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Home Care in Bloomfield, CT

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, sometimes they cannot live independently without someone by their side to provide care. Unfortunately, some older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live in the comforts or their home rather than in an assisted living community. Home care in Bloomfield, CT is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

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Home Care Bloomfield, CT

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. We are proud to have helped tens of thousands of seniors to maintain a higher level of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home care services in Bloomfield, CT. Always Best Care is here to help.

How does In-home Senior Care in Bloomfield, CT work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 In-Home Care Bloomfield, CT

Types of In-home Care in Bloomfield, CT

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

 Elderly Care Bloomfield, CT

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
 Senior Care Bloomfield, CT

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading

Respite Care Bloomfield, CT

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite activities and hobbies while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community Events and Social Outings
 Caregivers Bloomfield, CT

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy other activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress helps reduce the risks of caregiver burnout.

When it comes to non-medical home care, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible. If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

Benefits of Home Care in Bloomfield, CT

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Home Care Bloomfield, CT
  • Age in Place
    According to AARP, 9 out of 10 seniors prefer to age in place within the comfort of their own home. With in-home care, seniors have a way to stay at home, receive the care they need, and maintain a sense of independence, improving overall wellness.
  • Peace of Mind
    If you or a member of your family have assumed the role of caregiver for your senior loved one, you know how stressful the job can be. Between caregiver burnout and constant worry, being a family caregiver is hard. In-home care relieves your burden and gives you peace of mind knowing that your senior family member is in expert hands.
  • Socialization
    Unlike many senior care facilities where the staff and residents rotate frequently, seniors can foster new friendships and build bonds with their caregiver. Seniors who socialize on a regular basis are often happier, which fosters positivity and leads to increased wellbeing.
  • Personalized Care Plan
    No two seniors need the same kind of in-home care assistance. That is why each of our care plans are tailored to meet our client's individual needs. We offer plans that cover everything from light housekeeping to more involved duties like transportation to doctor's appointments. Our Care Coordinators will work closely with you to develop a personalized plan to ensure your senior's needs are exceeded.

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for clients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

 In-Home Care Bloomfield, CT

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

Comfort

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Bloomfield, CT, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

Independence

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

 Elderly Care Bloomfield, CT

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Bloomfield, CT gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

 Senior Care Bloomfield, CT

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

  • Veteran's Benefits: Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
  • Private Insurance: Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
  • Life Insurance: Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Bloomfield,CT understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

01

An assessment of your senior loved one

02

An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home

03

Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs

Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

Latest News in Bloomfield, CT

Gas prices on the rise again

With the summer months ahead, experts say people should prepare for gas prices to go up even moreCONNECTICUT, USA — There is no relief at the pump as prices continue to rise throughout Connecticut."You can feel the impact on your pocketbook with the gas going up and everything else going up," said Collette Pryor of Bloomfield.According to AAA, a month ago, the average price per gallon in Connecticut was $3.93, now it's $4.32....

With the summer months ahead, experts say people should prepare for gas prices to go up even more

CONNECTICUT, USA — There is no relief at the pump as prices continue to rise throughout Connecticut.

"You can feel the impact on your pocketbook with the gas going up and everything else going up," said Collette Pryor of Bloomfield.

According to AAA, a month ago, the average price per gallon in Connecticut was $3.93, now it's $4.32.

"The very recent run-up is probably some combination of statistical noise and concerns that the Ukraine war is going to continue for some time," said John Rosen, an adjunct professor of economics at the University of New Haven.

How much you pay does depend on where you shop. The Citgo in Bloomfield had gas at $4.49 a gallon if you're paying with a card, one of the highest prices in Hartford County. Compare that to one of the lowest, the Costco in New Britain, at $3.99.

"Sometimes it's convenient to stop on the way home here but over the weekend when I can you know have more time, I do shop around for my gas, Pryor said.

According to experts, we typically see prices go up in the summer months. Memorial Day is just a few weeks away and that's around the time that increase happens and this year likely won't be an exception, meaning people should start preparing for even higher prices.

