New York investors heating up the New Haven real estate market

NEW HAVEN >> Two recent purchasers of property are examples of increasing interest in New Haven by New York investors.

Chris Nicotra, co-founder of Olympia Properties in New Haven, said his company has sold four buildings on Chapel Street, as well as two on State for $8.5 million.

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New Haven getting 2 new eateries as investors see bright future in city
Mary O’Leary - New Haven Register The Beer Collective hopes to open at 130 Crown St. in mid-June.

NEW HAVEN >> Two new restaurants are coming to the city, while the New Haven business climate got a shout-out at a recent meeting of commercial real estate brokers from New Haven and Middlesex counties.

Chris Nicotra, managing partner of Olympia Properties, said Mecha Noodle Bar, which has locations in Fairfield and South Norwalk, has leased space formally used by the Sci Fi Cafe at 210 Crown St.

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New restaurants to serve noodles, beer

Two establishments — one serving craft beer and the other Asian fusion noodles — will join downtown New Haven’s bar and restaurant scene in the coming months.

Owners of the The Beer Collective — a bar that will serve beer produced by small-scale specialty breweries — signed a lease in late February with New Haven real estate investment firm Olympia Properties for 130 Court St., a vacancy three blocks from Old Campus that previously housed an Italian restaurant. The bar is on schedule to open this summer, owner Craig Sklar said. Olympia Properties signed a second lease on March 7 with the owners of Mecha Noodle Bar — a Fairfield-based restaurant chain that serves Asian-inspired cuisine — for property on 201 Crown St., Olympia owner Chris Nicotra said. Though Nicotra said he could not disclose details, the owners of Mecha plan to build a novelty restaurant similar to establishments found in New York City.

Making a ‘B’ Line for Downtown Space

“The obvious explanation for the recent popularity of the more affordable Class B office space would be that tenants, suffering the effects of a prolonged eco- nomic slump, have tightened their belts and migrated into less expensive quarters,” reports John Keogh of Colliers International, in his first-quarter 2013 market report, which tracks 59 office properties. “It makes sense, but it isn’t true.”

The reality is Class A space has grown with the depar- ture and/or contraction of companies like AT&T and the United Illuminating Co. as well as the conversion of many downtown Class B buildings to residential use, a trend continuing with the recent purchase of 205 Church Street by a New York developer with plans for at least 100 apartments.

As a result of these changes, the overall downtown New Haven office market vacancy rate at the end of the first quarter of 2013 (14.6 percent) nearly matches the 2007 rate (14.7 percent).

The difference between Class A and Class B space, however, is reversed. Six years ago, the Class A va- cancy rate was 9.5 percent and Class B was 17.9 per- cent. In the first quarter of 2013, the Class A vacancy was 20.8 percent and Class B was 10.6 percent.

Yale University and Yale- New Haven Hospital, along with city and state government entities and non-profits are filling Class B space, according to Keogh, who sees several possible scenarios unfolding.

“You have so much A space available that Class A building owners lower prices in order to compete,” he says. “Presumably the market will firm up for B space. “If ever there is any surge in demand, which there could be — there have been a lot of entrepreneurial startups in New Haven so it wouldn’t take much –– then Class B prices might get up to a point of pushing Class B tenants into Class A space. It certainly hasn’t happened yet.”

Chris Nicotra of Olympia Properties describes the rental market as “really hot.”

SeeClickFix recently expanded from 1,000 square feet at 746 Chapel Street to occupying the entire 5,500-square-foot third floor, says Nicotra, the build- ing’s landlord. At 760 Chapel Street, another Olympia Properties building, business incubator the Grove, which was born in a storefront at 71 Orange Street, has signed a five-year lease for 7,500 square feet.

“I barely have a vacancy anywhere,” Nicotra adds. “People are calling. Banks are starting to open up. Deals are starting to get done.”

— Karen Singer

New Haven Has Nation’s Lowest Vacancy Rate

An article in the New Haven Independent reported that a national ranking released this week affirms what local developer Chris Nicotra has been seeing around town: “The biggest problem we have with apartments in the city is that we don’t have enough.”

