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BRIDGEPORT, CT-The three-building, 170,000-sf Lafayette Circle office complex here has traded in a deal valued at $15.7 million. A joint venture of Forstone Capital LLC of South Norwalk, CT and Maxwelle Real Estate Group of Aventura, FL purchased the property from a private partnership.

The complex, located in Downtown Bridgeport at 350 Fairfield Ave., consists of a seven-story 120,000-sf building; a four-story 40,500-sf building and a three-story brick building that totals 9,500 sf. Forstone Capital reports the complex is currently 95% occupied. Also included in the deal is an adjoining two-acre vacant parcel that the partnership is studying for possible future development.

“In a time of widespread financial turbulence, the completion of this transaction was a significant accomplishment for our company,” says Brandon Hall, co-principal of Forstone Capital. “We are thrilled to be playing an active role in the revitalization of Downtown Bridgeport, while expanding our portfolio.”

Brett Wilderman, co-principal of Forstone Capital, adds that Maxwelle Real Estate is an equity partner in the deal. In addition, the joint venture secured approximately $9.5 million in debt financing, for a five-year term, from Washington Mutual at a rate of nearly 6.1%. Fred Frasinelli of AMS Real Estate of Bridgeport was a broker in the off-market deal.

Wilderman adds that the Downtown Bridgeport office vacancy rate in high quality buildings is in the single digits, which is what attracted the firm to the area. Major tenants at Lafayette Circle include the State of Connecticut, which leases space for its Department of Labor, Human Rights and Judicial Court operations, the law firm of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder and Cumulus Broadcasting Inc. Forstone Capital plans to make some improvements to the complex.

Forstone Capital, which was founded a year ago, purchased the 36-unit Patrick Wells apartment complex in Bridgeport in April 2007. Wilderman says the firm is in contract for a 23-unit apartment complex in the area.

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