C&W Innovative Solutions Support Adaptive Re-use of Unique Property

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The Challenge

As leasing agent for The Campus (1 Blachley Road, Stamford, CT), the vacant, 800,000-square-foot former Clairol World Headquarters' manufacturing and office facility presented numerous challenges to the team: the property was a large, mixed-use building, located in a residential neighborhood in a soft real estate market with shrinking industrial demand.

The owners purchased the property on spec, with no tenant prospect in sight during the recent financial meltdown, and the building required a major capital investment to convert it from single occupancy to multi-tenancy.The building was also very dated in appearance and was virtually unknown in the marketplace to brokers and tenants alike, even though it was situated on a 33-acre site, one-quarter mile from a full interchange on I-95.


The Solution

While there were many challenges, the property also offered a number of benefits: it has excellent proximity to the major Washington, DC-to-Boston connector – Interstate-95; an unparalleled infrastructure; and the building's construction had exceptional physical characteristics.
Our team determined that this unique property would have appeal for a myriad of alternative uses. Working with ownership, Cushman & Wakefield's internal Marketing Services group, and an outside creative agency, a multi-disciplined marketing program was developed to introduce the property and its benefits to a wide range of tenants and brokers. The campaign included an interactive website, radio commercials, and a full-scale canvassing program to existing and alternative user/tenants.


The Result

As the original sales agent for Clairol, our team identified Chelsea Piers Management, Inc. (the developer behind New York City's world-famous, $100-million Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex) as a potential tenant. Chelsea Piers was interested in opening a second location in affluent Fairfield County. The Campus, with its convenient location, abundant parking, and strong infrastructure would be ideal.

Our team negotiated a 50-year lease with Chelsea Piers for more than 420,000 square feet, and Chelsea Piers Connecticut is scheduled to open in July 2012. Simultaneously, we convinced Versus Channel (NBC Sports) to take advantage of the State of Connecticut's "First Five" program, which offers numerous tax incentives to companies that create significant employment opportunities in the state. Versus's need for high-quality studio space drove the decision and The Campus will soon house the new world headquarters for NBC Sports and NBC Olympics in 300,000 square feet.