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Designers find home in former Unilever site

October 10, 2018

With a sizable vacancy to fill since Unilever’s Trumbull departure, a new lease has gotten the ball rolling again in the Class A commercial building

Trumbull-based graphic design business Newbury Rain has signed a seven-year lease to move into roughly 6,000 square feet of space at 75 Merritt Blvd.

“It’s a pretty gigantic move for us,” said Hamza Naqvi, managing director of business development. “It was a pretty big move for us to go to that space and to find a permanent home for us for the foreseeable future.”

The lease has increased the family-run business’ footprint in Trumbull threefold, from its 2,000 square-foot space at 35 Nutmeg Drive where Naqvi’s wife, Amanda, established the company 10 years ago.

Newbury Rain provides personalized design and production services. The company works with clients to create custom artwork for homes, nurseries, weddings and daily life with a team of designers, or “design gurus,” as Naqvi called them.

From wedding backdrops to house artwork, once clients are happy with the end result, the business produces the item in house.

“Everything we design we also make, unlike most other competitors of ours who use massive outsourcing companies in the U.S. or overseas,” Naqvi said.

With recent company growth and more projected over the next few years, he said the relocation was necessary. The company needed a larger space to house its team of designers along with its production department.

Newbury Rain has 25 employees and is expected to grow by roughly 40 percent next year, according to Naqvi, who said the business will look to expand its reach on different platforms like Etsy where it has seen growth over the years.

The graphic design business is the first tenant to move into the former Unilever site since that company made its way to Shelton last year, leaving a 100,000-square-foot vacancy in the town’s office real estate market. At one point, Unilever had 1,100 employees in Trumbull.

The transaction was brokered by Norwalk-based Avison Young, which represented the landlord. This is the firm’s second Trumbull-based deal in recent months since securing a lease for 21,000 square feet with D-BAT, a baseball and softball training company, at 30 Nutmeg Drive in Trumbull.

While a 6,000-square-foot lease will not fill the former Unilever building, Avision Young agent Christopher Grundy sees it as just the beginning as they look to attract more businesses to the site.

“This is more than a drop in the bucket,” he said. “This is great for the building because the main thing is to get activity and get it started.”

Grundy said the Norwalk firm is in negotiations with other potential tenants..

Jordan.grice@hearstmediact.com

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