Darien-based has teamed up with another company and an investment fund to buy a large office building in Rye, NY, the companies announced Saturday.
The joint venture, formed with WillKen Investments of Rye and the True North Management Group investment fund, became the new owners of 411 Theodore Fremd Ave., a 211,000-square-foot Class A office building in Rye, NY.
Frank Kenny, a principle in WillKen Investments, is also co-owner of Willett Companies, which sold the building for $10.8 million.
The office building is on U.S. Route 1, just yards from the exit drivers use to get to Playland amusement park in Rye.
R. David Genovese, cofounder of Baywater Properties, said he had been talking with Frank Kenny and WilKen for the past few years about various joint venture ideas.
“411 Theodore Fremd is a high quality asset in a high barrier-to-entry market which we think has very similar characteristics to the other markets we have been investing and operating in over the last 10 years in Fairfield County, [...] such as Darien, Westport, and Wilton," Genovese said.
The partners plan to invest "significant" amounts of money to renovate the lobbies, common areas, and amenities in the building. "The partners also plan to offer tenants with turnkey real estate solutions for their office space needs, whereby they will pay for all of the costs of constructing the various tenant spaces," according to the news release.
"I believed in 411 Theodore Fremd Avenue when my firm and original partners acquired it in 2005, and I continue to believe in the Rye market and this building," Kenny said.
Kenny formed Willett Companies, based in Rye, in the early 1990s. Willett is in much the same business as Baywater, on a larger scale, with more than 2 million square feet of primarily Class A and Class B office space. The business' holdings currently top $1 billion.
True North Management Group, founded in 2004, is a privately held real estate investment management firm in White Plains, NY. The firm currently manages more than $650 million in real estate investments.
Girard Tunney, a principal of True North and a Rye area resident, called the building "a high quality, well-located asset in Rye with both a significant discount-to-replacement cost and with an operating partner that we know has the expertise to position the asset well in the marketplace and the Rye community."
"This is the second venture between Baywater and True North, whose principals worked together for many years at Bankers Trust Company," according to a news release from Baywater.
In May 2011, Baywater partnered with True North to buy a commercial building at 450 Post Rd. E. in Westport, which had been vacant. That building is now fully leased following a major renovation of the exterior, lobbies and common areas, along with landscaping.
The new venture retained the leasing team of Glenn Walsh and Matthew Lisk of Cushman & Wakefield to help rent out the Rye building.
"We are extremely excited to usher into Westchester County a new player with a great eye for detail, contagious enthusiasm and a proven winner," Walsh said.
Baywater Properties describes itself as "a privately-held real estate investment and development company based in Darien, Connecticut which was formed in 2001 by R. David Genovese and his father, Rocco Genovese."
The company builds, owns and manages buildings for various types of business tenants. It currently owns and manages about 500,000 square feet in 30 buildings.
R. David Genovese previously worked in the real estate investment banking groups of Bankers Trust and Credit Suisse First Boston in New York and London. At Bankers Trust, he worked with the managing partners of True North.