EAST HARTFORD — The Massachusetts developer planning a massive logistics center and tech park development at Rentschler Field has bought 300 acres there for $78.47 million, records show.

East Hartford Mayor Michael Walsh expects National Development to build throughout this year and then gain occupancy permits for its first buildings in early 2024. Plans call for two logistics warehouses of up to a combined 2.5 million square feet, plus two smaller research and development buildings.

A National Development representative confirmed the sale Thursday but not the sales price. Based on the amount of conveyance tax paid to the town, National Development has paid $78.47 million.

A limited liability company affiliated with Newton, Massachusetts-based developer bought a collection of properties from Raytheon Technologies Corp. in a deed dated Jan. 3. The unusually lengthy deed also spells out responsibilities and remedies for cleanup of any discovered contamination.

Over the spring and summer, National Development gained town approvals for its buildings. It has also agreed to a one-time payment of $4 million to East Hartford in order to offset any impacts to the town.

While the purchase brings a new level of certainty to National Development’s plans, Mayor Walsh said he has long been confident in the project.

“I was certain of this development in March of 2022,” Walsh said. “Not everything that gets sketched out on paper comes true but this one makes sense to me and we welcomed it with open arms.”

While National Development has not announced its planned tenants yet, Walsh believes the development would bring about 2,000 jobs and spur “much-needed” development along nearby Silver Lane.

Walsh said the town is expecting $3.5 million in permitting and inspection fees for the two large logistics buildings and another $500,000 for the planned “technology and research park.”

The 300 acres are within an opportunity zone allowing tax benefits for the property owner, which would be partially offset through the state beginning in 2026, Walsh said. After five years, Walsh said, the town can expect about $4.5 million a year in taxes from the National Development site.

“This is a game-changer for the town of East Hartford,” Walsh said. “This development equals roughly the tax payments paid by Pratt & Whitney today. Essentially we have doubled our largest taxpayer’s commitment to the town.”

National Development used Rentschler 300 Land LLC for the East Hartford purchase. In a series of deeds also dated Jan. 3, the limited liability company divided the 300 acres among four other National Development-affiliated limited liability companies.

In August, the town Planning and Zoning approved the development plans for the 300 acres. National Development Managing Partner Andrew Gallinaro said at the time that the company’s goal was “to start construction at some point later this year.”

Later that month, the town signed a memorandum of understanding with ND Acquisitions LLC regarding the company’s development at Rentschler Field, which also included funding for a new athletic complex and construction of a portion of the East Coast Greenway.

The terms of the agreement presented to the Town Council states that ND Acquisitions would pay the town about $1.50 for every square foot of the development just south of Rentschler Field.

ND Acquisitions plans to construct two 100,000-square-foot high-tech manufacturing buildings and two large warehouses, for a total of more than 2 million square feet.

Both parties agreed that of the $4 million, 25% could be allocated to planning, design, and construction of the East Coast Greenway project. The other 75% would go to the construction or renovation of one or more athletic or recreational facilities.

EPOCH and National Development Open Waterstone of Lexington

Media— Nov 21, 2022

Jan 13, 2023