November 7, 2014 | Cheshire, CT – Far from the industry norm, and certainly not yet trendy, the way Calcagni Commercial Real Estate is brokering deals and creating value for properties is nothing short of forward thinking and smart, as evidenced by its latest deal, a nine-year master lease with Fairfield’s Sacred Heart University. Calcagni represented both sides of the transaction, resulting in the University’s lease of Pioneer Gardens, a 44-unit, 176-bed apartment building located at 51 Eckart Street in Bridgeport, just 0.4 miles from campus.
“It began as a pipe dream,” says Steven Calcagni, president of Calcagni Commercial Real Estate. “But, we knew a deal like this would be such an incredibly valuable opportunity for both the property owners and the University. We started with some baby steps, leasing a quarter of the building to Sacred Heart for one year, and ultimately got to complete a
Having managed Pioneer Gardens since 2009, Calcagni Commercial vice president Ralph Lewis had a comprehensive familiarity with the property as well as the needs of the University. Recognizing the compatibility of Pioneer Gardens with Sacred Heart’s long-term goals, Lewis pursued and secured the lease through 2023.
“Pioneer Gardens provides Sacred Heart with an opportunity to house 176 of our upper class students in close proximity to the campus and in a living situation that is conducive to what today’s college-aged students are looking for,” says Larry Wielk, Sacred Heart University dean of students. “This new long-term relationship allows us to move forward knowing that we will be able to satisfy the needs and demands of our growing student population. We are looking forward to continuing what has already been an excellent partnership.”
The deal is a win-win for Sacred Heart and property owner ACORN I of Hamden, Connecticut, in that the University maintains control of the building from an operational standpoint, filling a student housing void, and the owner has a guaranteed income regardless of any vacancies that may from time to time occur.
Representing both sides of a deal like this one is a shift for commercial real estate. But, for Calcagni, it results in something the company continually strives to achieve: value that didn’t exist previously. Working for both the lessor and lessee renders Calcagni a completely neutral party, able to understand and marry the best interests of both parties. That’s something not often seen in the industry.