New York, NY – June 3, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Matrix Realty Group and Savanna are pleased to announce a successful year of leasing activity at the Matrix Corporate Center, a premier 1.2 million square-foot office complex located in Danbury, Connecticut. Over 150,000 square feet of commercial space was leased in 2010, bringing the center’s occupancy to 74%.
Matrix Realty Group, the owner and operator, has repositioned the Matrix Corporate Center with a $10 million capital improvement plan financed by Savanna and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. The center’s top-to-bottom renovations include a completely renovated lobby, common corridors and conference facilities, a new dining facility, and a new fitness center. The successful investment in and repositioning of the facility has created an explosion of leasing activity totaling 150,000 square feet. Major leases include a 25,000-square-foot lease for General Motors (Northeast regional headquarters) and a 55,000-square-foot lease for the worldwide headquarters of non-profit organization and international publisher Guideposts.
Designed by architects Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates as the world headquarters for the Union Carbide Corporation, the Matrix Corporate Center is a commercial development comprised of 15 inter-connected, four-story buildings strategically located just off Interstate 84 in Danbury, CT. The center consists of a 1,000,000 square foot covered and secured parking garage and tenant amenities including dining rooms, a conference center, auditorium, health club and retail shops. Other renovations include green additions such as roof-top solar panels and a mechanical system upgrade that was recently awarded the project of the year award by the American Engineering Association. It is home to a growing number of diverse tenants including Boehringer Ingelheim (North American Headquarters Satellite Campus), Praxair (World Headquarters), Honeywell International, Odyssey Logistics and Technology Corporation, and Armored Auto Group (whose international brands include Armorall and S TP).
“We have seen tremendous interest from brokers and prospective tenants and are actively leasing space at a remarkable pace given the current economic climate,” said Glen Nelson, Chairman and CEO of Matrix Realty Group. “The property wd when we purchased it and in less than 12 months we have increased occupancy to 74%. We have several major lease transactions approaching the final stages of negotiations and hope to have the facility fully occupied in the next 12 to 18 months. The support we have received from Savanna has been integral to our success and they have been a pleasure to work with.” As part of its leasing incentive program, Matrix has also donated many thousands of dollars to local charities on behalf of incoming tenants.
Matrix has also enhanced the property by converting many of the existing building facilities to a large conference and banquet center which has begun to generate significant revenue for the building and build a dominating presence in the Northern Fairfield/Westchester market.
“We are delighted that the excellent work Matrix has done has validated our decision to invest in the property,” said Christopher Schlank, a Managing Partner of Savanna.
In November 2007, Savanna acquired an interest in the first mortgage collateralized by the property in a direct, off-market transaction from Wachovia Bank, a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Savanna and Wachovia approved Matrix Realty Group’s acquisition of the Property in June 2009.
Formed in 1992, Savanna is an institutional real estate private equity firm and asset management company based in New York City and run by Managing Partners Chris Schlank and Nick Bienstock. The firm pursues opportunistic real estate equity and debt asset investments throughout the northeastern United States, focusing on directly owning and operating properties in New York City and the Washington, D.C. metro area. The firm’s equity investments target superior risk-adjusted returns by adding value through asset management and/or property development, redevelopment, and repositioning. Savanna also selectively invests in real estate debt instruments that have the potential to generate equity-like returns, including preferred equity instruments, high-yield bridge and mezzanine loans , and B-notes. Since inception, Savanna has invested more than $1.7 billion in total capital across 15.2 million square feet of real property across multiple asset classes and locations, representing over $3.75 billion in total capitalization.