Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, is located in Hartford County in the center of the state, midway between Boston to the north and New York City to the south. The metropolitan region’s stable economy draws its strength from a diverse business and industrial community and ranks No. 1 in the world in GDP per capita and second in labor productivity. Hartford is home to an extensive list of major high-tech manufacturing firms producing such complex products as aircraft engines, nuclear reactors, space suits and missile components. Nicknamed the “Insurance Capital of the World”, metro Hartford is the historic international center of the insurance industry with companies such as Aetna Inc., The Hartford Financial Services Group, Travelers Property Casualty Corp., CIGNA, and The United Health Care Company based in the city.
Though leasing activity is behind that of neighboring metropolitan areas, Hartford’s strong intellectual capital make it a promising spot for future commercial real estate investment. The city’s prime location between the hubs of New York City, Providence and Boston, as well as proximity to schools such as Trinity College, University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University and the University of Connecticut continually attract first-time investors.
With Hartford’s traditionally high vacancy rates, pressure is focused on landlord representatives to fill the approximately 25-million square-foot market, while tenant representatives have an easier time finding space and servicing their clients. The city’s prime location between major northeast metropolitan hubs is increasingly attracting more technology-based tenants.
Hartford’s retail market is aligned with the “power center” structure utilized in the southwest part of the state that services New York City area employees. These “power centers” are large retail blocks with a variety of amenities, usually anchored by one major tenant. Neighborhood shopping centers fill the gaps between these major retail blocks.
Hartford serves as a popular junction connecting significant transportation corridors such as Interstates 84 and 91, and Routes 4 and 44. The city’s total industrial market comprises approximately 95 million square feet, and traditionally enjoys the lowest vacancy rates compare to office and retail.
Hartford’s strong industrial market attracts industrial REITs seeking long rent roles and credible tenants. First-time office investors continue to enter the market, drawn by Hartford’s ideal location and steady and consistent increases in rental rates.
Avison Young entered the Hartford marketplace in 2015 as part of its plan to expand the company’s Northeast operations. Avison Young’s Hartford office enables the firm to facilitate more cross-border transactions, with its proximity to major Eastern markets like Boston, New York, Washington, Toronto and Montreal.
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