"A lot of that is already priced in so I wouldn't expect that we'd be paying $6 a gallon, in July. But I'd expect yeah a 20 cent increase or something between now and the middle of July," Rosen said.

Monday, Governor Lamont signed the budget adjustment bill which extends the gas tax holiday through December 1st. However, many consumers said the 25 cents off that provides, just isn't enough to make a big difference.

"Well I'm glad they did that but it's still kind of like it's the same cause once you're used to paying that amount already you don't receive no significant difference because it just keeps going up," said Claude Pryor of Bloomfield.

"I think it's made a bit of a difference but it's been hovering in the same area in general," said Jason Moriarty of Simsbury.

People should expect to keep paying around the same, experts said these prices are here to stay for awhile.

"I do not see it coming down certainly any time before the fall," Rosen said. "Until the crude oil price goes down I don't see the end price of refined gasoline going down," he said.

Gaby Molina is a reporter and anchor at FOX61 News. She can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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CT Communities Asking Residents to Donate Professional Clothes for Men in Need

If you're spring cleaning, you may want to think about donating to a special cause, one that helps men start a new life after they've been released from prison.Community Solutions Inc. is hosting a clothing drive that supports male adult and youth programs in Hartford, Waterbury, Bloomfield and Meriden. The effort also supports a youth program in Rhode Island and an adult facility in Delaware."We're really about creating opportunities for people and empowering people to be the best version of themselves," said Communi...

If you're spring cleaning, you may want to think about donating to a special cause, one that helps men start a new life after they've been released from prison.

Community Solutions Inc. is hosting a clothing drive that supports male adult and youth programs in Hartford, Waterbury, Bloomfield and Meriden. The effort also supports a youth program in Rhode Island and an adult facility in Delaware.

"We're really about creating opportunities for people and empowering people to be the best version of themselves," said Community Solutions Inc. CEO Fernando Muniz.

Throughout the month of May, people are asked to make space in their closet by filling others with any unwanted professional wear including, gently used shoes, pants, ties and blazers. They'll also accept youth casual and athletic wear.

Some of the clothes will benefit men at the Chase Center in Waterbury

"Sometimes they come to our programs with just that one shirt on their back, so it's really beneficial if they're going for treatment or they're going for a job interview that they have clothing that makes them feel a part of their community," said Program Director Carly Tuthill.

One of Tuthill's clients, Justice Hinton, said these clothing drives make him feel confident in job interviews and motivated to network with his communities. Recently, he got a job as a dispatcher for a towing company. Prior to that, he was to work for a local solar energy business.

"I went to jail for robbery and now I'm just trying to change my life really. I'm just trying to correct my mistakes and not be judged by society and have this follow me the rest of my life," said Hinton.

Like Hinton, Eric Torres said access to professional attire helped him land a job.

"I got hired. I've been going on a year. I think a lot of people deserve that chance to feel good about themself," said Torres, who lives at the Chase Center.

A family in Bristol has already donated three bags of brand-name clothes and plans to give away more.

"The pile we had here was substantial, jeans and chinos, some button-downs, and a couple of suits. It's something they could wear in the interview and the first day of work," said Michael Drzewiecki.

Community members are also encouraged to donate toiletries, planners, and new undergarments. Those interested can even purchase gifts from CSI's Amazon Wish List or drop off items inside the Webster Bank Building, located at 200 Executive Blvd in Southington.

In June, volunteers will collect the donations and set up a boutique in the Southington office, where facility staff members will shop for their clients' needs and send requested items to Rhode Island and Delaware.

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Granby getting 235 apartments, biggest residential development in town

A Pennsylvania developer this month is starting to build Station 280, a 235-unit apartment complex that will become the biggest residential development in Granby’s history.Burkentine Builders, which has extensive experience developing rental housing in Pennsylvania and Maryland, plans studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units for Station 280.The project is being built on 42 acres of woodlands and fields north of Route 20 and 10 near the town center. All will be market-rate rents ranging from $1,600 to $2,650, said Mike ...

A Pennsylvania developer this month is starting to build Station 280, a 235-unit apartment complex that will become the biggest residential development in Granby’s history.

