Fairfield County Steals Manhattan Tech Tenant?
OK, so Datto never actually looked in NYC, but the Norwalk, Conn., lease announced this week looks more like it belongs in Midtown South than Connecticut: 100k SF to a tech tenant. (Is New Haven the new New York? That'd be news. Nu?)
Datto, a cloud company repped by CBRE, doubled its 50k SF sublease in Building 101 of Clarion Partners’ and Marcus Partners’ Merritt 7 Corporate Park with a direct lease, Marcus’ JoAnn McGarth told us yesterday. The sublease expires in July and the new lease is for 11 years. Datto CEO Austin McChord is a Fairfield County resident, and his company started with 20k SF in the building three years ago. Datto has been hiring like crazy, JoAnn adds, and has expansion options. The deal is the largest new lease in Fairfield County this year other than Deloitte’s Q1 consolidation in Stamford, according to CBRE.
She says the tenant looked only in Fairfield County, though the 1.4M SF Merritt 7 park did face competition. Datto liked the affordable labor pool and housing, as well as the central location at a Metro-North stop between New Haven and Manhattan. The owners have invested heavily in the 22-acre park, and Merritt 7 has seen 870k SF of leases in the past three years. This deal brings the park to 90% leased. JoAnn says Merritt 7 is home to Fortune 500 companies of all sizes, and so when another 100k SF block, in Building 401, becomes available in early 2015, Marcus is flexible in subdividing available space.
Yesterday, CBRE’s Tom Pajolek (who’s speaking at Bisnow’s Future of Westchester & Fairfield Counties event May 28 at the Stamford Marriott) told us Fairfield County’s office tenant pool is in transition. Like Manhattan, it’s diversifying from financial services to include marketing, advertising, and tech. “Younger companies are coming in,” he says. (That explains all the skateboards and Capri Sun packages lying around.) While vacancy seems to perennially circle 20%, Tom says, the county posted positive absorption (137k SF) in Q1 for the first time in a good, long while. And if some of the deals stacked up behind Datto follow through, they could make for a solid Q2.