Bankwell Financial Group has signed a 10-year lease for the entire 30,000-square-foot building at 258 Elm St. in New Canaan.
Its subsidiary, Bankwell Bank, has 12 branches throughout Fairfield and New Haven counties. The building will serve as the financial group’s headquarters, which had been at 208 Elm St.
The building at 258 Elm St. was acquired by an affiliate of New York City-based real estate advisory firm Besen Partners LLC in October 2019. The building had been the headquarters of Unimin Corp. for over 30 years. In May 2018, Unimin merged with Ohio-based Fairmount Santrol and became Covia Holdings Corp. It moved its operations to Ohio.
The three-story office building is next to the Metro-North Railroad station.
“While we had originally planned to subdivide for multiple tenants, the opportunity to lease the whole building to a single tenant as impressive as Bankwell was a change in strategy we were happy to make and an example of prudent investment management,” Daniel J. Steinberg, Besen Partners’ chief investment officer, said in a statement.
“Bankwell is getting an excellent location for its headquarters in downtown New Canaan and in close proximity to public transportation,” Steinberg said.
Bankwell CEO Chris Gruseke said in a statement, “We are excited at the prospect of gathering more than 100 employees together in our new corporate headquarters …With the addition of over 50 of our team members relocating to New Canaan, I am personally gratified to be part of a plan that will bring economic stimulus to our town. We are mindful that, despite our growth throughout Fairfield County and into New Haven County, our bank has its roots in New Canaan and would not enjoy the success we have today without the original support from our local community.”
Avison Young’s Fairfield/Westchester office, led by principal and Managing Director Sean M. Cahill, marketed the property and was the sole broker in the transaction.
Cahill said, “There was strong demand for a building of this quality and location and we are delighted that Bankwell is the exclusive tenant.”
New York City Management, a Besen Partners affiliate that oversees more than 180 commercial and residential properties in the tristate region, will manage 258 Elm St.