Vacancy rate in New Haven ‘fairly healthy’

An article in the New Haven Register reported that New Haven’s office real estate market held relatively steady in the third quarter, with nonprofits and startups filling some of the space being vacated by large corporations, according to data released this week. Chris Nicotra, managing principal of Olympia Properties, said he is seeing strong demand from tenants, but mainly those seeking less than 2,000-square-feet spaces.

Start-ups keep real estate steady

According to Christopher Nicotra in an article in the New Haven Register, prospects are looking up in the New Haven real estate market. “Confidence has resumed in the marketplace and tenants are expanding, taking additional space in buildings when available, and new start-up ventures are looking for space,” he said.

Christopher Nicotra elected Chairman of Commercial Investment Division

Christopher S. Nicotra, Managing Member of Olympia Properties, LLC has been elected as Chairman of the Commercial Investment Division, commonly known as CID, of the Greater New Haven Board of Realtors. The organization has been around since the late 1960’s. Membership includes those people whom make their living buying, selling, leasing, investing in and developing and managing commercial real estate in New Haven County. The group meets once a month at a different commercial space for sale or lease to share leads, success stories and promote their commercial listings. The group is responsible for 90% of the commercial real estate transaction in New Haven County each year and generates of $100,000,000 in lease, sale and buying activity. Mr. Nicotra has been an active member and participant for about 10 years.

New Haven's office vacancy rate at 11.5%

An article in the New Haven Register reported that the city's vacancy rate among office space was holding at 11.5 percent last quarter, up from 10.6 percent in the third quarter of 2009. Olympia Properties' Christopher Nicotra said that banks are starting to lend money again after a long period of stricter policies brought about by the recession and its aftermath.

360 State Street project revitalizes downtown

According to a recent article in Business New Haven, Developers and tenants are excited for the arrival of the 360 State Street project, a "32-story, mixed-use 'green' development" that is part of a larger downtown revival. Olympia Properties' Christopher Nicotra was featured in the article, commenting on the success of several buildings in the area, including 754, 760, and 786 Chapel Street.

Mayor DeStefano Appoints Christopher Nicotra to Serve on the Workforce Alliance Board

John DeStefano, Jr., the Mayor of New Haven, has appointed Olympia Properties' Christopher Nicotra to serve on the Workforce Alliance Board. Since 1983, the Board has administered a variety of employment and training initiatives that prepare individuals for jobs and that assist employers with training and employee transition.

New Haven Rents rise

Office vancany rates dipped over 10 percent in New Haven as rents rose steadily, according to a May 2010 article in the New Haven Register. Olympia Properties' Chris Nicotra is quoted noting that the increase in office rents has led some tenants to opt for retail spaces.

Office real estate market in New Haven is ‘stable’

Despite continuing shakiness in the region’s economy, the city’s office real estate market continues to remain stable, according to new data from Colliers Dow & Condon. Chistopher Nicotra was quoted in an April 2010 article in the New Haven Register that covered the report.

Demand for New Haven Office Space Stable; Vacancy Rate Down

Bucking nationwide trends, vacancy rates in New Haven's office market decreased more than two percentage points to 10.6%, a recent New Haven Register article reports. Olympia Properties' Christopher Nicotra was quoted in the article noting the recent uptick of activity in the past month.

Demand for New Haven Office Space Stable

The latest data from broker Colliers Dow and Condon shows a that demand for New Haven office space has remained stable. Concerns that office tenants might downsize as a result of the economic climate have proven largely unfounded.

New Haven Office Space Market Strengthens

Despite the much-publicized downturn in in the national real-estate market, vacancy rates recently decreased in Downtown New Haven, a recent New Haven Register article reports. Christopher Nicotra, Olympia Properties' Managing Member, is quoted in the article saying "The good [real estate] has a lot of demand."

Christopher Nicotra quoted in New Haven Register Article

In a Register article on the plans to include retail space in the soon-to-be-completed Cooperative Arts High School, Olympia Properties managing member Christopher Nicotra is quoted commenting on the high demand for retail space downtown.

New Tenant Lauds Olympia Properties for Promt and Attentive Service

The O'Donnell Company, a sucessful marketing firm, recently moved to a new space in the beautifully-rennovated Monson Building at 760 Chapel Street. The Olympia Properties team worked hard to make the move a succes, and their efforts did not go unnoticed. Read the correspondence from Dan O'Donnell to Christopher and Dennis Nicotra of Olympia Properties.