Burkentine Builders, which has extensive experience developing rental housing in Pennsylvania and Maryland, plans studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units for Station 280.

The project is being built on 42 acres of woodlands and fields north of Route 20 and 10 near the town center. All will be market-rate rents ranging from $1,600 to $2,650, said Mike Burkentine, vice president of sales and development.

“The location speaks volumes about the town — it has a small-town, hometown feel. The town is putting in sidewalks, and that means a lot to us because the walkability factor in our opinion is going to be fantastic,” Burkentine said.

Burkentine Builders is one segment of a family-owned construction and development business that builds apartments, single-family houses and commercial buildings in the mid-Atlantic region. Granby is its first venture in the Connecticut market, and Burkentine expects more.

“Our company is all about being outside of Class A markets — we’re not interested in downtown Hartford high-rises with $5,000 a month,” he said. “We deliver meaningful spaces in communities that have that hometown feel.”

The company’s Pennsylvania portfolio includes hundreds of apartments and townhouses in Gettysburg, Hanover, New Freedom, York, Mechanicsburg and Red Lion, mostly in three-story buildings like the ones planned for Station 280.

The Granby complex will have seven buildings of apartments along with a pool, clubhouse, fire pit, fitness center, dog park and bike racks.

Jonathan Vosburgh of Bloomfield-based Roswell Development and Eric Brown first proposed the Station 280 project to Granby planners nearly three years ago, and Burkentine later acquired it.

“The opportunity presented itself through some relationships we had. We determined Granby is in need of housing,” Burkentine said. “The project is attractive because you can walk to the school, walk to the ice cream shop or the coffeeshops and restaurants. And when you bring a project like this to a town, businesses thrive.”

Burkentine expects to be doing more projects in Connecticut.

“When we go into a state, we’re looking to build upwards of 500 or 1,000 homes. So we’re on a mission to hunt down more projects,” he said.

Nationally, the housing industry is going through a powerful cycle of demand, especially for apartments, he said.

“Our company ramped up during COVID. We knew that since the Great Recession, there was a depression in new subdivisions. That combined with COVID would create a need for housing in a way we’ve never seen before,” he said.

“Interest rates are going up. People are unsure right now what to think — they look at an apartment or townhouse and say ‘that’s a safety zone.’ It gives the ability to work from home with the clubhouse and amenities,” he said.

“Market studies show we’re in a great migration now. We have customers moving back to be with grandkids, moving back because they miss their hometown, some people want dual locations,” he said. “And with young professionals, COVID really changed the business environment. People are working from home and we take that into consideration with our designs — we look at where the desk and the computer will be.”

The company expects to complete construction in a year and a half to two years. But pre-leasing will begin this winter, and apartments will be opened in phases.

Union authorizes strike over conditions nursing homes say they’ve already met

Union members representing more than 400 nursing home workers at five Connecticut are threatening to strike next week over wages, retirement benefits and “unfair labor practices.”The Services Employees International Union 1199NE issued the strike notices Tuesday after members approved an April 22 work stoppage if a deal isn’t reached. The labor action comes after negotiators last year dodged the ...

Union members representing more than 400 nursing home workers at five Connecticut are threatening to strike next week over wages, retirement benefits and “unfair labor practices.”

The Services Employees International Union 1199NE issued the strike notices Tuesday after members approved an April 22 work stoppage if a deal isn’t reached. The labor action comes after negotiators last year dodged the threat of a mega-strike that would have affected 140 facilities and more than 4,000 caregivers.

The union is seeking a $20 per hour minimum wage for certified nursing assistants, quality pension plans, affordable healthcare and better working conditions. The current minimum wage in Connecticut is $13 per hour.

Targeted operator National Health Care Associates said Tuesday that it has already met the union’s proposal to commit to increase minimum pay rates between 15.5% and 20.5% by July 1, 2023, the CT Mirror reported. The company owns and operates three of the facilities at the center of the controversy, while the other two are independently operated.

The company has also offered a 4.5% pay increase for workers who earn more than minimum wage and committed to “support a defined contribution retirement plan.”

