State to loan insurer $4.6 million to improve Hartford headquarters
By SEAN O’LEARY, Hartford Business Journal Staff Writer
March 24, 2008
After flirting with out-of-state locations, Prudential Retirement has reaffirmed its commitment to Hartford.
Thanks in part to a $4.6 million state loan intended to encourage the company to stay put, Prudential is not only staying, but it will also add 275 jobs and invest millions in its Hartford headquarters at 280 Trumbull St.
Currently, Prudential Retirement employs 713 people in the city.
“We have a very good work force that comes from all over the state and we enjoy that Hartford is a central location,” said Helen Frye, senior vice president of human relations for Prudential Retirement. “We did look at moving out of state or consolidating our offices somewhere else, but it would not have worked.”
In short, Frye said the company wanted to stay in the city because of the ready availability of quality employees.
“For us, these are mid-range and higher level jobs that are very technical,” she said. “We have good workers here.”
Prudential’s announcement came as Gov. M. Jodi Rell confirmed that the $4.6 million state loan for the company would likely be approved at the March 28 state Bond Commission meeting.
The company plans to invest $10 million on improvements to its 280 Trumbull St. location, as well as lease an additional 25,000 square-feet on two more floors.
In a statement, Rell said that the state’s insurance and financial services sector will continue to be vital.
“We are doing everything we can to attract, keep and nurture these companies in Connecticut,” she said.
Prudential may also receive a $900,000 exemption from sales and use taxes from the Connecticut Development Authority to mitigate the impact of its construction costs.
The decision to stay in the city is in contrast to MetLife’s decision to relocate from downtown to Cigna’s campus in Bloomfield. Frye said that the other defections have made Hartford more desirable to Prudential.
“It has been, in a way, better for us even though most of the companies have just gone to the suburbs,” Frye said. “They all had their reasons, and it doesn’t really concern us.”