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April 9, 2024 Deal Watch

Pratt & Whitney eyes new 313K-square-foot office building in East Hartford

Contributed A rendering of the new planned Pratt & Whitney building.

Aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney could build a new 313,000-square-foot office building in East Hartford.

The new building would be part of a longer-term investment by the jet-engine maker in its East Hartford headquarters campus at Rentschler Field, which currently includes 4.8 million square feet of manufacturing, warehouse, laboratory, office and other space in several buildings.

The five-story office building, which recently received town approval, would cover a 16.6-acre portion of Pratt’s 251.2-acre campus. It’s designed to replace an existing 249,847-square-foot office building, which houses design and engineering staff and would be demolished. The footprint of the former building will be used for parking, after it’s torn down.

Between the new building and demolition, the project would result in a net gain of 63,143 square feet of office space for Pratt & Whitney, according to the company’s site-plan application.

No timeline has been placed on the project, and the town’s approval doesn’t guarantee it will happen, Pratt & Whitney said in a statement.

“We continually assess our Connecticut campus and options to improve on our current footprint to meet the needs of our business,” Pratt & Whitney said in a statement. “This site plan review in no way signals a commitment to build. Any plans and investments in our East Hartford campus will make Pratt & Whitney more competitive for recruiting and retention, ultimately benefiting Connecticut.”

Pratt’s deep roots

In 1929, a booming Pratt & Whitney moved its operations to a new plant on an 1,100-acre site in East Hartford, which included an airfield for engine testing, according to

Portions of the property have since been carved off for other uses. Most recently, in January 2023, Pratt sold 300 acres to Massachusetts-based National Development, which has since built two logistics warehouses on-site with a combined 2.5 million square feet.

The buildings have been fully leased to Lowe’s Home Improvement and online retailer Wayfair. National Development also has approval to build two smaller research and development buildings on-site.

In 2014, Pratt & Whitney parent company United Technologies Corp. — which is now known as RTX Corp., following its 2020 merger with Raytheon Technologies — agreed to invest up to $500 million over five years to upgrade and expand its East Hartford research and development and  manufacturing facilities. In exchange for that investment, state lawmakers — led by then Gov. Dannel P. Malloy — voted to allow the company to cash in up to $400 million in previously earned but unused tax credits to finance the construction projects.

The largest project was a new 425,000-square-foot engineering and technology building that debuted in 2017.

Meantime, Pratt & Whitney also continues to invest in facilities in other states. Earlier this month, Pratt announced it will invest $20 million to expand a key plant in West Palm Beach, Florida, to increase maintenance and repair capacity for its GTF engines.

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