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June 25, 2024

Pratt & Whitney proposes nearly 50% increase in size of new East Hartford office building

Contributed A rendering of the newly proposed building at Pratt & Whitney's East Hartford campus.

Pratt & Whitney is proposing to increase the size of a new planned office building on its East Hartford campus by nearly 50%, with the addition of two stories, including outdoor amenities for employees and greenspace.

The jet-engine maker has submitted a revised zoning application to the town, which is on the agenda for the Planning and Zoning Commission’s meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

A spokesman for Pratt & Whitney's parent company, RTX, said the zoning application does not signal any commitment to build the new office, but is a required step as it reviews and considers real estate options.

"We continually assess our Connecticut campus and options to improve on our current footprint to meet the needs of our business," the company's statement said.

Pratt & Whitney originally received approval for a 313,00-square-foot building with five stories. The new plans call for a 465,000-square-foot building with seven stories.

The seventh story includes outdoor amenity areas for employees, including a patio and vegetated “green roof.” The footprint of the building will not change.

Under the proposal, an existing 249,847-square-foot office building, which houses design and engineering staff, will be demolished to make way for the new building and an adjacent employee parking lot.

Under the original proposal, the parking lot contained 1,347 spaces; the new plans show 1,458 parking spaces.

The increased size of the office building would not require any changes in the grading, drainage, utilities, lighting or landscaping from the original approval, the application states.

The project would result in a net increase of 215,143 square feet of office space at Pratt & Whitney’s 251.2-acre campus at 400 Main St. 

The original plan had a net gain of 63,143 square feet of office space.

The new building is located on a 17.75-acre portion of the campus, near Runway Road, which runs along the eastern outskirts of the property.

Pratt & Whitney is asking the town for zoning approval of the site plan modification.

The company has been redeveloping its East Hartford campus, which once spanned more than 1,000 acres, for years.

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.

One of the major projects, a new 425,000-square-foot engineering and technology building, debuted in 2017.

In January 2023, Pratt & Whitney 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.

At the same time, Pratt & Whitney is continuing to invest outside of its home state.

In May, the company announced it would invest $20 million to expand a key plant in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Pratt & Whitney said the expansion would increase the capacity of the Florida maintenance, repair and overhaul facility for its GTF engine by 40% by the second half of 2025.

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