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September 6, 2023

Medical linen company eyes $30M Hartford expansion

CoStar 121 Wawarme Ave., Hartford.

Mayor Luke Bronin is seeking a 10-year tax-fixing deal for a medical linen company planning a $30 million expansion in Hartford.  

A&P Coat, Apron & Linen Supply LLC, a subsidiary of New York-based Unitex Textile Services, is planning to buy and refurbish a warehouse building at 121 Wawarme Ave., into an industrial laundry facility, according to a letter Bronin shared with the City Council.

The request is scheduled to be considered by the council at its Sept. 11 meeting.

Unitex currently operates two sites in Hartford, according to its website. It employs 90 people in the city; 70% are Hartford residents, according to Bronin’s letter. The new facility will open with 175 employees, a number that will grow to 220 when at full capacity, Bronin wrote.

The proposed 10-year tax abatement agreement “will provide the owners with some measure of financial predictability after making this significant capital investment in the City,” Bronin wrote.

Attempts to reach a Unitex representative were not immediately successful on Wednesday.

The century-old family company is headquartered in Elmsford, New York, and has 13 additional locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, according to its website.

The nearly 14.5-acre property at 121 Wawarme Ave., hosts a 33,043-square-foot truck terminal built in 1989 and a 144,370-square-foot warehouse completed in 1981, according to assessing records.

The site previously served as a Hartford Courant insertion and distribution facility. It was purchased by New Milford-based industrial property investor HMC Real Estate Partners in 2021 for $2.1 million.

According to an information packet provided to the council, Unitex expects to pay about $9 million for the property, with plans to divide it and convey the smaller property.

Unitex intends to keep, renovate and equip the larger building, at a cost of approximately $20 million, according to the council information.

The tax-fixing agreement would apply a $125,100 real estate tax bill on the property in 2026, when the industrial laundry facility is expected to debut. The real estate portion of the property tax bill would go to $0 for four years starting in 2027, and gradually increase over the remaining period of the deal. A&P Coat, Apron & Linen Supply LLC would also have to pay personal property tax on its equipment. 

It wasn't immediately clear how much money the company would save over the 10-year tax-fixing agreement. 

A little less than one year ago, Hartford’s Planning and Zoning Commission granted River Growers CT permission to open a 128,000-square-foot cannabis cultivation operation at 121 Wawarme Ave. It also wasn't immediately clear what happened with that project.

Here's a look at the tax-fixing agreement being proposed by Bronin:


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