MERIDEN — A Clinton-based auto finance company recently paid $250,000 for an office suite in the Murdock Business Center at 470 Murdock Avenue.
Winthrop Financial Resources LLC bought the fully-furnished 3,360 square foot condominium because of its location in the state, including access to major highways, said Tony Poccia of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services, who represented the buyer and seller — Hylwa Murdock Realty LLC
“They felt it was centrally located,” Poccia said. “They’re planning some expansion.”
The company works with dealerships to help customers secure auto financing. according to the Winthrop Financial Services website.
The office condominium sale in the city is a bright spot in an otherwise sluggish office sales and leasing market, local agents said. New Haven and Hartford counties already had significant office inventory prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that drove thousands of office employees to work remotely.
“All of the gurus say office space is going to lag quite a bit,” Poccia said. “It’s a tough market right now for office space.”
The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce recently conducted a survey of business owners. A majority said despite the absence of workers during the pandemic, they would not reduce existing office space but may reconfigure how it is used.
“It’s going to stay that way in the foreseeable future,” said Frank Hird, vice president of OR&L Commercial. “When office tenants are looking at 10 people or more, they might require more square footage than a year ago because of distance. They take the same amount of space and people are further apart.”
Hird and Poccia agree that industrial, medical office and investment properties are strong markets right now. Office space in the greater Stamford area has improved because there has been a recent exodus out of New York City, Westchester County and other crowded office environments. But that interest hasn’t reached New Haven or Hartford counties.
“People are getting used to being in Connecticut,” Hird said. “It’s hard to get used the 52-story tower. We haven’t seen it in New Haven County but we are seeing it in residential sales.”
Industrial and warehouse space is also more in demand as online shopping shows little signs of slowing after the pandemic, Poccia said.
“As more people shop electronically, there is a need for storage,” Poccia said.
Residential real estate has seen a measurable uptick in Fairfield County and is now spreading into New Haven county and the shoreline, Poccia and Hird said.
“Folks from New York are renting houses, and some of them won’t go back,” Hird said.