United Bank Announces Move of Administrative Offices to Downtown Hartford
William H. W. Crawford, IV, CEO of United Bank (“The Bank) and United Financial Bancorp, Inc. (“United Financial” or "The Company”) (NASDAQ Global Select Stock Market: “UBNK”), announced today that the Company and the Bank will be relocating its Administrative Offices from 45 Glastonbury Boulevard and 95 Glastonbury Boulevard in Glastonbury, Connecticut to the Goodwin Square building located at 225 Asylum Street in Hartford, Connecticut’s Central Business District.
Starting in the third quarter of 2017, United Bank will vacate approximately 46,000 square feet of leased office space in Glastonbury and move approximately 200 Connecticut-based non-branch employees into approximately 68,000 square feet of leased office space in the Goodwin Square building. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval. United Bank intends to sublease its current administrative office space at 45 Glastonbury Boulevard and 95 Glastonbury Boulevard in Glastonbury through the upcoming lease expiration.
Employees relocating to this location are currently based in leased office space in two buildings that United now occupies on Glastonbury Boulevard in Glastonbury as well as some non-branch employees currently located at the Bank’s South Windsor Operations Center. Currently, the Bank’s Connecticut-based non-branch employees operate out of five separate locations spread across the Greater Hartford area: Glastonbury (45 and 95 Glastonbury Boulevard), South Windsor, Enfield and Bristol. United Bank’s main branch office will remain at 25 Park Street in Rockville, Connecticut.
Since January 2011, the Bank has grown organically – and through its merger in 2014 – from $1.7 billion in assets and 220 employees to $6.6 billion in assets and over 700 employees. Relocating to Hartford’s Central Business District provides for a cost effective means to improve efficiency by consolidating the majority of the Bank’s Connecticut based non-branch employees.
Since the Glastonbury office market vacancy is very low, it was difficult for the Bank to find cost effective and suitable additional space to meet the Bank’s current and future growth needs. Therefore, the Bank engaged John McCormick of CB Richard Ellis and advisors to look at options in Greater Hartford for their Administrative Offices. Goodwin Square was deemed the best overall strategic and cost effective real estate solution for the Bank.
There is significant revitalization occurring in Hartford, including 700 new multi-family units; the relocation of the University of Connecticut's West Hartford campus; and new restaurants, businesses and a minor league baseball stadium. The City is also an attractive location for businesses because it offers close proximity to major highways such as I-84 and I-91, public transportation and Bradley International Airport.
Goodwin Square includes a 330,000 square foot office tower renovated in 1989 and a historic apartment building – later turned into a hotel – that dates back to 1889. Brian and Steve Kohn and Westport Capital Partners purchased Goodwin Square in 2015 and are currently renovating the office tower. They sold the hotel portion of Goodwin Square to Greenwich Hospitality Group, which is planning to reopen the historic hotel in 2017.
When the relocation of its Administrative Offices to downtown Hartford is complete in the fourth quarter of 2017, United Bank will become Goodwin Square’s signature tenant with extensive signage and branding visible in downtown Hartford and from I-84 and I-91. United Bank also plans to open a retail banking branch in downtown Hartford, subject to regulatory approval.
"Consolidating our administrative offices into Hartford provides a more cost effective and operationally efficient real estate solution. It also positions our commercial banking teams in close proximity to the highest concentration of businesses and commercial and government deposits within the Hartford MSA. We see this as an opportunity to build upon our market share in Greater Hartford where we have the #4 deposit market share," said William H.W. Crawford, IV, CEO of United Bank and United Financial Bancorp, Inc.
“I’m thrilled that United Bank has chosen Hartford as the new home for their Administrative Offices and hundreds of employees,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. “United Bank’s announcement demonstrates that employers see the power and benefit of being in an urban center, and we’re proud to welcome them to the Capital City. We believe in a strong and vibrant future for Hartford, and I look forward to working in partnership with United Bank as they make Hartford their new home for their Administrative Offices.”