[Updated, Dec. 17, 2015, 11:15 a.m.] The sale of three key West Hartford Center properties took place on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
By Ronni Newton
One of West Hartford Center’s longest-standing landlords, Sinatro Brothers, has sold three buildings in the heart of West Hartford Center to a newly-formed partnership created by several existing real estate firms.
Dan Joseph, president of Corridor Ventures, confirmed Wednesday afternoon that his firm has partnered with Rockport Investments and Tecca Ventures to form LaSalle Road Partners LLC, and the new venture closed the transaction with the Sinatros on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
According to information on file with the Town of West Hartford, the properties were sold by Sinatro Brothers LLC to LaSalle Road Partners LLC for $17,600,000. The deed was filed with the town on Dec. 17.
The buildings that have sold are 977 Farmington Ave. (location of Grant’s Restaurant and Bar and the newly-opened Cookshop Plus), 989-991 Farmington Ave. (Music & Arts and former Plimptons location), and 52-84 LaSalle Rd. (east side of LaSalle from Restaurant Bricco to DeRobertis Jewelers). The oldest of the buildings was constructed in 1929, and the newest dates to 1953.
Joseph said in a phone conversation Wednesday that while as a group this is the partnership’s first transaction and first purchase of property in West Hartford, his company, Corridor Ventures, already owns housing in West Hartford. The owners of the firms involved in the partnership are all experienced real estate professionals with strong ties to West Hartford, and some of them live in West Hartford and have been part of the community for their entire lives, Joseph said.
“We are very excited to own these wonderful properties and to become part of the West Hartford Center business community,” Joseph said.
Town Manager Ron Van Winkle said he is looking forward to getting to know the new owners and learning what their plans might be for the properties. “We are always excited to see someone making a significant investment in our community,” he said. Van Winkle said that many of the properties, which have been owned by multiple generations of Sinatros, have remained largely unchanged for decades.
West Hartford Center Business Association President Barbara Karsky, who is also co-owner of BK&Co. which is located at 64 LaSalle Rd. in one of the buildings that sold Wednesday, said she doesn’t know what the change in ownership will mean to the tenants.
“I haven’t met them, and I don’t know what the plan is,” Karsky said. She said she was aware that the sale would be going through this month, but didn’t have any further information.
Karsky said that she is concerned about tenants moving out. “That and rent. I assume we’re going to have that conversation,” she said.
“The holiday season has been good, and it’s continuing to be strong,” Karsky said. However, she said that she has been looking at alternatives sites in the Center and elsewhere in West Hartford.
“My hope is that we stay here,” Karsky said.
Maria Colasacco, owner of Contessa Corset Shop at 66 LaSalle Rd., said she has also been looking around and considering her options. “Nothing is definite yet,” Colasacco said.
Center Framing & Art has already made plans to relocate from 56 LaSalle Rd. to 968 Farmington Ave. Owner Lori Chozick said the move will take place in January. She is taking over space currently occupied by Lux Boutique, which did not renew its lease in West Hartford but will continue to operate a store in East Longmeadow, MA.
Rosie DeRobertis, owner of DeRobertis Jewelers at 52 LaSalle Rd., is one of the long-time tenants that definitely plans to remain. “We have just signed a multi-year lease and we look forward to being in the Center and serving our customers as we have since 1932,” DeRobertis said Wednesday afternoon.
Van Winkle said that the Sinatros have always been valued members of the community, involved and also generous to their long-time tenants. However, he said, the Center is a rapidly changing place with many tenants paying rents in the range of $35-$45 per square foot. He said he is interested to see what plans the new owners may have to get the return on their investment.
While Joseph did not disclose the sale price or any plans for renovation, he said in an email that LaSalle Road Partners is “fully committed to maintaining the charm and ambiance of the town center, continuing to build on the wonderful legacy that was created and maintained by the Sinatro family for so many years.”
“We are extremely excited to be part of the thriving West Hartford Center business community and look forward to working with our tenants and with the larger business community in the coming years,” Joseph said in his email.
No one at Sinatro Brothers could be reached for comment.
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