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

CONNECTICUT

In Connecticut, NBC Sports Group, which already broadcasts games for the National Football League and the National Hockey League, agreed to bring its sports group—including NBC Sports, NBC Olympics and Versus—to a 32-acre plot in Stamford.

There, NBC plans to build several state-of-the-art studios—including one for the NHL Network—while relocating 450 employees and creating hundreds of additional positions.

In exchange, the state will give NBC a $20 million loan through its Department of Economic and Community Development.

Such a Cinderella story is a break from recent memory in Connecticut, where officials received the scare of the century this summer when UBS, a formidable financial presence, briefly considered vacating its Stamford office, famed for its 93,000-square-foot trading floor.

Losing UBS, which had been operating in Stamford for 10 years, would have cost the state $70 million in annual tax revenue, Mr. Malloy said at an August press conference.

The company eventually agreed to stay in Stamford for five additional years in a deal that will retain 2,000 jobs and hundreds of thousands of square feet in Connecticut for the foreseeable future. In return, UBS will receive $20 million in state funds from Mr. Malloy, Stamford’s former mayor.

Mr. Malloy served as mayor of Stamford when Starwood Hotels & Resorts agreed to relocate its headquarters from White Plains to a 250,000-square-foot office at the Harbor Point development, an 80-acre, $3.5 billion mixed-use site in the city’s South End.

In exchange, Starwood received $75 million in tax credits and a $9.5 million loan from the state’s Department of Economics.

“We’ve said that Connecticut’s open for business,” said Mr. Malloy at a press conference announcing the TicketNetwork deal. “And what we’re saying to the entrepreneurial community, to the technology community, to anyone who can take that technology and entrepreneurial spirit [is] put them together, come up with a product, and bring it to market in our state. That’s what we want.”

And that’s what they’ve been getting. The county’s Class A vacancy rate dropped to 23 percent, its lowest since the first quarter of 2010. On average, asking rents clocked in at $32.10 per square foot through October.

Between its aggressive incentives policy and reasonable rents, Connecticut has surfaced as one of the region’s most appealing office sectors. As such, recruiting has been bold.

“They seem to be the most aggressive in going after tenants, especially tenants that are already in Manhattan, by giving them incentives,” said Mr. Sammons.

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