It didnt draw much local notice at the time, but experts are pointing to the $37 million sale of seven landmark office buildings on WestportҒs Riverside Avenue as indicative of the vitality of the towns commercial real estate market.
New York-based pension fund TIAA Realty Inc., sold the properties to a joint venture of Normandy Realty Partners of Morristown, N.J. and Lexham Private Investors of Stamford, Conn., in April.
The seven-building office complex includes 285 Riverside Ave.; 321-329 Riverside Ave., which consist of five buildings; and 355 Riverside Ave. The complex totals 145,190 square feet of space and was originally constructed from 1981 to 1986.
The space was once home to Marketing Corp. of America, whose founder and former chairman is former Westporter James McManus. The company is now based in Wilton although building tenants include a unit of Interpublic Group, which now owns Marketing Corp.
Among other tenants in the complex is Allied Domecq Spirits North America, part of BritainҒs Allied Domecq PLC, which also owns Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins. The unit is headed by Westporter Tom Wilen (see WestportNow March 11, 2003).
David Welsh, managing principal of Normandy Realty Partners, said the partnership expects to invest a significant amount of capital over the next few years to reposition some of the Riverside Avenue building complex for multi-tenant use.
Footnote: The sale added almost $93,000 to the town’s coffers, pushing the town’s revenue for the month on real estate transactions to about $235,000, one of the highest in recent memory, according to Town Clerk Patricia H. Strauss.