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Brady Sullivan buys Anthem property in Manchester

New Hampshire Union Leader

May 07. 2014 8:52PM
Brady Sullivan purchased the Anthem Blue Cross building at Goffs Falls Road on Pine Island in Manchester on Wednesday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER — Brady Sullivan Properties did not have to go far for its latest acquisition.

The Mill Yard-based developer is the new owner of the complex that was home to Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield New Hampshire at 3000 Goffe’s Falls Road, just north of Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

“It’s a great campus setting and we’re just thrilled to have it as part of our portfolio,” owner Arthur Sullivan said Wednesday.

The property includes two buildings, with about 210,000 square feet, on 34 acres overlooking Pine Island Pond. Anthem recently completed its move to a new downtown space on Elm Street before its lease expired April 30.

Brady Sullivan obtained the entire campus last month for $5 million from SNH Medical Office Properties Trust of Newton, Mass., and has been fielding calls from a range of potential tenants. The property also features more than 850 parking spaces as well as tranquil outdoor amenities, including its own island.

“Obviously, we’re hoping to get one tenant. That would be ideal,” Sullivan said. “Either way, we also have it all laid out to break it into smaller spaces.”

Sullivan would not name the interested parties because the discussions have all been preliminary, although three have already toured the property.

Brady Sullivan attorney Marc Pinard outlined the potential uses to the Board of Aldermen’s Committee on Lands and Buildings during a meeting Tuesday night, including colleges or universities. While the campus setting would be ideal for a school, the future tenant or tenants will depend on the market.

“Brady Sullivan has done pretty well with making properties work and we’re very excited about this one,” Pinard said Wednesday.

Sullivan said schools have been among the inquiries as well as businesses, one of which was particularly attracted to the property’s proximity to the airport.

“If everything goes right, hopefully some time in the next six months we could start to see some tenants moving in,” Sullivan said. “We’re in no rush. We bought the property at a price where we can take our time with it.”

Mayor Ted Gatsas said he got a close look at the property when Anthem donated some furniture to the city during its move. At the time, Gatsas said he knew of a few interested buyers and was happy to see Brady Sullivan close the deal.

“I think it’s important,” Gatsas said.

Gatsas, back at work this week after taking time to recover from heart bypass surgery a month ago, thought the property would also make a great retail center. Sullivan said the company is making some cosmetic updates, but the property will be ready whenever the future tenant or tenants wish.

“We are in discussions, but those type of transactions don’t happen overnight,” he said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for Manchester to bring in more jobs. That’s always a very positive thing for everybody.”

Anthem first moved to the property in 1992, but no longer needed so much space and announced last summer it was relocating to 1155 Elm St. Gatsas said the city wins on both transactions by keeping Anthem in town and having Brady Sullivan taking over the on Goffs Falls Road property, which has been a business complex since the late 1970s.

“There’s a lot of opportunity at that location,” Sullivan said.

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