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The Hartford to Sell Simsbury Facility, Consolidate Operations in Hartford and Windsor

Simsbury officials were informed on Wednesday that The Hartford plans to sell its Simsbury office location.

Submitted release

Simsbury town officials, including First Selectman Mary A. Glassman and Board of Finance Chair Paul Henault, were informed late this afternoon that The Hartford plans to sell its facility in Simsbury and consolidate operations in Hartford and Windsor. 

The Hartford represented that the relocation and sale process would take between eighteen and twenty-four months.  Currently the Hartford has 1,500 employees in the Simsbury facility along with an additional 300 Prudential and MassMutual employees.

“We are obviously disappointed that the Hartford – Simsbury’s largest taxpayer – is relocating,” said Glassman, who added that the Town will work closely with The Hartford and the State Department of Economic and Community Development to ensure that potential buyers are fully aware of the benefits of doing business in the Town of Simsbury.  “We are confident that potential buyers will recognize the many advantages of living and doing business here,” Ms. Glassman added.   Glassman also noted that the Town will take proactive measures to protect Simsbury’s interests, including creation of an advisory committee to work with officials from the Hartford and the State as marketing and sale of the building proceeds.

For Fiscal Year 2013 The Hartford’s total tax liability to the Town, including real estate and personal property taxes, was $1,763,366.  The building, which is located at 200 Hopmeadow Street, is 638,174 square feet and according to representatives from The Hartford can accommodate up to 2,900 employees.

Read more about The Hartford's decision to sell the Simsbury facility

 

