Real estate giant Shelbourne Global Solutions has dropped plans for a 12-lot subdivision on a 1-acre property it acquired in Hartford’s Blue Hills neighborhood in 2021, recently selling the property to a buyer from Bloomfield.
Shelbourne’s $175,000 purchase of a one-story office building on an acre at 25 Cornwall St. was an unusually modest buy for the multi-state real estate investment and development company. It’s the largest single landlord in downtown Hartford, with ownership of several Class A office buildings and interests in various recent apartment developments.
The New York-based company recently launched a $42.1 million conversion of a portion of the former Fuller Brush manufacturing complex in Hartford’s North End into 155 apartments. This first phase is expected to be followed by renovation of additional space for commercial use.
After acquiring the Cornwall Street property in 2021, Shelbourne announced plans to demolish the vacant and boarded-up office building to make room for 12 single-family homes.
At the time, Shelbourne Chief Operating Officer Michael Seidenfeld said his company hoped to provide affordable housing, something that would help first-time buyers become property owners. Shelbourne enlisted Hartford-based architectural firm Lifecare Designs Inc. and submitted an application to the city.
Those plans haven’t come to fruition, however. And, in a sale logged Jan. 4, a Shelbourne-affiliated limited liability company sold 25 Cornwall Ave. to Vincent Thompson, of Bloomfield, for $250,000.
In an email response to questions this week, Seidenfeld reiterated Shelbourne’s original hope to provide affordable housing to area residents.
“Unfortunately, the local community did not support that vision,” Seidenfeld wrote. “We are hopeful that the purchaser will develop the property and with much success.”
Andrea Austin, an associate of Thompson who described herself as the senior vice president of communications and operations for Vincent Lloyd Enterprises, said Thompson has received multiple inquiries about his plans since buying the property and would hold off on announcing specifics until a press conference at some point in the future. Austin said the buyer is “working with city officials.”
“We want to make sure we have all the players on board in the way we need them to be before we hold a press conference,” Austin said.
Austin said Thompson has a “number of different businesses” operating under the banner of Vincent Lloyd Enterprises, including real estate and development.
Without going into specifics, Austin said Thomson is planning a major retrofit of the existing building into an “interesting commercial development in a residential neighborhood that will draw people from all across the state.”
Austin also shared statements from Thompson via email, which state a “multi-purpose commercial building” at the property, which is in proximity to the University of Hartford, Route 44 and Interstate 91, in the Gateway section of the Blue Hills Neighborhood “provides us with a number of tangible and creative options.”
“We look forward to working with the local civic organization, along with city and state economic and community development officials,” reads Thompson’s statement. “Most importantly, we are excited about the opportunity to be an integral part of the City of Hartford’s thriving Blue Hills community.”