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August 24, 2022

Embracing remote work, Voya Financial puts its 470,000-square-foot Windsor headquarters up for sale

Contributed Voya Financial plans to continue occupying 85,000 square feet of its 461,000-square-foot building on a 76-acre campus at 1 Orange Way in Windsor.
Contributed The interior of Voya Financial’s building at 1 Orange Way in Windsor.

Leading health, wealth and investment company Voya Financial put its 470,000-square-foot Windsor office building on the market last week.

It is the latest in a series of enormous office buildings to come on the market north of Hartford as big corporate users shrink their footprints to match shifting needs and work habits.

Voya, in a statement released Thursday, attributed the move to its embrace of a hybrid work model. 

"Like many companies that have made similar shifts, we no longer need as much office space as we did," according to a statement issued by Voya spokesman Christopher Breslin. "As such, we are exploring the sale of the Windsor facility with the intention to secure a multi-year lease-back arrangement for a portion of the building. We are committed to our Windsor site, and we will continue to operate from this location going forward, including having it serve as a valuable place for collaboration with our employees and clients. We look forward to continuing to be a strong corporate citizen in the Hartford area." 

Voya’s “trophy,” class A office building – which headquarters its retirement services arm – sits on 76.8 acres at 1 Orange Way in Windsor, according to advertising by Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc., which is marketing the property. The building was constructed for Voya (formerly ING) at a cost of $100 million in 2007, according to JLL.

“This is the largest corporate office to come on the northern market, it’s pretty significant,” said Shawn P. McMahon, managing director for JLL. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years. This is the nicest facility in central Connecticut, maybe in all of Connecticut and western Massachusetts.”

Attempts to reach Voya representatives were not immediately successful Wednesday evening.

Voya is seeking to lease back 85,000 square feet of the building, according to JLL.

The property’s industrial zoning and available space would allow for further development of medical office, residential, industrial or warehousing space, according to JLL.

The interior of Voya Financial’s building at 1 Orange Way in Windsor.

The “meticulously maintained” campus provides a host of amenities, including a full-service cafeteria, fitness center, meeting rooms, an outdoor patio for dining, walking paths and round-the-clock security.

Voya’s move comes amid a quickly softening office market in the towns immediately north of Hartford.

In June, The Hartford announced plans to sell or lease its 457,396-square-foot Windsor office building, reassigning 500 workers to offices in Hartford. The Hartford’s building was also built in 2007 and sits on 72.9 acres at 1 Griffin Road North.

At the time, Matthew Sturdevant, spokesman for the giant insurer, said the decision came about as part of regular assessment of property needs. Sturdevant also noted that most employees assigned to the Windsor office were working remotely.

Office vacancies in the “Hartford north” market reached 40.5% as of the end of the first quarter, according to commercial real estate services company CBRE Global’s most recent market report.

Vacancies in the Hartford north market – which includes 4 million square feet of office space in the towns of Bloomfield, East Granby, East Windsor, Enfield, Windsor and Windsor Locks – have more than doubled in the past seven years. The vacancy rate in this area far exceeds any other section of the Greater Hartford region.

McMahon said JLL and Voya are working with Windsor’s economic development leadership, the Metro Hartford Alliance and AdvanceCT to identify a new user for Voya’s large property.

McMahon said there has been “some interest” in the building already.

“We are obviously hoping for a user rather than an investor, and it isn’t a fire sale,” McMahon said. “This is not a distressed asset. Voya doesn’t have to sell. They would like to sell. So, we can take time to find the right developer or user for this property.”

Voya Financial Inc. claims approximately 6,000 employees and $644 billion in assets under management and administration as of June 30.

In July, the company announced Heather Lavallee, chief executive officer of Voya’s Wealth Solutions business, would take over as CEO for the broader company as of Jan. 1, succeeding 70-year-old Rodney O. Martin Jr.

“We are well positioned for continued growth across each of our businesses – delivering greater value for all of our stakeholders,” Lavallee said at the time.




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