A prime piece of real estate in the heart of West Hartford Center has a new owner and will soon have a new tenant. But the existing tenant, the , will still maintain space in the building.
West Hartford-based Udolf Properties purchased the property at 102 LaSalle Road several months ago, owner Leonard Udolf confirmed on Friday.
"I feel this is one of the premier parcels of commercial property not just in West Hartford, but in the region," Udolf said.
He was pleased to be able to structure a long-term lease for the property which will allow the Post Office to maintain a presence in a portion of the space. "I am excited to be able to keep the Post Office in West Hartford Center for the foreseeable future. If someone else had bought the building, they may have wanted it delivered empty," Udolf said.
The majority of the building will be leased by Rockville Bank.
“We are very excited about having a significant presence in West Hartford Center and plan to open our doors in the third quarter of 2012,” William (Bill) H. W. Crawford, IV, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rockville Bank said in a news release.
“In addition to our wide range of personal customer products and services, our new branch will feature Rockville Bank commercial and business banking teams. This will be our second Bank office located west of the Connecticut River, and it is part of our Company’s plans to expand the reach of our branch network,” said Crawford in the release.
“We are excited to have so many personal and commercial customers in the West Hartford community and look forward to meeting more of our neighbors, civic leaders and local businesses, and getting involved in the community in a variety of ways,” added Crawford.
Udolf is looking forward to Rockville Bank as a tenant in the building. "They have a sterling reputation and are a leader in their field," he said.
The .79 acre LaSalle Road property already has a large parking area, and that was something else which had Udolf excited about the acquisition. "The beauty of the site is a parking lot for over 60 cars in a prime location. I'm going to enhance the [parking area] with new paving and lighting," he said.
Udolf Properties also owns adjoining parcels on South Main Street and Ellsworth, and tenants and customers of those buildings will be able to utilize the parking lot as well.
When the Post Office property was put up for sale in 2010, West Hartford's Town Manager Ron Van Winkle was very excited about the possibilities for the parcel. "It's a valuable asset, and these types of unique properties don't come up very often," he said.
Although Van Winkle hopes that future development in West Hartford might bring a hotel to town, he admits that it's unlikely in the current economy.
"Rockville Bank is a great bank, and will be an asset to West Hartford Center. Udolf Properties is an important player in the development of West Hartford, and it's great to have a local son pick this up," Van Winkle said.
Plans for the renovation are still being developed and sketches are not yet available, but Udolf believes residents will be pleased with the appearance.
"It's important for me to develop this prime property to be architecturally significant and an asset to the Town of West Hartford for many years," Udolf said.