Pratt Street Entrance

Downtown Hartford Landlord Buys Another Chunk of Pratt Street

February 12, 2019

Hartford, CT — Shelbourne Global Solutions LLC, which has acquired four downtown Hartford office towers since 2014 and is in a deal to buy the iconic Gold Building, has acquired three more buildings on the south side of historic Pratt Street.

Shelbourne, of Brooklyn, N.Y., said Tuesday it has purchased 57, 65 and 75 Pratt St., adding to its holdings on the brick-paved street across from the Trumbull Street entrance to the XL Center. Shelbourne declined to disclose the purchase prices Tuesday.

The three properties expand its ownership on the south side of the street to all but two properties and are another sign, the real estate investor said, of its confidence in Hartford’s revival. Last summer, Shelbourne acquired 99 Pratt St. and 196 Trumbull St. for $2.35 million, with plans to redevelop the structures which wrap around the corner onto Pratt.

“Shelbourne views Pratt Street as a unique location that is primed for redevelopment,” Shelbourne said in a release. We look forward to working with our community partners, specifically [Hartford Business Improvement District] to continue to maximize and expand the opportunities that exist on Pratt Street.

Shelbourne said its spate of purchases — its first was 20 Church St., the Stilts Building — demonstrate that it wants to be a partner to “ensure that the recent positive trends in Hartford not only continue but bring about a much-needed renaissance.”

Shelbourne praised Gov. Ned Lamont’s approach to economic development outlined recently at Upward Hartford, a long-standing Shelbourne partner. Connecticut, Lamont said, should not rely as heavily as it has in recent years on financial incentives to promote business growth. Rather, Lamont said, the state has to better tell its story as an attractive location for employers.

Shelbourne did not disclose specific plans Tuesday for the three buildings on Pratt — containing the storefronts of Capital Spirits, Sunberry, Vaughn’s restaurant and WIP Fitness. But last summer, when Shelbourne bought 99 Pratt and 196 Trumbull, it said it was exploring mixed-use redevelopment involving Upward Hartford.

Upward Hartford is a hub of entrepreneurs and innovators located in 27,500 square feet of co-working space at downtown’s 20 Church St. tower.

Upward Hartford was founded in 2017 by Shana Schlossberg, who is the sister of Shelbourne managing member Benjamin Schlossberg.

The organization, which added another 6,500 square feet last summer, had more than 100 paying members and nearly 90 percent occupancy of its 29 offices. It also has a standing presence from Travelers, Cigna and XL Catlin, and a calendar of activities such as weekly happy hours, open mics and game nights, a rotating art gallery and regular hackathons.

Shelbourne’s latest acquisition on Pratt encompasses 74,220 square feet. With the two buildings it bought last summer, the real estate investor now owns nearly 190,000 square feet on the block.

In addition to 20 Church, Shelbourne owns 100 Pearl St. and Metro Center. The real estate investment firm also has taken ownership of One Talcott Plaza after paying $3.1 million in back taxes.

Shelbourne plans to demolish One Talcott, as its office space has been vacant for years and its parking garage was closed because it was considered unsafe. Initially, Shelbourne will build a new parking garage and in the future there could be mixed-use development on top of the garage.

Shelbourne also is partnering with Hartford-based parking magnate, LAZ Parking, to acquire One Financial Plaza, known as the Gold Building. If final purchase terms are reached, the deal could close in the next few months.

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