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November 14, 2023

Wayfair trying to sublease half of 1.2M-sq.-ft. building under construction in East Hartford 

Andrew Larson | Hartford Business Journal National Development is putting the finishing touches on this 1.2-million-square-foot warehouse at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. Online Retailer Wayfair has signed a lease for the building and now aims to sublet half of the building for a term of one to three years.

Online home goods retailer Wayfair is seeking a tenant to sublease half of a 1.2-million-square-foot warehouse under construction at East Hartford’s Rentschler Field. 

Massachusetts-based National Development broke ground on a 300-acre development site at Rentschler Field early this year. At a ceremony in March, the real estate development and investment company confirmed that Lowe's Home Improvement signed a lease to occupy a 1.3-million-square-foot warehouse and Wayfair would occupy the neighboring 1.2-million-square-foot building.

However, broker CBRE began advertising up to 600,000 square feet of the Wayfair building for sublease in October, with a possible term of one to three years, sources confirmed to the Hartford Business Journal. 

A CBRE representative declined comment Tuesday morning. 

In an emailed statement, Wayfair spokeswoman Susan Frechette confirmed the company is seeking to sublease a portion of its East Hartford space "as we grow into our operations in this location." 

"We look forward to joining the Hartford Community," reads a portion of the statement.

The two massive logistics buildings at Rentschler Field are nearly complete and are expected to receive occupancy permits in the first quarter of 2024. 

Wayfair, a prominent name in online retailing, announced plans in January to cut 10% of its global workforce as part of a broader cost-cutting effort as persistently high inflation has put pressure on consumer spending, according to Reuters.

It announced a smaller cut to staffing levels in August 2022. 

Wayfair reported net revenue of $2.9 billion for the third quarter of 2023, up 3.7% from the same period last year, but a net loss of $163 million, or a per-share loss of $1.40.

Wayfair’s net loss of $564 million for the first three quarters of 2023 is an improvement over the $980 million loss during the same period last year.

Wayfair co-chairman Niraj Shah said the company’s improving metrics have positioned it to “drive profitability” and invest in growth, according to a news release accompanying its third-quarter earnings release.

National Development also has approval to build two, 100,000-square-foot manufacturing buildings at Rentschler Field, and CBRE is currently marketing those sites to potential tenants. 

New East Hartford Mayor Connor Martin, who was sworn in Monday, said the change makes little difference from the town's perspective. There may need to be some adjustment to the permitting for signage, which originally anticipated just the Lowe's and Wayfair names, he said.

National Development's project has run incredibly smoothly, said Martin, who served as chief-of-staff to his predecessor, former Mayor Michael Walsh. 

"It is one of the smoothest projects we have going on," Martin said. "We are glad it is on schedule and we stand ready to support the project as best we can." 







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