The company also said it welcomes a federal investigation into the “unfair labor practices” allegations and believes a probe will “conclude that the charges are without merit,” according to the local news report.

“We strongly believe that a strike is not the answer,” a spokeswoman for the operator told the news organization. “We believe the parties should focus on reaching agreement on a new contract and avoiding a strike. We are committed to continuing to bargain in good faith to get there. In the meantime, we are doing everything necessary to limit disruption to our residents and ensure patient care is in no way affected.”

Union officials in a statement to McKnight’s Long-Term Care News on Wednesday explained they hope the facilities can achieve the same gains other providers in the state have seen in recent months.

“We’ve been told for two years that we’re essential, yet I still can’t pay my bills or afford healthcare with the low wages I’m being paid,” said Nadine Lawrence, a CNA at the Bloomfield Health Care Center in Bloomfield, CT.

“On top of that, most of the Hartford nursing home providers like me are Black and brown, and we continue to show up to care for our residents even amid racial profiling and discrimination by management. I’m at my breaking point,” she added.

Buyers of massive Bloomfield MetLife property aim to lure workers back to office with premium amenities

Three decades ago, a 548,301-square-foot office building at 1300 Hall Blvd. in Bloomfield hosted thousands of Cigna workers.Today, the building leases to several companies with a combined workforce of about 1,000. But only about 200 people actually work there on any given day, according to the building owners.Real estate investors Harry Tawil, 36, and Jeffrey Chera, 32, have plans to turn that around.Tawil and Chera are principals in The Atrium CT, a limited liability company that bought the enormous glass-...

Three decades ago, a 548,301-square-foot office building at 1300 Hall Blvd. in Bloomfield hosted thousands of Cigna workers.

Today, the building leases to several companies with a combined workforce of about 1,000. But only about 200 people actually work there on any given day, according to the building owners.

Real estate investors Harry Tawil, 36, and Jeffrey Chera, 32, have plans to turn that around.

Tawil and Chera are principals in The Atrium CT, a limited liability company that bought the enormous glass-and-granite-sided office building from MetLife for $10.4 million on Nov. 5.

Tawil said the pair will spend “many millions” of dollars in the coming months upgrading building amenities, including reopening a large athletic center, adding indoor putting greens and more.

The idea is to create a work environment that lures people who have become accustomed to working from home during the pandemic. Companies that want to bring back the collaboration and efficiencies of office culture will be drawn to the building, called “The Atrium at Gillette Ridge.”

“People will come back to work,” Tawil said. “It is a matter of where they come to work. We want to be the preferred option and we are making considerable investment toward that goal.”

‘Great possibilities’

MetLife maintains a presence and is leasing 75,000 square feet. Other tenants include actuarial firm Hooker & Holcombe and Trinity Health. The office building has room for about 3,000 workers, Chera said.

It has a large fitness center outfitted with modern equipment, along with a studio that can be used for dance or yoga. There is an enormous, mothballed cafeteria and lounge areas.

A 40,000-square-foot atrium, topped with a glass-pane roof and featuring a waterfall fountain, is the centerpiece of the building. Offices are arranged around the open-air center on four floors.

Tawil and Chera said they plan to add a game room with billiards and pingpong tables. There will be a golf simulator and indoor artificial turf putting greens.

The partners hope to eventually reopen the cafeteria under the management of Miguel Proano and Karlina Fontaine – owners of the Blue Plate Kitchen in West Hartford and Pastrami on Wry in Manchester.

Proano and Fontaine are starting on a smaller scale, opening a corner canteen called Blue Plate Café. It will offer coffee, pastries, sandwiches, soups and some warm-food options from breakfast through lunch hours.

“We know there’s great possibilities for foot traffic, there’s great possibilities of a lot of people here, a captive audience, shall we say,” Proano said.

For now, the building’s lower head count allows for a soft opening, Proano said. They can get to know customers’ tastes.

“One of the things we do best in both our restaurants is build a big following of regulars and just being able to have that here, seeing the same people every day, knowing their order, that’s kind of what we do best,” Fontaine said.

