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Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:03

Ellsworth Conundrum: Commercial Leasing Lags Behind Residential Units

By | News

MALTA – Ellsworth Commons mixed-use apartment community in Malta is a bit of a mixed bag.


Located just north of the Route 67 circle along Route 9 in Malta, residential units at the recently constructed $53 million development have filled up quickly.  Out of the 312 total apartments in the development, leasing agents indicate that over 82 percent are currently signed for and occupied. 

While residential leases have surged forward, much of the commercial space along the development’s ground floor remains vacant. Out of the total 70,000 square feet of commercial space available, only 8,000 square feet - just over 11 percent of the space - is spoken for.

“About half of the [commercial] space is in negotiation right now,” said Ann MacAffer, associate broker with CBRE Albany. CBRE Albany, which oversees the commercial rentals at Ellsworth Commons, is a separate entity from the company leasing the residential space, Albany Partners LLC.

The residential apartments were originally put on the market by Albany Partners LLC last October, shortly after construction on the first building was completed.   Offering studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments with varying floor plans, less than 80 apartments are still waiting to be leased. Of the remaining apartments, mostly two and three-bedroom apartments are left.  

As for the commercial rentals, “it takes a long time to sign because, when negotiating the lease, we also have to do the construction for the space,” said MacAffer. “We deliver the space in basically a raw shell. So we’re building out the space for people as the leases are signed.” 

The commercial space at Ellsworth Commons has been on the market for a little over a year. Since that time, “different discussions have come and gone. Some of those tenants are somewhere else in Malta for timing reasons; others have never surfaced anywhere,” said MacAffer. 

So far, two companies have officially moved into the mixed-use community. The first company, DNSE Electronics LLC, announced its arrival in March. As a semiconductor equipment supplier 

for the nearby GlobalFoundries, DNSE fills 4,400 square feet of space in the development.

Most recently, Myrtle Street OB/GYN began its move into a 3,600-square-foot space at Ellsworth Commons.

Although MacAffer was unable to officially confirm the arrival of a new American grill-style restaurant, she did indicate a deal with such a client was in the works.

The SEFCU Bank location, which opened its doors late May adjacent to the development, is owned by a separate company. 

“For confidentiality reasons and competitive reasons, we really don’t ever announce leases until they’re signed,” said MacAffer. “Also, configuring and designing and pricing on construction takes longer than your average leases. In the case of restaurant space, there’s a lot that goes into that [due to the specialized equipment.] It’s similar with a medical space.”

Ideally, CBRE Albany is hoping to fill the ground floor of the development with service businesses, retailers and restaurants. 

“I’d like to get a coffee shop,” said MacAffer. “We’ve got some restaurant interest; we’ve had interest from people that are in the finance business, people that are in the clothing business and people that are in the insurance business.” 

Originally, a 1,700-square-foot minimum was set for commercial leasing. Earlier in the year, the number was reduced to 500 square feet to appeal to smaller clients, or those seeking a smaller office space.

Still, CBRE Albany is confident that the remaining space will be spoken for come the end of the year.

“With construction differentials and the timing, I don’t know if they’ll all actually be occupied by then. But we’ve got a lot of offers out there right now. While construction on those spaces usually takes about three months, I’m assuming that we’ll have them all committed to by the end of the year,” said MacAffer.

To learn more about leasing opportunities at Ellsworth Commons with CBRE Albany, visit www.cbre.com/EllsworthCommons or call Ann MacAffer at (518) 452-2700, ext. 123.

To learn more about residential leasing opportunities, visit www.ellsworthcommons.info or call (518) 400-1101.

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