MERIDEN — Hunter’s Ambulance is relocating its east side operation to 1319 E. Main St. to accommodate larger ambulances and an expanding operation.
Hunter’s has run its east side operation at 20 Parkway Place since the 1970s, but had been seeking a new location, said David Lowell, Hunter’s vice president.
Under its contract with the city, Hunter’s must maintain ambulances on both sides of the city. The headquarters at 450 W. Main St. will remain.
”There was no way we could modify the existing (east side) building,” Lowell said. “(1391 E. Main) became available. It has adequate garage space.”
The buildings at 1319 E. Main St. were previously leased by an electrical supply retailer and warehouse operation. Prior to that it was the home of a Hostess bakery outlet.
The building roof and wall collapsed in 2011 and was rebuilt with an addition in 2015. It now totals 9,302 square feet. By contrast, 20 Parkway Place had 2,576 square feet on a smaller lot.
Earlier this month, the city’s Planning Commission approved Hunter’s request for a change of use for the property. Hunter’s has since sold 20 Parkway Place to local businessman Kevin Curry and moved medical and office equipment, vehicles and personnel to the renovated portion of its new location. The use for the rest of the building will be determined at a later date, Lowell said.
In addition to being a smaller parcel, the Parkway Place site was in a congested area of the city, sandwiched between banks, Maloney High School and fast food operations.
“Getting out of there was real mess,” Lowell said about the Parkway Place location. “This site keeps us on the east side of town with better access to respond. This allows us to relocate more resources on the east side.”
City Economic Development Director Juliet Burdelski said the building should require minimal renovations for Hunter’s.
“It’s always good to see an underutilized/vacant property be repurposed for another commercial use,” Burdelski said in an e-mail. “From what I understand, Hunter’s has been contemplating (a new space on the) east side for some time, so it looks like this site is going to work out very well for them.”
Hunter’s President Donna Hunter said while the old space served Hunter’s well, the new site offers more room for growth. The company plans to move an emergency medical training operation to the new location and up to eight ambulances in the rear garage.
“I never knew that building had that much to offer,” Hunter said. “The whole eastern corridor has development potential and we’re super excited to be there.”