Winstanley Sees More Growth in CT
“We don’t buy into” the negative narrative about the Connecticut economy, company principal Adam Winstanley said recently. “It’s been a great state to do business in. Our company is very bullish on Connecticut.”
Winstanley owns about 5 million square feet of warehouse/distribution space in north-central Connecticut, it website says. The company also lists the potential to build another 1.6 million square feet.
The real estate investment firm, based in Concord, Massachusetts, this month announced one of its largest acquisitions in the state to date, the J.C. Penney distribution center at 1339 Tolland Turnpike in Manchester. In addition to paying $70 million for the nearly 2 million-square-foot facility, the company plans to spend $40 million on upgrades.
J.C. Penney plans to shrink its presence in the building to 600,000-square feet, but Winstanley said he anticipates no shortage of occupants for the remaining 1.4 million square feet.
His company has a solid track record of buying and upgrading buildings in the state, then attracting high-value tenants, he said.
He cited the renovation of the former American Standard Co. toilet manufacturing plant in Plainfield. In March, Pennsylvania-based Morgan Truck Body LLC announced it would use the 175,000-square-foot building for a new manufacturing plant that will employ about 140 workers.
The plant will produce truck bodies for the dry freight and refrigerated industries, Morgan, which bills itself as North America’s largest manufacturer of medium-duty truck bodies, said.
Winstanley owns a large number of commercial and industrial properties in north-central Connecticut, including the former Hallmark complex in Enfield, which had been empty since 2016.
That, too, has been a success story, Winstanley said. The site has two tenants, Veritiv, an Atlanta-based distribution company, and Plastipak, a manufacturer of plastic bottles based in Michigan. The two companies combined employ about 90 workers.
Winstanley in November acquired a 1-million-square-foot grocery-distribution facility at 500 North St. in Windsor Locks for $50 million.
The building is leased long term to Massachusetts supermarket chain Stop & Shop, which in turn subleases the facility to regional grocery supplier C&S Wholesale Grocers.
Winstanley said Connecticut officials could do more to encourage start-up companies, which often transition into major ventures but have difficulty getting development money in Connecticut.
The state could establish some type of quasi-public agency to facilitate funding such ventures, he said.
The Winstanley firm dates back to 1973 when family patriarch David Winstanley formed Winstanley Associates, according to the company website. In 1993 sons Adam and Carter came into the firm, which changed its name to Winstanley Enterprises.
Since then, Winstanley has acquired and developed more than 115 properties comprising more than 16 million square feet involving a variety of uses including industrial and logistics, laboratory-biotech, retail, and multifamily residential office, the website adds.
In addition to warehouse space, Winstanley owns the Plaza at Burr Corners in Manchester, a shopping center, and Great Pond Village, a 652-acre mixed-use development in Windsor, which it is developing with ABB Inc.