AvalonBay Communities (NYSE:AVB) sold its Stamford Harbor apartment complex and adjacent marina for $115.5 million to TGM Associates, a New York City-based real estate company that owns TGM Village at Stamford Apartments on Bedford Street.
TGM made the Avalon deal days before selling TGM Willow Grove apartments in Danbury to Beachwold Residential, having acquired the 135-unit building in 2010. Both TGM and Beachwold are based in New York City; Beachwold has previously invested in properties in New Haven and Manchester.
As of 2013, AvalonBay was the third biggest taxpayer to the city of Stamford, trailing only Harbor Point developer Building and Land Technology and RFR Realty, which owns several office buildings downtown.
The Avalon on Stamford Harbor sale was among the largest residential real estate transactions recorded by the city the past few years, trailing BLT's $130 million sale of its Lockworks building in Harbor Point to Wafra Investment Advisory Group, and the $120 million sale of 75 Tresser. AvalonBay revealed the purchase price as part of a review of its fourth-quarter results.
As of September, AvalonBay had $63 million in debt secured by the Avalon on Stamford Harbor property.
Only a year ago, AvalonBay had given an upbeat assessment for its Northeast leasing. By July, however, the company was backpedaling, with an executive citing "pretty meager employment growth" in Fairfield County and competitive pressure from BLT during a conference call that month with investment analysts. BLT has begun leasing the Vault Apartments and is wrapping up construction on the waterfront Beacon towers across Stamford Harbor from the newly named TGM Anchor Point.
"I'd highlight Stamford, in particular, where BLT is building on the waterfront and has been building and continues to build there, putting some pressure on supply in that particular submarket," said Sean Breslin, AvalonBay's executive vice president of investments and asset management. "While the current environment there is somewhat challenged, I would say over the long term we've been pretty successful with our development franchise there. So we'll continue to be active." CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
CT Bond Commission poised to borrow more than $250M
Housing projects, school improvement projects and municipal clean water initiatives are among the proposals the State Bond Commission plans to borrow money for during a Friday meeting, according to the panel’s agenda. The commission is set to approve more than $250 million in general obligation bonds and $382 million in revenue bonds when it meets Friday for the second time this month.
The agenda includes more than $40 million for Housing Department projects. The commission is expected approve funding for supportive housing initiatives in Manchester, Hartford, Hamden and Bridgeport. The group also plans to borrow funds for housing projects in Deep River and Stonington. A handful of school and building improvement projects are also set to go on the state credit card. The Bond Commission plans to authorize $39 million to renovate a building at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury. Another item borrows about $3 million for renovations at Vinal Technical High School in Middletown. The commission will borrow about $10 million for construction projects at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison.
Stonington officials hear cost estimate for school options
Stonington - It will cost between $45 million and $113 million to upgrade the town's aging elementary schools, according to cost estimates presented to the K-12 School Building Committee on Thursday night by its architect. Those costs would be decreased to between $33 million and $85 million because of state reimbursement. They could be lowered even more because of savings in utilities, maintenance and personnel costs, as well as revenue from the possible sale or lease of four current buildings. The committee spent 2½ hours reviewing the estimates Thursday in advance of its public forum scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Pawcatuck Middle School.
The committee's plan is to then select an option and hold a referendum vote so the district can apply for state reimbursement by the June deadline. The cost would be bonded over 20 years.
James Barrett, a principal in Drummey Rosane Anderson, outlined five options and their costs Thursday. Option A, or the so-called "Do Nothing" option, calls for maintaining the current six schools and central office and spending $24 million on "reactive maintenance" such as the recent emergency repairs to fix the leaky roof at Deans Mill School. Option B calls for making $20 million in proactive repairs. Neither option would upgrade the schools.
Option C called for closing West Broad Street School, expanding West Vine Street School and renovating both West Vine Street and Deans Mill schools. This would cost $45 million, with $12 million is state reimbursement, lowering the cost to $33 million. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
State Bond Commission to vote on $100M Norwich grant/loan package for sewer plant upgrade
Norwich – Norwich is in line to receive $20 million in grants and $80 million in loans from the state Bond Commission today to fund the $100 million planned sewer treatment plant upgrade project, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Thursday. The state Bond Commission is expected to vote today on Malloy’s proposed package of $480 million in grants and loans to local projects aimed at improving wastewater treatment plants and sanitary sewer systems.
The Norwich wastewater treatment plant would receive $100 million for improvements to the Falls Avenue plant, which includes upgrades to aging infrastructure and for nitrogen removal.
