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Market Hangs Tough as Pandemic Drags On

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4th Quarter 2020 New Haven Office Market Report

News concerning the office market across the United States in the last year has been all about the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the way Americans work. Nationwide, tenants vacated about 80 million square feet more than they leased, adding a full percentage point to the vacancy rate and surpassing the Great Recession of 2009 to post the market’s worst performance on record. Experts have struggled to understand the effect that the year’s move to remote working will have on the market’s future and debated how much the need for reduced workplace density will offset the resulting drop in demand. The overall outlook is brightening as vaccines become available, but no one seems to think that things are going back to their pre-Covid norms anytime soon.

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2020 Q4 Graph

Market Hangs Tough as Pandemic Drags On

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John Keogh


New Haven

I have more than 30 years of experience as a commercial real estate broker in Connecticut. In the course of that time I've become familiar with just about every type of commercial property and with all of the major geographical markets within the state.

For the last 15 years or so I've concentrated my efforts in and around New Haven. I represent landlords, tenants, buyers and sellers, mostly in transactions involving either office space or life sciences properties.

My clients have included Science Park Development Corporation, Omni Hotels, Olin Corporation, PMC Property Group, Thylan Associates, Bow Tie Partners, General Reinsurance, Metropolitan Life, New York Life and the FDIC.

I am perhaps best known these days as the leasing agent for major office and research properties including the downtown tower at 900 Chapel Street, Merritt Crossing at 440 Wheelers Farms Road in Milford, and Science Park, a large research campus near Yale University that was once the manufacturing complex of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.

I also has deep experience in the sale of properties for investment and development. In 2017 I represented Gramercy Property Trust in the sale of four Citizens Bank branches.

I began my career in commercial real estate brokerage in Fairfield County, where I worked with William Pitt Commercial Real Estate in Stamford. I moved to New Haven in 2001 to join Traub & Company, a boutique firm started by Carl Traub, the former head of Cushman & Wakefield of Connecticut. When Mr. Traub passed away suddenly in 2003, I remained for 18 months to wrap up the firm’s outstanding business. The company was then merged with Colliers International.

I have brokered several of the transactions that have reshaped downtown New Haven over the last decade. I represented Omni Hotels in the leasing of 20,000 square feet of retail space, once part of the former Chapel Square Mall, to four tenants including Barcelona Restaurant. I also arranged the sale of 80 Temple Street, the former headquarters of United Illuminating, from Temple George Associates (an affiliate of Fusco Corporation) to Bow Tie Partners, which renovated the building as 44 apartments and a 7-screen movie theater.

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