MERIDEN — A New Haven-based partnership, interested in expanding its holdings in the city, recently bought two downtown buildings on West Main Street.
Main Street Meriden LLC paid $1.6 million for 81. W. Main St. and 107 W. Main St., according to city land records. Both are fully rented.
The three-story building at 81 W. Main St. is home to El Rincon Boricua—formerly Ebenezer Restaurant—and Family Pizza. There are apartments on the second floor. A chiropractor’s office occupies one of two commercial spaces at 107 W. Main St. and there are six apartments on the second level.
Main Street Meriden LLC is a partnership of Moises Grunblatt of Woodbridge and Greenleaf Holdings CT LLC of Charlestown, Mass, according to state business records. New Haven investor and developer Mendel Paris is also a partner in the investment, but referred questions about the deal to New Haven investor and developer Johnny Grunblatt.
“We feel Meriden is a diamond in the rough,” Johnny Grunblatt said. “The city has done a lot to put Meriden on the map, the Green, and the train station and the sidewalks. It feels like a good old American town.”
Johnny Grunblatt described himself as the type of investor who “wants to make a difference,” in both the community he invests in, and in the lives of the tenants who occupy his buildings. He has other holdings in New Haven.
“Meriden is an untapped market and ready for change,” he said adding he is looking at other opportunities in the city.
Paris recently told the Record-Journal, he and his partners were interested in expanding their investment opportunities in the Meriden and Southington areas. In addition to his New Haven holdings, Paris recently purchased the campus that was once home to Lincoln College of New England in Southington. He plans to maintain it as a school.
City Economic Development Director Joseph Feest said there has been interest in downtown properties primarily along Colony Street but doesn’t recall discussions about 81 W. Main St. Feest said the leased restaurants on the first floor add to its investor appeal.
“Whenever we have a sale of a building in downtown it’s a good thing, because it shows interest in the city,” Feest said. “It was a hefty price tag.”
The sale adds to sluggish downtown activity as city leaders work to fill some of its vacant and underleased buildings. A foreclosure auction over blight liens and unpaid city taxes is set for May 22 on two blighted buildings at 9-11, and 13-17 on Colony Street. Feest said there has been interest, but it remains to be seen who might turn out.
According to a property listing on LoopNet.com, 81 W. Main St. has 19 units, three retail and 16 apartments. The apartments are 14 studio units and two two-bedroom units. The building is 11,000 square feet with on street parking with additional parking across the street. It is in the city’s transit-oriented district and less than a quarter-mile from the Meriden Train Station.
Johnny Gunblatt said the partnership will make some cosmetic improvements to the interior.