Steamboat Road readies for RBS departure
By Peter Healy
The owner of the office building at 600 Steamboat Road in Greenwich said he was eager to start recouping his company’s $200 million investment in the waterfront structure with high-paying tenants.
His sole tenant, RBS Greenwich Capital Markets, is scheduled to leave for a new $500 million complex in Stamford this summer, said George Constantin, principal, president and chief executive officer of Heritage Realty Services, LLC of New York City.
Heritage bought the three-story, 200,000-square-foot building on 4.2 acres last year from General Reinsurance Corp. of Stamford, its former occupant.
“The building will be completely gutted,” Constantin said. “We will renovate all bathrooms, elevator cabs, common areas and hallways.”
Windows on the 35-year-old building next to the Delamar Greenwich Harbor hotel will be replaced by single-pane, glazed, energy-efficient windows with a green or blue tint, he said.
Constantin said he wants to connect his building’s walkway with the hotel. The office building’s walkway, which overlooks a 350-foot-long boat dock, is popular with fishermen. A state law enacted in 1980 requires waterfront developments to provide access to the public.
Heritage’s plans also call for a new electrical system with five backup generators and new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning units, Constantin said.
Heritage would not disclose how much it will invest in renovations. A Greenwich architect who asked to remain anonymous estimated the renovation cost at $10 million to $20 million.
Constantin said Heritage expects to file plans for the revamped building with the town next month. If approved, he said renovations could start by fall. Roger Ferris & Architects of Westport is designing the renovations.
The Ferris firm also designed the 12-story, 600,000-square-foot Royal Bank of Scotland’s new complex at Washington Boulevard and Richmond Hill Avenue in Stamford to which RBS Greenwich Capital is moving. Royal Bank of Scotland is the parent company of RBS Greenwich Capital.
The first new tenants could move into 600 Steamboat Road early next year, Constantin said.
“His timing might be impeccable,” said John Goodkind, managing principal at the Greenwich office of New York City-based Newmark Knight Frank commercial real estate. “God willing, the economy will have turned around by then and 600 Steamboat Road should catch its fair share of quality tenants.”
Constantin said financial services firms, hedge funds and private equity companies likely would be candidates to lease space in his building. He said former executives from the big investment firms who are starting firms could be potential tenants.
It also could house corporate headquarters, Goodkind said.
Existing Greenwich companies and New York City firms could be tenant sources, said John Hannigan, principal at Choyce Peterson, Inc. commercial real estate in Stamford.
“It’s a terrific location on the water,” Hannigan said of 600 Steamboat. “It is within a quarter-mile of the train station and I-95, has great water views and a Greenwich address.”
A similar makeover occurred over the past couple of years at 100 W. Putnam Ave., the former UST, Inc. headquarters, in downtown Greenwich. Antares Investment Partners bought the 148,000 square-foot office building for $136.7 million and pumped several million more dollars into renovations.
It is fully leased at rents more than $100 per square foot a year. One tenant, however, investment manager Duff Capital Advisors, is looking to sublet 15,000 square feet there.