Greenwich sees its already hot market for commercial real estate catch fire
Commercial real estate brokers in Greenwich, Connecticut, have been busy this fall. The city earned a new title last week from commercial real estate firm CBRE: Hottest market in Fairfield County.
Diane Roth, senior sales associate at Allied Property Group, said this is the busiest they’ve been in 10 years.
“I'm doing two to four leases a week. I’m actually probably the top leasing broker for Greenwich and I've been doing this for over 25 years,” Roth said. “Our company owns, manages and leases about 100 buildings in Greenwich. So, although we have a small amount of people in our office, we are a high volume place.”
She said the company just gained another five buildings from another large developer in Greenwich.
A major reason why Greenwich is getting so much traction is its location. Allan Murphy, senior managing director at real estate firm Newmark in Stamford, said Greenwich being the first town in Fairfield County — from the border with New York — makes it more desirable, especially since many executives tend to live in the community.
Just last month, financial-technology firm iCapital Network opened offices in Greenwich with easy access to the Metro-North Railroad station and next to Interstate 95. iCapital’s headquarters is in Manhattan — about 30 miles away from their Greenwich location.
The company originally planned to bring about 200 jobs to the state, but now the company anticipates 300 employees working in the Greenwich offices. They’re also increasing their footprint by 25,000 square feet, bringing the offices to 65,000 square feet.
iCapital and other hedge funds leasing from Greenwich will only help the surrounding community, according to Roth. Roth said these hedge funds are helping local businesses by going out to lunch, going shopping after work and ordering dinner on the way home.
“Most of them (hedge fund companies) have daily expense accounts to buy lunch. They’ll order it and have everything sent up,” Roth explained. “We also took out a lot of sinks in our buildings because we didn’t want to deal with drains closing up. So they tend to order food and bring the food up which helps all of our local businesses.”
Marcia O’Kane, CEO and president of the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce, is hopeful.
“Everyone benefits when leasing rates go up,” O’Kane said. “Restaurants, catering, retailers and nightlife all enjoy a surge from having more consumers in the area who have a demand for these items.”
Greenwich is changing to a lifestyle city with all of the new businesses going there, Roth said. She sees more people are making a day trip out of Greenwich instead of just going there for an hour or two. With companies moving to Greenwich, she hopes local businesses will bounce back after the hardships of the pandemic.