Future Uncertain for Danbury’s Matrix As More Companies Leave
There are many questions being raised these days about the future of the Matrix Corporate Center in Danbury after five more companies have decided to leave the building.
It was an extreme state of the art building when it first opened in the early '80s. It was the home of Union Carbide, thousands of employees worked there daily, and the future looked bright for what is now called the Matrix Cooperate Center in Danbury.
Here's a promotional video released when Union Carbide first opened the building in 1982:
In 2001, Dow Chemical purchased Union Carbide and relocated much of their employees, thus starting the building's decline.
According to newstimes.com, in 2007, the building was sold to a private investor for $80 million. Then, in 2009, a Long Island investment company, the Matrix Reality Group, purchased the building for a little more than $73 million, and had high hopes for its future. However in 2015, the real estate group's CEO died in a car accident, and some of the biggest companies that were leasing at the time started to leave. In 2016, Praxair left the building for another Danbury location. Also that same year, Boehringer Ingelheim announced layoffs, and consolidated its operations at its Ridgefield headquarters. That left another vacant wing. All these vacancies left the building in receivership with much of its 1.2 million square feet available for lease.
Just recently, five more companies that called the Matrix home have left. General Motors Corp., Chipman & Mazzucco, Jack Morton Worldwide, Agency 720 and Martin Retail Group have all signed leases at another Danbury Office Park leaving the future of the Maxtrix in jeopardy.
Over the last month, Mayor Mark Boughton, has appealed to Amazon to relocate to Danbury and use the Matrix as their home, but it just doesn't look like a feasible option at this time. With downsizing and many employees of large companies now working from home, large office space is no longer needed in the marketplace.
So what's next for the Matrix? In the past, plans were in the works to cut back on the retail space and possibly convert the building into a banquet and convention center, or a senior living center, even a hotel. None of those ever materialized. There's also been some talk about demolishing the structure to build residential housing and condos, but the tremendous cost of that would run into millions of dollars.
The Matrix has been part of the Danbury market for a long time, but for now it's basically a wait and see game.
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