New Jersey developer eyes large-scale apartment, industrial project in East Granby
A major New Jersey-based development and real estate investment firm is planning a large-scale residential and industrial development in East Granby.
The Silverman Group — which formerly owned a major Class A office building in downtown Hartford (100 Pearl St.) and is redeveloping The Hartford’s former Simsbury campus — in August quietly purchased nearly 130 acres in East Granby for $8.3 million.
Town officials and Silverman representatives say they are working together to create a refined development concept for a project the company is calling the “Bradley Airport Logistics Center.”
The Rainbow Road property is located off Route 20, just west of Bradley International Airport.
Blake Silverman, president of the Silverman Group, said his company plans to build large-scale multifamily residential and industrial properties on separate portions of the land.
Just how much of each, and where, will depend in part on ongoing talks with town officials, Silverman said. He stressed plans for the property will be refined with town input.
“Obviously, it’s a large site,” Silverman said. “We envision a magnitude of both in order to accomplish [our goals] as well as the town’s. So that’s why we decided we would build up a large amount of industrial as well as multifamily.”
The area around the airport is in a “commerce park transitional” zone, which allows for a wide range of uses including retail, residential, office and industrial, said Gary Haynes, East Granby’s development director.
Silverman Group bought the property from KESL LLC, which, according to Haynes, had originally pursued big-box retail for the site a decade or more in the past.
The ongoing talks are a good opportunity to ensure the future development complements East Granby’s budding concept of a village center, Haynes said.
“I think because of the size of the property, this is an opportunity for a little of everything,” Haynes said. “We are basically trying to work with the current owner to discuss looking at the property in two or three development pieces that might be closely associated.”
SL Industrial Partners, a division of the Silverman Group, owns 20 million square feet of industrial space across 20 states, according to the company. It has another 12 million square feet of industrial space under development in eight states, including built-to-order space and speculative opportunities.
C&R Property Management is the division of Silverman that develops and manages residential properties.
Both divisions will be involved in the East Granby project.
Silverman already owns 1.2 million square feet of industrial space in Connecticut and is working to add 2 million more, according to Toby Nelson, the company’s vice president of leasing. The firm also has 1,500 apartments either completed or under development in the state, Nelson said.
Its high-profile projects include an ongoing redevelopment of the former Simsbury headquarters of The Hartford Financial Services Group.
The “Ridge at Talcott Mountain” project in Simsbury — which broke ground in 2017 — is transforming a 173-acre site into a luxury community, with apartments, town homes, amenities and retail. Silverman Group purchased that property in 2015 for $8.52 million and then knocked down 641,000 square feet of vacant office space.
Blake Silverman said the Ridge project will be completed in the first quarter of 2022.
McCormick is staying on to market the pending industrial development, along with CBRE’s Chris Metcalfe and Kyle Roberts. Industrial space has been one of the hottest commercial real estate sectors in Greater Hartford, driven by a continued boom in e-commerce and companies’ desires to locate goods closer to customers.
The Silverman Group’s Nelson said his company sees Greater Hartford as a prime growth area.
“We like the market fundamentals,” Nelson said. “There is great highway access. Users are focusing on this area.”
An abundance of labor is another strong attraction.
There is a 54,000-person labor pool for transportation, manufacturing and warehouse employers within 15 miles of the East Granby site, said Tina Briggs, client services team lead with CBRE.
“That is a determinator on the marketing side,” Silverman said. “Not only the land, and the accessibility of the land to the Mass Pike, but also the accessibility of labor. Outside of Boston or in New Jersey, labor availability is really tight.”
Original article here .