International Food Retailer Leases 975,000 SF at 1339 Tolland Turnpike

A food retailer that owns Stop & Shop and other supermarkets will run a grocery distribution center in a massive Manchester warehouse, bringing up to 700 new jobs to the town and region, company officials announced Tuesday.

Ahold Delhaize has signed a 15-year lease with Winstanley Enterprises for 975,000 square feet in the two-million-square-foot warehouse at 1339 Tolland Turnpike. The Netherlands-based company expects to move in on April 1, landlord Adam Winstanley said.

The recently renovated space will serve about 200 Stop & Shop supermarkets in Southern New England and New York state, handling 50-60 million cases of nonperishable food items each year, company officials said. From 500 to 700 workers will fulfill orders, Chris Lewis, a company executive vice president, said.

“We are thrilled that Winstanley and Ahold Delhaize have chosen to make such a significant investment in Manchester,” town planning and economic development Director Gary Anderson said. “A project of this scale and resulting in this many new jobs is a huge win for Manchester and the region.”

The Manchester lease is part of a $480 million investment by Ahold Delhaize to transform and expand its U.S. supply chain, the company said in a news release. Designed to increase efficiency, delivery speed and product freshness, the move includes purchases and leases of several warehouses and two frozen food facilities in the Northeast, according to the company. The company also owns Food Lion, Hannaford and Peapod, the online grocery retailer, among other businesses, a total of about 6,700 stores worldwide, according to its website.

J.C. Penney formerly owned the Manchester property. The department store retailer recently signed a five-year lease with Winstanley to continue using about 650,000 square feet in what is now called Manchester Logistics Hub.

Winstanley has been pumping $45 million into building improvements, including 26 new loading docks, a new rubber membrane roof, new mechanical systems, signs, plantings, landscaping, lighting, sprinklers and parking lot improvements. The overhaul was necessary to attract and keep tenants, Adam Winstanley has said.

The company also is taking advantage of a nationwide shift from brick-and-mortar retail to e-commerce, a change that has prompted growth in warehousing space. Some of the demand for that space is landing in Connecticut because of its central location, Winstanley said. Lewis said the Manchester location was ideal for his company’s distribution operation.

The town has appraised the building and 162 acres of land at $41.5 million. Winstanley bought the property last year for $70 million. The company is the seventh-highest taxpayer in town, with an annual real estate tax bill to the town of just over $1 million.

“This facility is one of the largest distribution warehouses on the Eastern Seaboard, and we are very excited to breathe new life into the property,” Winstanley said at the time “We look forward to working closely with the community, creating new local jobs and offering distribution tenants a top-tier facility centrally located here in Manchester.”

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