Wyatt February 28, 2013 at 02:09 PM
According to the Hartford, "We selected Hartford because it has been the company's home for more than 200 years, and we have ample space here for employees," said Shannon Lapierre, a spokeswoman for The Hartford. It makes sense for the company to keep its headquarters. "We selected our Windsor facility because of size, layout, technology features and energy efficiency." It also makes sense for a company to keep a better facility. So again, what is the basis for your comment?
Wyatt February 28, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Yes, when it closed its Southington office. Now that the company is smaller (due to recent sales) it has less of a need for office space.
Wyatt February 28, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Why do you think he would oppose filling an empty office building?
J A February 28, 2013 at 06:37 PM
@Jay DaVivo.. Your assessment of my position being the same sin is inaccurate. There are people in town opposed to Big Y (and the other larger projects that have tried) for nothing more than "aesthetics" with little regard to financial impact. Simsbury, to a large cluster of the high tech firms you point, is not attractive based on the facts I pointed to relative to the Route 128 corridor. As for you assessment of talent, were it true that high tech could be brought based on UCONN, etc. I pose the question back then as to why we've not seen major technology centers (along your lines) already popping up? You're right about the school system, but it isn't because of what the town provides, it is solely because of dedicated staff. Let's not try to give credit where it isn't due. The fact that large multi-national corporations are within a ten mile radius provide no solace either.. the one we had in town is about to move out.. in fact all the ones you're probably talking about are outside Simsbury.. Do you think that coincidence? Corporations don't come to a town because of uniqueness, quaintness, because it's bucolic.. They relocate for financials, and sorry.. for large corporate needs, we are pretty much in the middle of nowhere. There is no close access to the interstate and do you view a slew of tractor trailers on Route 10 for your proposed industries as feasible for residents or the businesses? Finally, if we can attract growth business, why haven't we?
Jay DeVivo February 28, 2013 at 07:12 PM
We haven’t attracted high-growth business because there has been no well-coordinated effort to do so. Given all of Simsbury’s positive attributes, I refuse to believe that the fact we are 20 minutes from a freeway on-ramp is an insurmountable barrier to positive economic development.
J A February 28, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Jay.. Again.. You keep avoiding the obvious question.. First, we have a business development group whose job it is to attract business to Simsbury.. Did it take The Hartford's leaving for someone to wake up and say.."Gee, maybe we should get more serious".. What have they been doing up to now? The more logicil position there would be that HOPEFULLY they have been trying and have not had huge success. Any other answer is a very damaging statement about what's happening at Town Hall..and therefore, what is the "special committee" going to do different that the business development group should have been doing all along?? Believe what you want.. it isn't just on and off ramps. We have no rail, only a two lane road through the center of town, and very congested access from just about any other route in. Can we have economic development? I, like everyone, hopes so..but your initial post was large amount of high tech companies. THAT takes much more than we currently have, so any incremental growth would be small and not make up a $1.7M tax loss anytime soon. Do you realize how much town services are effected by the loss of $1.7M? Which are you ready to give up in the short term until that's replenished (if ever).. Police? BOE? which?? Something has to be cut to balance the loss?
POODETWA February 28, 2013 at 08:13 PM
THE SOCCER HAGS W/TH THEIR HOMES IN FORECLOSURE ARE TOO RUDE. LOTS OF FORECLOSURES IN TOWN. SIMSBURY IS BECOMING GHETTO ---HAH
Robert Johnson February 28, 2013 at 08:26 PM
this post is simply too rational and positive to be in the comments section of an online news article
POODETWA February 28, 2013 at 08:29 PM
i know of a lot of people w/fully paid mortgages and they are leaving this town. so simsbury becomes a newark.
POODETWA February 28, 2013 at 08:31 PM
who needs another grocery store in simsboring. i'll be sure to go to mass...
POODETWA February 28, 2013 at 08:36 PM
who the heck wants to live in simsboring. retail really? when people are losing jobs--- can they afford to shop? how about all the empty space in town? mmmmmmmmaryworks with mmmmmmmmmalloy-- i will do my shopping elsewhere not here
POODETWA February 28, 2013 at 08:39 PM
i agree. my pets would go to a private school--- not simsbury HIGH
POODETWA February 28, 2013 at 08:42 PM
mr mmmmmmmmmmmalllllllloy is focused on abusway to nowhere. we should focus on public transportation in simsboring
Mike Bradley February 28, 2013 at 10:46 PM
Nothing will be cut. Just get ready to open up your wallets!
POODETWA March 01, 2013 at 11:59 PM
HOW ABOUT BUILDING A JUVENILE FACILITY OR A MINIMUM PRISON. JOBS WOULD BE CREATED AND REVENUE WOULD BE GENERATED.
POODETWA March 02, 2013 at 12:03 AM
a prison or juvey facility would do just fine
POODETWA March 02, 2013 at 12:05 AM
ct transportation? extra buses might help
40 Year Resident March 04, 2013 at 12:08 AM
As a resident of Simsbury as well as someone who works in the facility in Simsbury, the fact is, the location was opened close to 30 years ago. While updated to a certain extent, its location and layout poses challenges to finding an organization to replace The Hartford's tenancy in town. Personally, I cannot see why a corporation would be willing to move their business operations to this location which is admittedly difficult to access, and certainly not 'cutting edge'. The investment to bring the actual facility up to standards would be substantial. Furthermore, spend some time on Route 10 between the hours of 7 AM and 8:30 AM between Dyno Nobel and Abigail's traveling south, and Route 44 and Abigail's traveling north. The travel issues in and of itself are evident. While 'looking in from the outside' may not have afforded the vision to believe that The Hartford's Simsbury location might close, given the changes the corporation has gone through in the past 18 month this decision should not be a surprise at all. All this being said, the town of Simsbury needs to make a concerted effort to bring business here. Somewhere in this thread someone commented about the challenges Big Y is facing in getting their plans off the ground. Have people driven by the former Wagner facility? It's an eyesore and blight on the north end of town. It's time to act on that effort and seek others as well.
Thomas E. Brown March 04, 2013 at 04:18 AM
You have Mass Mutual and Prudential that have bought off parts of The Hartford's business assets but are still operating under the same roof. Unfortunately, there are no economies of scale for them to remain in Simsbury. There are a few other financial companies that are in play right now that could very well be hosted in Simsbury. The problem is that the unfunded future liabilities at the state and local levels are not incentives but financial barriers to entry into this market. To keep the promises means to raise taxes and what company wants to sign a long term lease with that looming. With the public provided incentives outweighing the tax liability, Jackson Labs is on the bus line and the mouse cage cleaners can access green public transportation. It's really great to see the government not squandering an opportunity like that. As a player, Simsbury, an Agenda 21, bicycle friendly town, should be able to attract federal funding for some type of a green business enterprise like Solindra or A123 Battery to set up their facilities here for a spell. Maybe even a PAD zoning change and mixed use development is in order. After all, America is the land of opportunity.
POODETWA March 04, 2013 at 04:34 AM
SOLINDRA FAILED IN CALIF. LOOK AT EMPTY OFFICE SPACE ON HOPMEADOW STREET
Wyatt March 04, 2013 at 02:13 PM
@Poodetwa. We need private sector jobs - not the government hiring people for the sake of jobs. Typical big government approach!
J A March 04, 2013 at 04:34 PM
Well stated.. on all counts
J A March 04, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Thomas.. I agree with parts of your post, but not all. You accurately talk about the unattractiveness and uncertainty at the state and local levels, but then jump over to the same issue at the Federal level seeking funding for a "green" company. Again, as has been stated, there are accessibility issues all over for ANY manufacturing company, green or otherwise. The Hartford building (I've been inside) is not built for heavy manufacturing. Why would any company locate an office HQ far from manufactuting? In addition, if a start up "green" company it will likely not need the sq. ft. footprint of The Hartford bldg. Lastly, we've had enough Federal spending thrown at bad causes.. that's part of what is at the heart of all the financial issues in D.C. Overspending without, at a minimum, a matching income. I don't think it fair to ask people (through taxes) to pay for our mistake as a town.. especially as a knee jerk reaction to something we should have had better planning for.
Mike Bradley March 04, 2013 at 05:30 PM
No need to plan for anything other than how to come up with a dramatic increase in your tax bills!
POODETWA March 04, 2013 at 09:46 PM
I THINK A MINIMUM PRISON OR JUVENILE DETENTION CENTER WOULD GENERATE REV AND JOBS. THE STATE OF CT SHOULD LOOK INTO YHIS.
POODETWA March 05, 2013 at 02:35 AM
@ Wyatt-- what difference is there if the co is private or govt run. generating revenue and jobs is what is needed. the area would be suitable for a minimum prison or detention center.
J A March 05, 2013 at 03:07 AM
Well, if Government, then our taxes are paying for it to begin with, so in essence we're paying for the loss of tax money with our taxes (obviously a highly shared burden - but still our money). If privately run, then any tax revenues coming in are based on the company's ledger and not funded out of tax dollars.
J A March 05, 2013 at 03:08 AM
Sorry.. just saw you addressed it to Wyatt, but I think my answer is still valid. :-)
Wyatt March 08, 2013 at 08:14 PM
@Poodetwa. My answer would have been very similar to JA's. @JA. Thanks for responding
POODETWA March 09, 2013 at 12:16 AM
BOTTOM LINE IS--- WHO WANTS TO MOVE A BUSINESS TO SIMS. IN THIS DAY AMD TIME--- THIS TOWN AND STATE SHOULD TAKE ANYTHING. THIS HOOD SHOULDN'T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED!

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