Business New Haven Asesses Downtown Real Estate Market

Christopher Nicotra of Olympia Properties is quoted in a recent Business New Haven article about the current state of the downtown New Haven real estate market. The article concludes that "Investment appears to be chugging along."

Register Observes New Haven Office Space Market "Holding Steady"

A recent New Haven Register article reports that New Haven vacancy rates for commercial real estate have hardly changed--an especially positive statistic compared to the real estate slowdown that has hit the rest of the country. Olympia Properties' Christopher Nicotra is quoted saying "The market is in great shape...There's demand for space."

New Haven Still "Exciting and Attrractive to Developers"

Christopher Nicotra featured prominently in a New Haven Register story about the continued upbeat prospects for real estate in New Haven--in spite of signs of a slowdown elsewhere in the country. The article quotes Economic Development Administrator Kelly Murphy saying "New Haven didn't have this kind of explosion [of growth] like a lot of places had, so we are not going to have this big fall. We have been slow and steady."

Hartford Courant Consults Christopher Nicotra for Expertise About Downtown Real Estate

In a story about the prospects for the site of the old Kresge Department Store, a downtown New Haven building that was recently destroyed by major fire, Hartford Courant reporter Greg Gershon quotes Christopher Nicotra, Olympia Properties' managing member. The article ran on the front page of the Business section on Tuesday, January 15, 2008. An online copy can be found here.

Olympia Properties Managing Member Featured in New Haven Register Article

The front page of the business section of Sunday, January 13th's New Haven Register prominently features Christopher Nicotra, Olympia Properties' Managing Member. The article highlights the bright future for commercial real estate in New Haven. An online copy can be found here.

Olympia Properties Renovates former Horowitz Brothers Clothing and Fabric Store

New Haven, CT July 26, 2007 – Olympia Properties, LLC has undertaken a major renovation of the 100+ year old building that was formerly home to Horowitz Brothers Fabric Store on Chapel Street.  Part of the first floor has already been renovated and leased to a retail store, and the remaining parts of the building are currently under construction.  The newly renovated upper stories of the building will include high ceilings with exposed ductwork, brick, and wooden beams.  The renovated building will boast historic and interesting architectural features yet also include modern amenities such as brand new electrical systems and energy efficient windows.

Olympia Properties Purchases 240 Amity Road from the former owners of Ciancola Motors

New Haven, CT July 11, 2007 - Olympia Properties, LLC has purchased another property: 240 Amity Road in Woodbridge.  The property has been used as a car dealership for nearly forty years.  Olympia Properties, who paid $850,000 for the entire parcel, plans to develop the property.  “The property has such great presence on Amity Road, and we are excited about developing it” said Dennis Nicotra, president of Olympia Properties.  Prospective users are encouraged to contact Olympia Properties at 777-0819.

Olympia Properties Purchases and renovates 111 Whitney Avenue from the Marcus Law Firm

New Haven, CT May 25, 2007 - Olympia Properties, LLC has purchased another New Haven Property: 111 Whitney Avenue.  The Marcus Law Firm sold the property to Olympia Properties for $1.5 million dollars and plans to relocate to a new office in Branford.  The Marcus Law Firm is temporarily renting the property back from Olympia Properties as the law firm prepares for its move.  The building consists of 10,000 square feet of office space and has a 30-car parking lot. 

Chris Nicotra, a managing member and Chief Financial Officer of Olympia Properties, sees a good future for this building and other New Haven Properties.  "We are very excited about this new acquisition. 111 Whitney is a trophy property located on a beautiful section of Whitney Avenue with onsite parking. We see no slow down in the continued strength of the New Haven market and believe that rising rents and a low vacancy factor will demonstrate that New Haven is the place to buy real estate today."

The property is available for rent and is currently being show to potential tenants.  Interested renters should contact Olympia Properties at 777-0819. 


"I have completed several transactions with Olympia Properties and have always found the company and its principals to be skilled, professional, and highly ethical."
Stephen Press, SIOR
Press Cuozzo Realtors