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GLASTONBURY, CT-Grunberg Realty of New York City has entered the suburban Hartford market with the purchase of two buildings at the Glastonbury Corporate Center here and a ground lease for a third property. Grunberg already owns more than one million sf of office space in Hartford.

CB Richard Ellis, which brokered the transaction, reports that Grunberg Realty paid $19.65 million for the properties at 628 Hebron Ave. to Lincoln Property Co. as part of a 1031 exchange. John McCormick and Patrick Mulready of CB Richard Ellis’ Hartford office represented Lincoln Property Co. of Dallas in the transaction.

Grunberg Realty acquired Building II and Building IV at the four-building Glastonbury Corporate Center complex along with a ground lease for another property, which combined total 160,330 sf. Building II is a five-story 155,000-sf office building, which has a tenant roster that includes MetLife, Travis Mortgage, Strategic Technologies and the US Department of Transportation.

A factor in the purchase price was MetLife’s lease expiration in mid-2007, Mulready says. The insurer, which occupies approximately 75,000 sf at Building II, has been studying the market for its Glastonbury operations as well as its space in other locales in the region. At this point, the firm has not given any indication on whether it intends to stay or move out of the building, Mulready notes.

Michael Grunberg, a principal of Grunberg Realty, says that his firm is in negotiations with MetLife on its lease, but adds it is too early to tell whether the firm will renew its lease or not. Perhaps as a means to convince MetLife to stay, Grunberg Realty plans to undertake a capital improvement program of about $1 million at its new holdings. Grunberg adds that the vacancy rate in Glastonbury is below 10%.

Grunberg Realty, a private equity firm with holdings mainly in the New York City area, owns 280 Trumbull St., a 29-story 620,000-sf tower and 777 Main St., a 26-story 360,000-sf building in Hartford.

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