Amvest Realty and Development has paid $30 million for 199 Benson Road in Middlebury, the world headquarters of chemical company Crompton Corp.

The rental dollars from a successful chemical company were the backbone of the $30 million sale of the company’s world headquarters.

Winstanley Enterprises, a Concord, Mass.-based real estate investment firm, last week sold the Middlebury building that houses chemical company Crompton Corp. to Amvest Realty and Development. The price translates to $93.75 per square foot.

Crompton has been in the building since 1971. Its current lease expires in 2017.

“[The building] offers a good, long-term stable investment backed by Crompton Corp.’s solid credit and their 100 years in the chemical business,” Jeffrey Dunne of CB Richard Ellis’ Tri-State Investment Team said in a prepared statement. “Amvest should fare very well in the long term with this investment.”

The building, which is located just off Interstate 84 at 199 Benson Road, is a 3-story office/laboratory facility set on a 106-acre parcel on a corporate campus known as Corporate Woods. IBM, Duracell and Bayer operate buildings there and the campus has a 38,000-square-foot power plant that produces steam and hot and chilled water for the main building. The campus also has a cafeteria and a wellness center.

The deal comes as the industrial and office markets in the Middlebury and Waterbury area are relatively stagnant. Drubner Industrials, a Waterbury-based commercial real estate company that specializes in industrial and office space, publishes a study on those markets every two years, said Drubner associate Paul Rodia.

“Basically, the market over the last 24 months has demonstrated weakness,” he said.

But the weakness may, in part, be due to several large buildings that have stood vacant for a long time and skew the vacancy rates, Rodia said, noting that there has been no expansion of note in the past couple of years. Before that, demand was coming from Fairfield and Westchester counties, but that has diminished, he said.

“Basically, there’s been no demand coming from those markets,” Rodia said.

In general, the demand for office space is lower than it used to be because technology has made nearly all industries more efficient, which has led to smaller staffs and less necessity for lots of office space, Rodia said.

“Your business can function in less space because of technological advances,” he said.

‘Ready to Go’

The sale of Crompton’s headquarters will have little effect on the market overall because the building is already fully leased and that will not change, but the sale could bring growth down the road, Rodia said.

“The sale of that property was more based on investment rather than expansion,” he said.

But the parcel of land Amvest bought is well suited for expansion, Rodia added. There is room on the 106 acres to add more buildings as the economic climate improves. There is also the footprint of a 50,000-square-foot hotel that the previous owners razed for tax purposes, Rodia said. If the new owners wanted to add on, they could build on that footprint.

“The good news is … there’s certainly room for additional buildings on that site,” he said.

The space would be ideal for new office buildings as demand picks up, Rodia said. The location right off Interstate 84 makes it a good location, he said.

“That site is ready to go,” Rodia said.

The sale itself is somewhat encouraging, Rodia said, because the seller purchased the building at a much lower rate than it was sold for last week. The price was based on the rental return and the capitalization rate based on rental rates.

CB Richard Ellis associates from all over the state brokered the deal. Tim Fegan, Steve Inglese, Bill Bronson, John McCormick and Patrick Mulready collaborated with Dunne to represent Winstanley Enterprises. The team also procured the buyer.

“The sale represented a team marketing effort and demonstrates how CBRE continues to bring new investors to the markets,” McCormick said. “The property offered a stable cash flow and development potential for the buyers.”

Carter Winstanley and David Winstanley of Winstanley Enterprises represented their company in the sale. Leslie Olear, a partner with Hartford-based Cohn Birnbaum & Shea, provided the legal expertise for the team.

Crompton is a global producer and marketer of polymer products and specialty chemicals, according to its Web site. The company took on its current form in 1999 when Crompton & Knowles Corp. and Witco Corp. merged. Crompton now has about 5,500 employees.