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A nearly-800,000-square-foot office building in downtown Stamford is being foreclosed on by its lender, Wilmington Trust Co.

The Delaware bank, which is owned by Buffalo-based M&T Bank, filed a petition to foreclose on First Stamford Place with the city clerk’s office on April 3. The owner, Empire State Realty Trust, acknowledged the “consensual foreclosure” in a securities filing April 4.

The 776,859-square-foot office building, a short walk from Stamford’s Metro-North train station, was the subject of a $164 million loan from JPMorgan Chase in 2017, and Empire State Realty Trust’s SEC filing said it had owed $176 million on the property via a loan due in July 2027.

The building was appraised at $239.87 million, according to city property records. Empire State Realty Trust had bought the building in 2013 for $152.38 million.

In its 2023 annual report, Empire State Realty Trust said First Stamford Place was 82.3 percent leased to 48 tenants, and 78.7 percent occupied. It was generating $26.69 million per year in rent, or $43.38 per square foot.

Empire State’s other Stamford property, the 281,510-square-foot Metro Center building, was 70.9 percent leased to 20 tenants, generating $10.91 million per year or $54.71 per square foot.

The REIT had previously sold the MerrittView office building in Norwalk in 2022 because then-current leases weren’t able to pay the mortgage, executives said in a previous earnings call.

The Fairfield County office market slowed even further in the first quarter, according to recent reports by brokerage CBRE.

CBRE pegged the availability rate county-wide at 27.2 percent following 159,214 square feet of negative absorption and leasing activity that was 13 percent below the five-year quarterly average.

The company put downtown Stamford’s availability rate at 24.3 percent of the market following nearly 100,000 square feet of negative absorption during the quarter, with an average asking rent of $47.21 per square foot per year. Downtown Stamford’s 65,000 square feet of first-quarter leasing activity was the lowest the submarket had seen since 2020, the brokerage said.