File photo

One of downtown Hartford’s major office tenants is decamping for the suburbs.

Hartford HealthCare recently bought a 133,500-square-foot office building on 9 Farm Springs Road in Farmington for $14.25 million, and plans to centralize its office workers there. The property is part of a cluster of office buildings just off Exit 37 on Interstate 84.

“Hartford HealthCare is constantly evaluating its real estate strategy. As part of that ongoing process, Hartford HealthCare has worked to bring together many different offices and leases into strategically located system support offices across the state. Moving different offices to one location at 9 Farm Springs creates a more engaging work environment, lowers operating and utility costs and generates millions in savings in overhead, while freeing up important clinical space for patients. The new location is projected to reduce the overall footprint by nearly 60 percent,” the company said in a statement. “We work to be good stewards of the properties we own and lease, and are proud to be contributing members of the local community and economies.”

The Hartford Business Journal first reported the sale. CBRE represented the seller and Avison Young represented the hospital network.

Shortly before the pandemic hit in 2020, the hospital chain announced plans to lease and renovate 82,000 square feet in the 100 Pearl St. tower, only to announce an about-face less than six months later.

The Hartford-area area office vacancy rate hit 25.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022, Cushman & Wakefield reported, an improvement over the second quarter but following about 1 million square feet of negative absorption between January and October. Downtown Hartford had 1.74 million square feet of vacant space at the end of last year, plus another 410,502 square feet of space available on the sublease markete.