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May 31, 2019 Deal Watch Today

$70.5M Gold Building purchase aided by $60.6M in debt financing

gold building hartford LAZ Photo | Contributed Downtown Hartford's Gold Building at 755 Main St. is home to Virtus Investments Inc.

The recent $70.5 million sale of Hartford’s iconic Gold Building -- likely to be one of the city’s largest commercial property deals this year -- was financed by more than $60 million in debt, realty officials say.

Hartford’s LAZ Investments LLC, an investment arm of parking giant LAZ Parking, and New York’s Shelbourne Global Solutions LLC, a major downtown landlord, closed last week on their joint purchase of the approximately 621,000-square-foot building and its adjoining 1,140-space parking garage fronting Pearl Street from Talcott Realty Investors. 

Commercial broker-advisor CBRE, with regional operations in Hartford, on Thursday said its financing arm helped secure a $47.5 million senior bank loan on behalf of the buyers from Wall Street investment bank Morgan Stanley.

Another $13 million in mezzanine capital, meaning a mix of debt and equity financing, was also provided by New York real estate firm Estreich & Co., through Fidelity Investments Inc., for the purchase, CBRE said.

CBRE didn’t specify how much LAZ and Shelbourne each invested in the purchase, other than to say it was a 50-50 joint venture. The total $60.6 million in debt accounted for about 86 percent of the overall sale price. 

“We are sure that this loan with Morgan Stanley and Fidelity Investments will assist the new ownership to execute their business plan to help continue the revitalization the city of Hartford,” said Michael Riccio, a senior managing director at CBRE who led the team that secured the fixed-rate senior loan for The Gold’s buyers.

HBJ first reported on the deal for the 26-story building in January.

Realty sources say LAZ CEO Alan Lazowski plans to move his parking company’s headquarters from 15 Lewis St. to the Gold Building, where it will occupy 35,000 square feet.

Lazowski earlier this year said he was considering converting LAZ’s headquarters on Lewis Street into apartments. The Hartford Business Journal is a tenant in the five-story building overlooking Bushnell Park.

The glass-sheathed tower, known as One Financial Plaza, is one of Hartford’s most recognizable skyscrapers. 

It was last sold in 2000 to Talcott Realty Investors for $59.65 million. City records list the building and its parking garage at a value of $64.1 million.

Property and casualty insurer The Travelers Cos. is currently The Gold’s largest tenant after increasing its office presence in the tower in recent years, replacing former lead tenant United Technologies Corp. UTC in 2015 relocated its headquarters to a suburban office park in Farmington.

In January, Virtus Investments relocated its downtown its headquarters from 100 Pearl St. to The Gold, one block away.

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