Starwood buys mixed-use development in Connecticut

The Greenwich, Connecticut-based investment firm is purchasing Blue Back Square, a mixed-use property in West Hartford, for $105 million.

Starwood Capital Group is purchasing a mixed-use property in West Hartford, Connecticut for $105 million, according to data provider Real Capital Analytics. The Greenwich, Connecticut-based investment firm is purchasing Blue Back Square, located at 65 Memorial Road, from a joint venture between Atlanta-based Ronus Properties, White Plains, New York -based Street-Works and West Hartford-based JDA Development, which completed the property in 2008.

Blue Back Square, which totals approximately 450,000 square feet, is comprised primarily of retail, as well as some office, medical and residential space. The property currently is 96 percent occupied by retail tenants such as Crate and Barrel, Barnes & Noble, REI, Cheesecake Factory and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse. Among its other tenants are Hartford Hospital and a number of professional services and law firms. The onsite management team at Blue Back will continue to operate the property under the direction of Starwood Retail Partners, a retail real estate platform that Starwood formed last year.

“We are pleased to be acquiring a high-quality, well-located mixed-use development that is an integral asset within the West Hartford community,” said Ethan Bing, vice president at Starwood. “Blue Back Square is a fundamentally strong, infill asset in an attractive market with limited new supply that generates strong cash-on-cash returns and presents an excellent opportunity for Starwood and its investors.”

Although Starwood declined comment beyond those statements, sources familiar with the situation said the firm acquired the property on behalf of its latest opportunity fund, Starwood Distressed Opportunity Fund IX, which closed on $4.2 billion in equity last month.