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HARTFORD-The State House Square office complex here has traded hands in a $97.8-million deal. The 837,255-sf complex was sold by State House Financial Associates LLC, an entity controlled by Norfolk, VA-based Harbor Group International LLC, to a joint venture of FBE Limited and Cammeby’s International Ltd, both of which have offices in New York City.

Jeffrey Dunne, Steven Bardsley and Christopher Leonard of CB Richard Ellis’ New York Tri-State Region Institutional Group, along with John McCormick and Patrick Mulready of CBRE’s Hartford office, served as the exclusive investment advisor for the seller and also procured the buyer. CBRE officials say the deal is the largest office building sales transaction ever in the greater Hartford area.

Dunne says that the FBE/Cammeby joint venture bested more than 15 other bidders for the property. “State House Square’s exceptional credit-quality tenant roster and low average lease roll will provide FBE Limited and Cammeby’s International with substantial in-place income for the long term, while its location within the heart of Downtown Hartford positions it to reap the benefit of Hartford’s economic and redevelopment resurgence,” he says.

The property includes 50 State St. (the former First National Bank building) along with two adjoining 14-story office towers that were built in 1987. State House Square also features: a Morton’s Steakhouse, 500-seat food court, a 48,500-sf fitness and wellness center, a four-level parking garage and 38,000 sf of additional retail space.

At the time of sale, the complex was 96.3% leased, Dunne notes. A total of 82% of the property is leased to what CBRE terms as “credit quality tenants” that include Traveler’s Indemnity Co., Lion Connecticut Holdings, UBS PaineWebber and Wachovia Bank. Other notable tenants at the property are: Hilb Rogal and Hobbs Co. and Pullman and Comley LLC.

Harbor Group had successfully grown the property’s occupancy over the past two years, through new leases, renewals and expansions, CBRE officials note. The lease-up campaign was highlighted by the recent 210,000-sf expansion by Travelers. The firm now leases a total of 438,413 sf at the property.

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