Upgrading space

Tawil and Chera said they will replace furniture and tiles on the ground floor. Fluorescent lighting throughout the building will be replaced with LED bulbs.

The 50 acres around the massive building offer shuffleboard courts, baseball fields and walking trails. The partners will add bocce courts, seating areas and outside fire pits.

“An employee that comes here will be able to practice their golf swing, have a workout, take a walk around the grounds – all on their lunch break,” Chera said.

A second-quarter 2021 analysis by commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE highlighted the ongoing pandemic’s “significant” impact to the Greater Hartford office market.

Uncertain when employees would return, many companies opted for shorter-term leases. Office vacancies in the market hit 20.3% by the close of the second quarter.

Most Greater Hartford office lease deals this year have focused on recently renovated, high-quality space, as tenants looked to relocate and upgrade their offices, CBRE found.

Chris Ostop, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle in Hartford, said he anticipates a trend of companies consolidating to smaller, but nicer spaces.

Such moves shed unnecessary square footage in uncertain times without unsettling employees, Ostop said.

“You’ve accomplished the same thing as downsizing, but you’ve also improved the image and quality of the workplace,” Ostop said. “I think that’s what employers will be doing going forward. That’s what they are doing in every other market. It’s the flight to quality.”

As a former corporate headquarters, 1300 Hall Blvd., provides “a ton” of amenities in a good location, Ostop said.

“The bottom line is companies that have office spaces in nice buildings with great amenities are going to have better luck attracting their talent to come back into the office,” Ostop said.

Few office buildings have the room to offer amenities found in The Atrium building, said Joel M. Grieco, executive director at real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield.

Grieco brokered the Atrium sale and is now marketing the property to tenants.

“You can’t take a 100,000-square-foot building and dedicate 40,000 square feet to amenity space, but you can do that at The Atrium,” Grieco said.

The Atrium building came with two attached properties, a 100,000-square-foot manufacturing/warehouse building and a 41,000-square-foot “flex” building with high ceilings.

It cost Cigna about $130 million to build out the property in 1982, Grieco said.

Back then, the building was known as the “South Building,” part of a corporate campus that includes the 1957-vintage Wilde Building and a golf course.

Cigna sold the South Building to MetLife for $50 million in 2007, and consolidated offices into the Wilde building.

The Atrium’s current tenants are all large-scale users, but space can be carved out for offices of 2,000 to 3,000 square feet or smaller, Grieco said.

“We can lease to one- and two-people operations,” Grieco said.

Moving quickly

Tawil and Chera said they represent their families’ investments in the Atrium building. Chera’s family company, the Chera Realty Group, got its start in department stores then branched into real estate in the 1970s.

Tawil said his family operates through separate limited liability companies launched for individual projects.

Tawil and Chera said they have been searching for a joint investment opportunity for some time. They first stepped foot in the Bloomfield building in late July. MetLife wanted to sell by the close of the year, Chera said. An all-cash contract was reached in October. The deal closed Nov. 5.

Tawil said there was “a lot” of competition for the property.

“Part of the way we were able to secure the deal was our ability to move very quickly,” Tawil said. “It was really all hands on deck.”

Tawil said the building’s current tenants provide enough income to support expenses. The partners don’t have a prediction for how long it could take to fill the empty space.

“That’s the ten-and-a-half-million-dollar question," joked Chera.

The Atrium at Gillette Ridge

Address: 1300 Hall Blvd., Bloomfield

Size: 548,301-square-foot office building, 100,000-square-foot warehouse/manufacturing building, 41,000-square-foot flex space on 50 acres

The deal: MetLife sold the property to The Atrium CT LLC for $10.4 million on Nov. 5.

Available space: Office building is 50% leased, space available for one- and two-person tenants up to offices of 130,000 square feet on one floor.

Leasing: Starts at $22 per square foot, negotiable.

Amenities (current and pending): Breakfast and lunch bar, fitness center, dance/yoga studio, conference center rooms for rent, game room, indoor putting greens, golf simulator, outdoor fire pits, shuffleboard, bocce courts, baseball fields, walking trails, etc.

More info: www.1300hallboulevard.com

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