Norwalk, CT - Real estate investment management firms Clarion Partners and Marcus Partners, on Tuesday announced that Hearst signed a new long-term lease for 30,251 square feet at Merritt 7 Corporate Park, the six building, 1.4 million square foot office complex in Norwalk.
“We are delighted that a company of Hearst’s stature selected Merritt 7 as their regional Connecticut headquarters, and that we were able to accommodate all their requirements in an efficient manner, as they consolidate from multiple locations," said Margaret Egan, Senior Vice President, Clarion Partners. “This project brings their entire Fairfield County workforce to a Class-A workplace environment, allowing Hearst Connecticut Newspapers to optimize its operations."
The relocation of the media giant to Merritt 7 will result in a consolidation to one regional headquarters, from multiple office locations in Fairfield County. The deal is recognized as one of the most high profile office transactions and the largest lease closed in the central Fairfield County market in the fourth quarter of 2016. Hearst will occupy the entire first floor of Building 301 Merritt 7, in a lease that spans 11-years. The move to Merritt 7 is anticipated to take place on April 1, 2017.
"Merritt 7 is an ideal location for Hearst Connecticut Media's regional headquarters," said Paul Barbetta, president, Hearst Connecticut Media Group. "The impressive space, convenient location, abundant on and off-site amenities, and attentive ownership and management team, are second to none. The professionalism and enthusiasm exhibited by the Merritt 7 team for our company’s pending presence here has made us feel entirely welcome and excited about the move."
Merritt 7 will serve as the location for the organization's regional corporate headquarters, senior management and staff, finance, human resources, circulation departments, and additional corporate functions. Hearst Connecticut Media will keep bureau offices for news reporting and advertising sales in Bridgeport (including printing presses), Danbury, Stamford and Greenwich.
“The City of Norwalk is delighted to welcome Hearst Connecticut Media's regional corporate headquarters to our great city and to Merritt 7 Corporate Park. We remain committed to the enhancement of the economic growth, amenities, image, and sense of community here,” said City of Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling. "This move brings Hearst's Fairfield County regional office operations to a Class-A, centralized workplace environment. We continue to strive for Norwalk to remain on course as a great business location for corporations of all sizes and types. Norwalk continues to elevate and move forward with commitments by businesses like Hearst, and properties like Merritt 7, that recognize the advantages offered by our great city."
“Hearst's relocation to Merritt 7 reinforces the property's position as a preeminent address for major corporations seeking a central location, contemporary office environment, pleasing ambiance and exceptional onsite amenities,” said David Fiore, principal of Marcus Partners. "Merritt 7 provides an environment essential to a great a workforce and workplace experience.”
The landlord was represented internally by David Fiore and JoAnn McGrath of Marcus Partners, and the outside CBRE leasing team of Tom Pajolek, Ned Burns, Robert Caruso and Stephen Greenbush. Tom O’Leary and William Montague of Cushman & Wakefield represented Hearst.
"Merritt 7 is a superb, centralized location for Hearst's Connecticut regional headquarters. The large block of space we had available for them, the property amenities -- along with our hands-on ownership and management team -- were important factors in sealing this deal," said Ms. McGrath, director of leasing for Merritt 7. "This property is widely known for a roster of high-end corporate tenants, considered the best of the best in the region."
With the completion of the Hearst transaction, Merritt 7 is 97% leased. There remains 53,000 square feet available for lease -- with units ranging in size from approximately 2,000 square feet to the entire Penthouse of Building 601, totaling approximately 14,000 square feet, with the opportunity for a rooftop terrace.
The property is located adjacent to the Merritt 7 Metro North station, and is in close proximity to Fairfield County’s major highways and area amenities. Major tenants at Merritt 7 include Datto, EMCOR, FactSet Research Systems, Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), Jarden, IPSOS, Mercer, Millward Brown, Frontier Communications, Aon, Xerox, and Siemens.
Recent capital improvements completed at Merritt 7 include the refurbishment and reconstruction of entryways, main lobbies, common corridors, restrooms, dining facilities, cafés, and conference and fitness centers. Exterior improvements feature enhanced landscaping, new plaza lighting, outdoor seating areas, and monument signs along Route 7 and at building entrances.