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ENFIELD, CONN. — CODA Battery Systems, a joint venture between California-based Coda Automotive and Connecticut-based Yardney Technical Products, has signed a lease with Hackman Capital Partners to move into Enfield Business Park, a five-building, office and industrial campus located on 115 acres in Enfield.

CODA will be a new anchor tenant for the vacant 587,736-square-foot Manufacturing Building and will be occupying approximately 300,000 square feet of it. CODA will use the space to produce ion batteries for electric cars, and the new site stands to create approximately 600 new manufacturing jobs. “This kind of business, being a green business, is something that we have sought to attract to our facility,” says John Root, senior vice president of asset management for Hackman Capital Partners, the owner of Enfield Business Park.

Enfield was originally the North American headquarters for LEGO. However, LEGO relocated its manufacturing operations and is currently only occupying the office building on the site, which has left the Manufacturing and Distribution Buildings vacant and allowed for other tenants to move in.

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development assisted CODA in finding the site. “When you have a large block of manufacturing space such as this facility, it’s so important to be able to make those folks aware of your availability for a tenant that is likely to come from another state and will be looking on a national level for another location,” Root explains. “Part of our strategy was to join together with the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development to keep them aware of our facility.”

The federal economic stimulus package has allocated $2.8 billion for electric vehicle and battery manufacturing, and $2.4 billion will be divided among seven or eight projects, with the largest portions, $1.2 billion, going toward battery pack and cell manufacturing facilities. CODA will be applying for grant funding under this program for the new facility.

Hackman is currently negotiating with three additional tenants to move into the vacant buildings. One company is in line to take half of the 445,597-square-foot distribution building, and the other two potential tenants are looking at the manufacturing building.

“The involvement with such a high-caliber joint venture such as CODA Battery systems … is a welcome addition to Enfield Business Park,” Root notes. “It sets the standard or benchmark for the other tenants we would hope and expect to draw there.”

— Patty Vaughan

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