‘A-quality’ office building in downtown Darien sells for $21 million

DARIEN – A downtown building, at 9 Old Kings Highway South, has been purchased by V20 Group for $21.1 million, a deal that marks the first office-complex acquisition for the Darien-based developer. 

The approximately 71,000-square-foot property’s central location and robust tenant roster appealed to V20, which has undertaken several mixed-use projects in Darien in the past few years.

“It’s in a great location – a block from the highway (Interstate 95), a block-and-a-half from the (downtown Metro-North Railroad) train station. It has a concierge doorman and a full-service backup generator,” V20 Partner Joe Vaccaro said in an interview. “It doesn’t take much to take this building to more of an A-quality building.” 

V20’s website notes that the firm will be “setting aside a substantial budget for capital improvements, which will include work on the common corridors, the entrance to the building and the overall modernization of the building.”  

The tenant roster at 9 Old Kings Highway South reflects Darien’s concentration of financial-services firms. Portfolio Advisors occupies the most space in the building, followed by Alter Domus. Other tenants include Goodnow Investment Group, Tulane Endowment, Michael Allen and Northern Right Capital. In early 2023, two more tenants are set to move in: Norwalk-based CoreOne Industrial and V20, with its own offices. With the new additions, the building’s occupancy will increase to about 92 percent. 

Commercial real estate firm CBRE’s team of Jeffrey Dunne, Steve Bardsley, David Gavin, Jeremy Neuer and Travis Langer represented the seller, Hall Investments, in the transaction.  

“The offering represented a unique opportunity to purchase a boutique office building in the prestigious town of Darien that features stable in-place income and an opportunity to increase net operating income with lease-up of the 11,600 square feet of well-positioned vacancy,” Dunne said in a statement.  

In the past few years, V20 has completed several mixed-use redevelopments in Darien that have included Darien Place, the site of the former Darien Playhouse, at 1077 Post Road; Landing on Post, at 1897 Post Road; The Village on Post, at 1950 and 1958 Post Road; and at 364 Post Road. 

In addition to V20’s revitalized properties, other developers’ under-construction mixed-use projects – including Baywater Properties’ The Corbin District in the downtown and Federal Realty Investment Trust’s Darien Commons near the Noroton Heights Metro-North station – have combined to infuse new vitality into Darien’s commercial corridor. 

“It is wonderful to have developers that live in Darien and truly care about the town’s future when considering and developing their projects,” Darien First Selectman Monica McNally said in a statement. “The Vaccaros are valued members of our community who through their mixed-use developments have added to the retail vibrancy as well as housing stock in Darien. We are excited to learn that they will be focusing on a new project in our downtown area and look forward to another successful outcome from the V20 Group.” 

Among V20’s other properties, construction is underway on an approximately 76,000-square-foot warehouse at 419 West Ave., on Stamford’s West Side. The building is scheduled to be completed in the first or second quarter of 2023.

“There are so many commercial properties, whether it’s in Darien or Stamford. There are more than enough to go around,” Vaccaro said. “We’re pretty thoughtful about when we’re going to put our money at work.” 

pschott@stamfordadvocate.com; twitter: @paulschott