NORTH HAVEN –– Frank Hird has high hopes for the rebirth of the 165-acre former Pratt & Whitney property at 409-415 Washington Avenue.
“There’s going to be very significant activity there over the next five years,” predicts Hird, vice president of OR& L Commercial, which has the exclusive listing for the site.
OR&L recently announced plan to create a “NewConn Intermodal Park” on the site, and is marketing the property as “the largest industrial development site” in southern Connecticut. The outdated 1.3-million-square-foot Pratt & Whitney building will be razed, and Hird expects demolition work to begin in the next month or so.
“It’s a fantastic site, with a four-lane road going in and out, and easy access to I-91 and the Wilbur Cross parkway,” Hird says. “We could put a rail siding in. It has heavy power available, city water, city sewer and there is a very large high-pressure gas line on the property.”
Hird became interested in the site last summer, while seeking space to construct a building for a client. But the owners, 409-451 Washington Ave. Partners, “didn’t want to sell what amounted to a small lot,” Hird recalls. “Being a broker, I did the natural follow-up question: ‘Well, what are you doing with the property?’ It really was set up for a single user and just doesn’t work for the requirements of today’s marketplace. We advised them to demolish the building, and they gave us the listing.”
The property is generating “significant interest,” Hird reports, “from a wide variety of companies looking for large modern buildings that would include office, warehouse distribution and potentially any kind of manufacturing.
“We’ve developed a wide variety of plans, and we can accommodate anything from 100,000 to over one million square feet,” he adds. “We’ll deliver what the market demands. Even if they aren’t LEED buildings, they will be more efficient because modern building techniques are so far advanced.”
OR&L many not necessarily construct the buildings, Hird says, because the owners could decide to sell lots to buyers bringing in their own builders.
Hird also is bullish about other defunct manufacturing properties he’s marketing. “The former 650,000-square-foot Pratt & Whitney building (at 75 Aircraft Road) in Southington, is getting good activity,” he says. “So is the former ThermoSpas (a 140,000-square-foot structure at 155 East Street in Wallingford featuring 24-foot clear ceiling heights and 80-column spacing).
“It has got me thinking,” Hird concludes, that “this is going to be a