Fill In the Space

Image result for 677 Washington Blvd.

Landlords across Fairfield County are racking their brains, thinking of ways they can fill their vacant commercial and office buildings.

The sizes of the structures range from the sprawling 712,000-square-foot complex at 677 Washington Blvd., that once housed UBS operations in Stamford, to an abandoned service station at 3500 Main St., in Stratford.

Many of those building owners have realized that the possibility of continued use of their buildings as offices, banks or service stations, are dim.  They will be forced to find other options.

Finding a single occupant for the Washington Boulevard property will be very difficult, according to commercial real estate professionals in Greater Stamford.  They contend that the best option is to divide the building into multiple uses.

Because the building, which contains what was once the world’s largest trading floor, is vacant, the value has plummeted from $148 million to about $37 million, according to Trepp, a New York City-based mortgage tracking firm.

In other situations solutions are easier.

Vacancies at smaller properties, like the Main Street site in Stratford, have simpler solutions. Plans call for the former service station to be converted into a Donut Crazy doughnut, sandwich and coffee shop.

A shuttered 3,400-square-foot Burger King on Westport Avenue in Norwalk is slated to become a restaurant. There is a possibility that it will be razed.

In Ridgefield, Trinity Crossfit recently occupied a former auto repair shop at 626 Danbury Road (Route 7). Most recently, it was another fitness center.

A nearby former HSBC bank branch building has become a Subway sandwich shop.

Another HSBC branch in Wilton was converted into medical offices, while a former Chase Bank on Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich has been converted into the first Tesla dealership in Connecticut.

Some buildings because of their design are more suitable for certain uses, according to commercial real estate brokers, who have the task of advising property owners about alterations they might have to undertake to make their buildings more attractive to prospective tenants.

For instance, industrial or commercial properties with high ceilings are well suited for fitness facilities.

Whatever the case, property owners are needing to come up with creative ways to make their spaces viable again.  They will need to continue to think outside the box to remain profitable.

For more information on area commercial properties please contact The Pyramid Group 203-348-8566 or visit www.pyramidregroup.com.