Developer to Convert Older Building to Class A Facility in Stamford, Conn.

BL&T to convert 60,000-s.f. manufacturing and engineering structure into high-end office space


Apr. 21--When Building & Land Technology officials learned last year that Vectron International was putting its building on Glover Avenue in Norwalk up for sale, they went to work examining its possibilities.

Now, after acquiring the 60,000-square-foot structure and an undeveloped parcel across the road, the Norwalk-based developer is converting the manufacturing, sales and engineering facilities into a Class A office building.

The Vectron property totals 2.95 acres, including the undeveloped lot. The main structure at 166 Glover Ave. was built in 1977, with additions in 1980 and 1984.

Construction crews have been working at the site since March, with the goal of finishing the project by midsummer, said Carl Kuehner III, president and chief executive officer of B

The company recently completed construction of The Towers complex on Glover Avenue, where Hewitt Associates, Diageo and General Electric now have major offices.

It also bought the Xerox Corp. campus in Stamford and will remodel the 255,000-square-foot building when the copier company moves its headquarters to The Towers.

Recognizing the demand for top-flight office space in the region, Kuehner said there was no thought of upgrading the Vectron building for manufacturing.

As was the case with its spec-built but now fully leased 901 Main Ave. office building, B

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"We try to maximize flexibility and then work back to be specific to a tenant's needs," said Kuehner, who runs the business with his brother, Paul Kuehner, the chief financial officer. "Each tenant has its own culture; we design around it."

Plans call for new windows, construction of a new lobby with a glass entrance canopy, improved mechanical and electrical systems and new interior space, restrooms and landscaping.

Building & Land Technology has become a major player in the office space market, said Michael Siegel, executive vice president at the Stamford office of CB Richard Ellis.

"They've proven that they can take a building like 20 Glover, the former Caldor headquarters, and retrofit it top to bottom and bring it to market, and then they can build 901 Main Ave., a top-quality product, from the ground up," he said.

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Based on BL&T's past success, Tad Diesel, Norwalk's economic development director, predicted that the building's conversion will be impressive.

"You drive past that place, and you don't know it's there. They'll take a building that was out of sight, out of mind and convert it into a modern office facility," Diesel said.

Building & Land Technology has developed or owned more than $2 billion worth of real estate, including more than 2 million square feet of office space, 3,000 apartments and condominiums and 500 single-family homes.

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