Corporations to Expand Offices in Norwalk, Conn.

Jul. 21--NORWALK -- IPSOS-ASI expanded its lease by more than 5,000 square feet at Merritt 7 Corporate Park, and XL Financial Administrative Services and T-Mobile joined the list of tenants at the six-building office complex, it was announced Thursday by Albert D. Phelps, Inc., the complex's managing and leasing agent.

IPSPS, a survey-based research company, now has nearly 29,000 square feet at 301 Merritt 7. According to Jo Ann Brennan-McGrath, director of leasing at Merritt 7, the expansion was accommodated by a subdivision of a larger unit.

"Tenant retention is a top priority at Merritt 7 and we are committed to accommodating each specific requirement," Brennan-McGrath said. "These efforts include restructuring deals and offering companies the flexibility to grow within our complex."

The new leases, said Brennan-McGrath, illustrate the different ways the complex accommodates a broad range of tenants from varying industries with distinctive space requirements. The deals included a tenant expansion, relocation and the leasing of a pre-built unit.

XL Financial Administrative Services, Inc. a spin-off of XL Insurance, leased 3,450 square feet of penthouse space in Building 501. The firm will relocated from its current Stamford location.

T-Mobil leased 2,330 space in a pre-built unit in 101 Merritt 7.

There is approximately 108,000 square feet available for lease at Merritt 7.

"We think the market continues to accelerate," said Joe Fagen of Cushman & Wakefield, which represented IPSOS and XL Financial. "As employment grows, the amount of space required by these employers grows."

Cushman & Wakefield also recently represented Terex in its nearly 80,000 square foot lease at Westport's Nyala Farms Corporate Center, a 372,207 square foot, five building office complex. Terex, a diversified global manufacturer, moved from a 35,000 square foot space at 500 Post Road East in Westport. The lease was one of the biggest of the year so far in Fairfield County.

"Terex desired a Class-A office property that could not only satisfy its current space needs, but also accommodate projected future growth," said Stephen Baker, of Cushman & Wakefield.

Other tenants at Nyala Farms include Playtex, Benfield, Smith Barney, Deloitte & Touche, and Pequot Capital.

Also HK Group commercial real estate of Westport has announced on Thursday three recent leases totaling nearly 10,000 square feet, with a rental value of over $1,300,000, in three different towns. In Westport, Cocoa Michelle, a chocolatier, booked a 5-year lease for 1,300 square feet at Main Street Commons, 190 Main Street.

In Fairfield, One Kid LLC, a children's clothing company, took 6,500 square feet for five years at 160 Carter Henry Drive, near the railroad station, for office, showroom and distribution purposes. One Kid is currently located in Bridgeport.

In Stamford, Doctors Naso, Rosenberg, Stein & Kessler, all clinical psychologists, signed a 10-year lease for 2,100 square feet at 2777 Summer Street.

According to HK Group, the Westport office vacancy rate as of July 1 stood at 8.7 percent, down from the 11 percent level seen in July 2005, according to Ted Hampe, Chairman of HK Group.

"The Westport office leasing market has made substantial progress in the last year," Hampe said. "The 390,000 square foot Nyala Farms Office Park is now 100 percent leased. On the other hand, a 41,000 square foot building at 355 Riverside Avenue became empty this summer following Allied Domecq Spirits merger and move out of Westport.

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