J.C. Penney sold its Manchester warehouse to a new owner who intends to revitalize the massive facility into a state-of-the-art distribution center.
J.C. Penney completed the sale to Winstanley Enterprises of Concord, Mass. at the end June and will acquire, for the price of $70 million, a 2 million-square-foot space located just off of Interstate 84 in Manchester. In a release, Winstanley said they intend to invest a further $40 million into making needed upgrades to the facility, including replacing the roof and updating mechanical and sprinkler systems.
The company said the facility’s location near major highways and rail was a key component in their interest in the property, and they hope to attract large distributors and manufacturing enterprises as tenants. J.C. Penney will stay on as a tenant after downgrading to 600,000-square feet of space.
One of the company’s principals, Adam Winstanley, said, “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.”
Elsie Serrano, who works in retail across the street from the warehouse’s Pleasant Valley Road entrance, hopes whatever tenants Winstanley ultimately attracts to the facility will offer high-paying jobs.
“Minimum wage nowadays is not even enough to work with,” she said.
Winstanley owns and operates other facilities in Connecticut, including Manchester’s Shoppes at Burr Corners, which is located less than a mile from the warehouse site. Scott Shanley, the town’s General Manager told NBC Connecticut that the company has been an engaged member of their business community.
“To have somebody willing to make the investment, and make full use of it, is just really good news for all of us,” he said.
J.C. Penney confirmed to NBC Connecticut that they will downsize the amount of space they are using in the facility, but said the move is to fit their current business needs and that no employees would be impacted. The company opened the Manchester warehouse in the early 1980s.