NORTHEAST SNAPSHOT, OCTOBER 2004
Fairfield/New Haven Industrial Market
Slow expansion seems to be the name of the game for
Fairfield and New Haven counties (Connecticut) industrial
market, primarily because of a relatively limited supply of
appropriate product and the cost of doing business and living
in the area, notes Sean Cahill, first vice president
at CB Richard Ellis Stamford, Connecticut, office.
The regions market has been hit hard by the recent
economic downturn, leading to caution in both the expansion
of existing businesses and the initiation of new ventures,
Vacancy rates are currently around 12 percent of existing
inventory and rental rates are low, ranging from $4.50 per
square foot, triple-net, for warehouse space to $12.50 per
square foot, triple-net, for high-tech space.
Were seeing little in the way of new industrial
development in Fairfield and New Haven counties, Cahill
The little development currently underway is in the
city of Shelton, mostly because of its affordable industrially
zoned land. The towns access to an affordable and appropriate
labor market is also a major plus for manufacturers looking
to build a business in that location. A 113,000-square-foot
build-out has recently been completed in the Shelton Technology
Center, with Random House moving into 42,000 square feet in
the industrial park. Also in the town of Shelton, Bridgeport
Atrium & Glass has leased 85,000 square feet at 710 Bridgeport
More development is underway in the Shelton Technology Center,
where there is 190,000 square feet of industrial/ flex space
currently under construction. While this development activity
somewhat increases the supply of industrial space, it fails
to make a significant impact on the need for non-office commercial
In addition to the activity in Shelton, high-tech, light industrial
users, and companies involved in distribution up and down
Interstate 95 are showing interest in the Route 8 corridor.
According to Cahill, Eastern Fairfield County
Shelton, Stratford, Bridgeport looks to be the hottest
market in the near future, for the same reasons many businesses
have already chosen to locate there: proximity to affordable
labor and the ability to construct new quality product in
a strategically advantageous area.
Local developers handle most industrial development; Fairfield
and New Haven counties have not seen much interest from developers
based in other markets. Local companies such as Robert D.
Scinto and Cuminotto Inc. are the primary drivers of activity
in the area.
Fairfield and New Havens industrial real estate
market will remain a secondary player in the near future as
long as the dearth of affordably priced, industrially zoned
land continues to curb development, Cahill adds. Without
new supply, companies will continue to favor more developed
markets like New Jersey and the outer boroughs of New York
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