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WILTON, CT-Ryan Partnership, one of the largest privately owned marketing companies in the US, is expanding its presence in Fairfield County and will relocate its headquarters to a 104,000-sf space at 50 Danbury Rd. here.

The lease brings the 220-000-sf property, which is currently undergoing a $9-million renovation, to 88% occupancy. Owned by the Davis Cos., it will also be home to Danone Waters of North America, slated to move from Stamford to a 17,500-sf space; AIG Financial Products, which has leased 65,500 sf and will relocate from its offices at Westport’s Nyala Farms and the Davis Cos., which will relocate from 187 Danbury Rd. to occupy 2,500 sf.

Ryan Partnership currently occupies approximately 70,000 sf of space in Westport. It will be relocating its corporate headquarters at 55 Post Road West, and additional space at 8 Wright St., and 321 Riverside Ave., to the 50 Danbury Road property, part of the Wilton Corporate Park complex. The move, scheduled for April 2002, will involve the relocation of approximately 325 workers, according to brokers involved in the transaction.

The Wilton Corporate Park complex currently consists of 50 Danbury Rd. and 64 Danbury Rd., a 42,000-sf office building that is fully occupied by LaMorte Burns & Co. Earlier this year, the Davis Cos. received final approvals to build an additional 200,000 sf of office space at the park: a 125,000-sf building at 40 Danbury Rd. and a 75,000-sf structure at 60 Danbury Rd.

Gerard Hallock, Jeff Gage and Paul Tortora of Albert B. Ashforth Inc., represented Ryan Partnership in the deal.

Hallock adds that the lease deal at 50 Danbury Rd. concluded a year-long search for new space that covered office properties from Norwalk to Fairfield.

Tom Libonate, president of Ryan Partnership, comments, “Wilton Corporate Park provided us with the opportunity to merge the three locations we currently occupy in Westport and to expand into a superior property. The park offers us the identity we were looking for and numerous amenities that we otherwise could not have provided to our employees.”

He adds that the location of 50 Danbury Rd., nearby Westport, Wilton, New Canaan, Weston and Darien, was also instrumental in its decision in terms of providing access to its workforce.

Ryan Partnership specializes in the development of strategic-marketing programs and has a client list that includes Motts USA, Perrier Group of North America, Heineken, Nokia, Unilever, MasterCard, AT&T Broadband, Pillsbury and others. The company also has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Toronto.

David Fiore, director of the Davis Cos.’ Wilton office, says that the renovation of the 50 Danbury Rd. property will be nearly complete by October when the first tenant, Danone Waters of North America, takes occupancy. The program will be finished by December of this year.

In terms of the two approved buildings, Fiore says that while the company has held some discussions with prospective tenants, there are no deals that are imminent. “These buildings can be delivered for occupancy within a 10-month time frame,” he notes. However, he admits that with the current slowdown in the commercial office market, the company will wait to secure sufficient tenancies to facilitate construction.

“In today’s environment, we will not do one of these buildings on spec,” Fiore says.

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