Stamford may lure $3.8B water technology developer
BY JENNIFER BISSELL and PATRICK GALLAGHER
After reporting $3.8 billion in revenues in 2011, Xylem is being courted by Stamford and Westchester County officials as it seeks a new site for its global headquarters.
Xylem, which shares the same White Plains, N.Y., address as its former parent company, is being required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to move its corporate functions to a new location.
The company has narrowed its search to two spots in downtown Stamford and as well as in Purchase, N.Y., and White Plains, according to an application for sales tax incentives submitted by Xylem to the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency (IDA).
Xylem is seeking to lease a 65,000-square-foot space for a period of 10 years and said it plans to invest about $11.6 million in its eventual new home, according to IDA documents.
Locations being considered include the former Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. property at 1111 Westchester Ave. in White Plains, The Centre at Purchase’s 4 Manhattanville Road property, and 100 First Stamford Place and 400 Atlantic St. in Stamford, according to IDA documents.
The company said in its application that it expects to select a location by the end of 2012.
At its Dec. 6 meeting, the IDA, a public authority that can offer financial assistance to businesses for relocations or renovations, approved sales tax incentives estimated at $562,000 should Xylem choose to remain in Westchester.
“We’ve been talking on and off to Xylem for quite some time,” said Laurence P. Gottlieb, director of economic development for Westchester County. “They wanted to have the IDA take action … (so) they know incentive-wise what potentially they could get from Westchester versus Connecticut.”
Xylem has also received an incentive offer from Connecticut, according to published reports.
James Watson, spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), said he could not confirm or deny whether the state is assembling a package of incentives to lure Xylem, citing confidentiality rules.
Xylem spokesman Thomas Glover declined to comment and said no decisions have been made yet.
Gottlieb said Westchester County officials connected Xylem representatives with Empire State Development Corp. (ESDC), a public authority that acts as New York state’s chief economic development agency.
It was not known whether Xylem would be eligible for additional incentives from ESDC, should it choose to keep its headquarters in New York. Including its headquarters, Xylem and its affiliates employ about 930 full-time workers at eight New York state facilities that total about 695,000 square feet.
Just more than 100 people are employed at Xylem’s headquarters, averaging more than $300,000 in annual wages, according to Westchester County IDA documents. The company said as part of its application that it plans to hire about 15 employees over the next several years.
Xylem currently occupies about 40,000 square feet of space at 1133 Westchester Ave. in White Plains, which is owned by RPW Group Inc.
RPW Group CEO Robert Weisz said he expects the space to be available by 2014.
“We are sorry that they have to move out but we understand it’s a requirement they have to fulfill,” Weisz said. “They are an outstanding tenant.”