STAMFORD, CT-The Mercede family has sold the four-building Stamford Harbour Square waterfront complex to Antares Investment Partners of Greenwich for $50 million or approximately $203 per sf. The deal involves 700, 850, 860 and 880 Canal St. totaling 246,785 sf of mostly class B office space that is situated on about eight acres of land fronting the east branch of Stamford Harbor.

The complex was built by the Mercede family, which owned and managed the property for the past 28 years. The property also features restaurants, a marina and a heliport. The transaction increases its extensive portfolio in the area. The Mercede family was represented by Patrick Grasso and Chris McManus of Keystone Realty Capital LLC.

Antares has been a very active player for commercial property in Stamford, particularly for properties along its waterfront. In September, Antares acquired Holly Pond Plaza on Stamford’s waterfront for $14.3 million and One Dock St. for $22.6 million from Seaboard Properties. In July, Seaboard Properties Inc. sold a majority of its of office portfolio here, including the five building 206,217-sf Stamford Landing complex and 70-slip marina, to Antares Investment Partners for $86.8 million. In addition to Stamford Landing, the deal also included the seven-story 98,251-sf 600 Summer St. office building in Downtown Stamford. In June, a joint venture of Antares, Goldman Sachs of New York City and Lubert-Adler Real Estate Funds of Philadelphia purchased the 393,670-sf Stamford Harbor Park complex for $135.8 million from Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers of Glastonbury. That transaction included the waterfront office complex at 333 Ludlow St., which consists of two eight-story towers connected with a two-story atrium, as well as an adjacent 3.2-acre development parcel.

The expanded Antares waterfront portfolio is adjacent to its proposed $3-billion Harbor Point project, which will include residential housing, retail and restaurant space along with a number of public amenities on an 82-acre parcel. The project, recently received approval from the Stamford Zoning Board this past summer. The company says it expects to finalize plans and submit an application for final approvals for the development in December. It expects construction to commence sometime in 2008.

James Cabrera, co-founder and managing partner of Antares Investment Partners, notes that “this is a great property with quality tenants that will only increase in value with our Harbor Point redevelopment effort.” The Harbour Square complex is currently 79% occupied.

“We continue to see a tight office market and high rents in Manhattan making relocation to Stamford and the greater Fairfield County area exceptionally convenient and more financially appealing,” adds John Wheeler, president of corporate acquisitions for Antares. “Additionally, Harbour Square was purchased at an attractive acquisition price at a time when recent trades in the marketplace have gone as high as $500 per sf.”

He adds that the firm may look to upgrade some of the properties in the future. The two most appealing assets of the portfolio are 850 Canal St., a 67,000-sf brick office building built by Mercede in 2002 that complements the surrounding converted mill buildings circa the late 19th and early 20th century. Wheeler notes that 700 Canal St. is also a former mill building that was completely renovated in 1997 and features exposed brick and wood beams throughout the 76,000-sf building.

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