As of July 1, 2012, the current vacancy rate in the top 50 multi-tenant office buildings in the Hartford Central Business District ("CBD") stands at almost 29%. Of a total inventory of 9.9 million square feet, 2.9 million square feet are empty. The downward spiral toward lower and lower occupancy in the Hartford CBD has been occurring for decades and turning it around is a significant challenge for both Government and property owners.
Recently, Governor Malloy announced a success in the First Five Program, a financial incentive designed to encourage corporations to retain and increase jobs in the State of Connecticut when East Hartford based CareCentrix confirmed its move across The Connecticut River to Church Street, where it will occupy 40,000 SF with a promise to add another 200 jobs in the next 5 years. And while kudos are in order for this achievement, it only scratches the surface of the over-arching problem of a downtown that is nearly 1/3 empty. With a promise of $24 million in State Grants, CareCentrix leaves 111 Founders Plaza in East Hartford, so, while this is a gain for the Hartford CBD, it is a loss for East Hartford, and a net zero in the vacancy rate for the state as a whole.