1339 Tolland Turnpike Preps for 1.0 MSF User

The owner of the former J.C. Penney warehouse — possibly the largest building in the state at almost 2 million square feet — is preparing half the space for a new tenant who could bring 700 jobs to Manchester, town planning and economic development Director Gary Anderson said Tuesday.

On Monday, the planning and zoning commission approved owner Winstanley Enterprises’ application to add 26 loading docks to the sprawling building on Tolland Turnpike. The new tenant has not been named, Anderson said, but a company representative told town officials that the distribution business wants to be in the building by March and will bring up to 700 new jobs.

Part of the application approved Monday is a reconfiguration of the parking lot to provide trailer access to dock doors and parking for 76 trailers and 92 trailer cabs, town planning officials said. The parking improvements, new docks, replacement of the rubber membrane roof, new LED lighting and other ongoing and planned work are part of $40 million in renovations that Winstanley owners promised when they bought the building last year for $70 million.

Former property owner J.C. Penney retains about 600,000 square feet for its operations and Winstanley is seeking a third tenant for the remaining space at 1339 Tolland Turnpike, Anderson said. The total 1.95-million-square-foot building also includes 33,900 square feet of office space.

The town has appraised the property at $41.5 million. When Winstanley bought the building and 162 acres of land, company principal Adam Winstanley touted the central location, highway and rail access and the site’s adaptability.

“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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