Amtrak acquires Groton land from Mashantuckets for $4 million

Groton - Amtrak has paid $4 million to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation for several tracts of land near its maintenance facility off Industrial Drive, near the entrance to Bluff Point Coastal Reserve.

Town records show the Oct. 10 purchase encompasses three parcels. They include the 23-acre plot at 175 Industrial Drive that contains warehouse buildings and was previously used as a Foxwoods Resort Casino employee parking lot - known as the Midway Lot - where a shuttle service ferried workers to and from the casino.

"It was used at one point for employee parking and a shuttle service and also for years as a storage area," said Mashantucket Pequot spokesman William Satti. "Over the years, we've consolidated much of our warehouse space."

The shuttle services in Groton, Stonington and North Stonington were discontinued in 2010. The Norwich service ended earlier this year. The cutbacks were attributed to economic conditions.

Amtrak has not responded to inquiries about its plans for the land. Because of Amtrak's tax-exempt status, nearly $62,000 will be taken off Groton's annual tax rolls, according to the tax assessor's office.

Two of the three parcels purchased by Amtrak last month, 15 and 175 Industrial Drive, sit to either side of Amtrak's maintenance facility at 101 Industrial Drive. Amtrak bought that 7.6-acre parcel with a 62,000 square-foot facility from the Mashantuckets in 2000 for $5.5 million as a maintenance base for its Northeast Corridor electrification system, records show.

The Mashantuckets purchased the building from Electric Boat in 1995 and had leased it for a time to MAN Roland, a manufacturing company.

A third parcel of land purchased by Amtrak is a 0.839-acre parcel listed as 0 Industrial Drive that sits across the street from the other purchases.

g.smith@theday.com

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