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May 2, 2024

CT Dept. of Public Health inks major East Hartford lease to store PPE, other emergency supplies

COSTAR 88 Long Hill St., East Hartford

The state Department of Public Health (DPH) has signed a lease to occupy an East Hartford industrial property, which it plans to use as a warehouse for storing personal protective equipment and other emergency supplies.

DPH has signed a lease to occupy 127,529 square feet of space in the First Brands Building, at 88 Long Hill St. 

The deal represents one of the largest recent leases signed in Greater Hartford.

The 515,000-square-foot property is owned by East Hartford Business Park LLC, which purchased the building in 1998 for $7.2 million, town records show.

The LLC traces back to Los Angeles-based real estate development and investment firm Industrial Realty Group LLC.

The property has a current appraised value of $12.9 million, records show. Ameriport Logistics Inc. is the largest tenant in the building, occupying 167,518 square feet. 

DPH will use its space to store a state-managed stockpile of PPE and other emergency supplies that are “intended for emergency use only,” according to Chris Boyle, an agency spokesman. 

88 Long Hill St., East Hartford

The stockpile was created as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to major shortages of equipment and protective gear for healthcare workers and other first responders. That led Connecticut and other states to compete for supplies during the worst of the pandemic. 

In April 2022, DPH was selected by the Lamont administration to continue to manage the state’s PPE stockpile and find a new location to store it, Boyle said. Previously, the supplies were stored in a New Britain facility and managed by the state departments of Emergency Services and Public Protection, and Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. 

DPH worked with the state Department of Administrative Services, which handles the state’s real estate portfolio, to identify a suitable location, Boyle said. A lease was signed for the East Hartford warehouse in 2023, which eliminated a management company and reduced costs, Boyle said.  The fixed-base monthly rent is $66,421.35, he said.

The new warehouse location will continue in place through December 2026, he added. 

The state in 2020 considered spending up to $6.8 million to purchase the 138,000-square-foot former Sam’s Club building in Manchester to store PPE during the pandemic, but that deal fell through. 

Sean Kumnick and Nicholas Morizio, of Colliers, represented the landlord in the East Hartford lease deal. 

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