, and its 225,000-square-foot headquarters and distribution building for years went to ruin and decay.

CEO Michael Belfonti has pushed forward with a plan to knock it down and build a mixed-use community on the 12.1-acre site, including more than 213 apartments in nearly a half-dozen buildings, along with thousands of square feet of mixed-use space.

The project, recently dubbed “Kelson Row,” has officially broken ground and will take 2.5 years to complete, Belfonti said.

Belfonti has focused on Connecticut commercial and residential development but has strayed outside state lines. His company is currently partnered with global real estate firm Hines and Bridge Investment Group on a 209-unit, premium apartment development just outside Boston.

Also in Connecticut, he’s developed The Landon apartments in Cromwell and Hunter’s Chase Condominiums in Litchfield.

One of the company’s latest potential projects is a 500,000-square-foot medical and life sciences development called “HealthTech Park” planned for a 120-acre property bordering I-95 in Branford.

Belfonti Cos. currently co-owns the land with A. Secondino & Son Inc., and the co-developers are Ryan Companies US Inc. and Connecticut-based Henrich Partners LLC.

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