John Bilda, Norwich Public Utilities general manager, said the state funding announcement is in line with what the utility has been expecting from the state to finance the sewer plant upgrades. The project has been placed on hold since fall, after the largest sewer customer, Fusion Paperboard in Sprague, suddenly closed.
NPU will ask the Norwich Sewer Authority on Tuesday to approve an 11 percent sewer rate hike to make up for the loss of Fusion revenue that would have been used for the sewer plant upgrade.
Bilda said the rate hike is still necessary and would be used to pay off the $80 million state loan for the project. He hopes to persuade state officials to boost the grant portion to 30 percent, but cannot plan for that amount. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Canton Selectman endorse bridge project
CANTON — The board of selectmen has endorsed strengthening the historic bridge that takes Town Bridge Road over the Farmington River while maintaining how it looks now. This would entail keeping the small, little-used bridge that was built in 1895 with one lane and is what residents said they want to see happen at the annual town meeting held last week.The selectmen acted on Wednesday.Their recommendation now goes to the state and also the federal government, which is expected to fund most of the project's cost. A consultant for the town has said construction would cost about $2.6 million. At the town meeting, residents who spoke were overwhelmingly in favor of a project that keeps the bridge usable but maintains is character and appearance.
"Nothing has been presented so far that makes it seem like the other options are more appropriate," First Selectmen Richard Barlow said on Wednesday.
Although safe for cars to use, the bridge is deteriorating and needs work to remain in service. The bridge's maximum load is ten tons and the plan that the selectmen endorsed would strengthen it so it can take as much as 36 tons. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Developer targets Clinton's closed Unilever plant for massive recreation center
CLINTON >> The massive Unilever plant, closed down in 2011 after more than 100 years as the bulwark of the town’s economy, would be converted into a 200,000 square foot indoor recreation center, according to plans being prepared by a Southport developer.
In its first phase of development, the facility could include two ice rinks, a soccer field, physical training center, golf academy, and space for other sports, as well as “pro” shops associated with each discipline. Eventually, the 25-acre property – within walking distance of downtown Clinton and bordering on the Shoreline East railroad station - could be developed for a mix of residential and retail uses, according to developer David A Mack, principal of David A Mack Properties LLC of Southport. Mack has begun submitting applications to the Zoning Board of Appeals in anticipation of his imminent acquisition of the property – applications made necessary because of a change in early December to town zoning regulations that apply to the site.
Title to the property still is in the name of Chesebrough-Pond’s, begun in Clinton in 1888 through the purchase of the Whittemore soap factory by “Pond’s Extract,” a company that produced a balm through the distillation of the witch hazel plant. Pond’s Cold Cream – and “vanishing” cream – came to be used by women all over the world.
A 1955 merger with the Chesebrough Manufacturing Co., makers of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly and other products, created the Chesebrough-Pond’s Co., which grew into a leading producer of personal care products that was purchased in 1987 by Unilever, a British-Dutch company that is a global leader in the manufacture personal care items.
Pond’s light yellow Art Deco office building was built in 1929 and remain an iconic feature of the heart of Clinton, but the company also led the town’s grand list for years and contributed to a wide variety of civic undertakings. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
O&G employee receives Outstanding Achievement Award
TORRINGTON >> Raymond Oneglia, vice chairman of O&G Industries in Torrington, was presented with The Moles Outstanding Achievement Award this week for his contributions to the construction industry. The award was presented at The Mole’s 73 annual awards dinner Wednesday evening. The Moles is a fraternal organization made up of members of the heavy construction industry.
“I am humbled and honored to accept this prestigious award on behalf of not only myself, but also the Oneglia family and the employees of O&G Industries, both past and present,” Oneglia said.
Oneglia has worked at O&G since 1970 and is the third generation of Oneglia’s to work there. His grandfather Andrew Oneglia, along with Flaviano Gervasini, founded the business in 1923.
Oneglia said part of the reason that his company has been so successful is due to the way that differences of opinions are handled in regards to the work environment.
“We learned properly focusing our resources on our problems would help us thrive for a long time,” he said. After earning a degree in science from Union College, Oneglia started with O&G full-time and began his work on a 16-mile road and sewer project called the Boise Cascade project.
Oneglia also aided in the acquisition and development of numerous construction material yards and rock quarries that have led O&G to be an ideal supplier of construction material throughout the state.
Oneglia has also served as chairman of the Connecticut Construction Industry Association as well as head of the legislative committee.
Additionally, through work outside of Connecticut, Oneglia has helped the company expand its work sites. Some of the outside work includes building a lock and dam in Louisiana and a 9-mile tunnel underneath Chicago. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE