The Suburban Shuffle: Medical Groups, Media Hubs and Financial Firms Round Out a Healthy Tristate Market

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy wasted little time in locking in four of the five companies he promised would bring the state more jobs under his so-called “First Five” plan, an initiative launched this year with the intention of luring new companies to the Constitution State with incentives.

2011 11 151 The Suburban Shuffle: Medical Groups, Media Hubs and Financial Firms Round Out a Healthy Tristate Market
Oh, the Suburbs! (Courtesy of Zack Nipper).

Since it passed in May, Mr. Malloy has enticed national names like CIGNA, a global health services company, and TicketNetwork, an online ticket marketplace, to relocate. He also convinced ESPN to build a 93,000-square-foot building on its Bristol campus and the NBC Sports Group to set its sights on developing new offices in Stamford.

In exchange for staking claim in Connecticut, companies like ESPN receive the state’s “best” incentive and tax credit programs, provided that its owners pledge to create 200 new jobs over two years—or, if more time is needed, invest $25 million and create 200 jobs over five years. For most, such an offer couldn’t be taken lightly—especially for NBC Sports.

“I don’t know of another state with this formula,” said John Goodkind, a managing principal at Newmark Knight Frank who represented Starwood Hotels & Resorts in a blockbuster deal that will relocate the hospitality group from Westchester to Stamford next year. “Connecticut is literally like a business partner, and they’re like the tenant’s partner.”

But whether it’s precedent-shattering incentives, like those offered in Connecticut and to a lesser extent in New Jersey, or straightforward transactions like those in Westchester County and on Long Island, deals are being inked in New York’s tristate region at a positive clip, analysts said. From the deal in October to bring NBC Sports Group to Connecticut to a string of high-profile hospital transactions in Westchester, businesses are migrating to the suburbs at a reasonable rate, brokers said.

And while Manhattan remains the most alluring destination for many tenants, the suburbs managed to compete valiantly this year in the face of a sluggish economy. Below, The Commercial Observer takes a look at the tristate area’s other major markets.