IBM sells Somers campus for nearly $32 million

By Aleesia Forni

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After announcing plans to vacate its Somers property earlier this year, Armonk-based IBM Corp. sold its 1.2 million-square-foot campus at 294 Route 100 for $31.75 million, according to documents filed with the Westchester County Clerk’s Office.

The 723-acre property was sold to a Delaware limited liability company on Sept. 29, though details of who owns the company, 294 Route 100 LLC, are unclear.

ibm_somers_aerialviewSomers Town Supervisor Rick Morrissey said he was unaware of who bought the property.
“IBM has been very closed-mouth about this whole thing,” he said. “I’ve never been officially notified that the building sold.”

The technology company announced in May that it would relocate staff from its five-building, I.M. Pei-designed Somers complex to its campus in the town of North Castle by March.

“My understanding is that this property was not sold to a not-for-profit, so there is going to be a taxpayer up there, and I look forward to working with them and collecting taxes, so we can run the town,” Morrissey said.

Still, Morrissey called the low sale price of IBM’s building “very bewildering.”

Howard E. Greenberg, president of White Plains-based Howard Properties Ltd., called it a “blockbuster sale,” adding that at that price, “you could argue that the buildings were purchased at $28.86 cents per square foot. To me, that’s a very small fraction of the replacement cost.” 

The sale of the property follows PepsiCo Inc.’s relocation from its 540,000-square-foot facility at One Pepsi Way in Somers to its offices in White Plains and Purchase in 2015. The 200-acre property was bought last year for $87 million by an affiliate of the sprawling business empire of Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim Helu.

Greenberg pointed out that on a per-acre basis, PepsiCo’s property sold for about 10 times IBM’s purchase price.

The entirety of the former IBM property is designated by the town as an office business zone.
“If they want to do anything other than what’s currently there, they’ll need town approvals,” Morrissey said of the new buyers.

Greenberg said he somewhat doubted the buyer would use the buildings and the property as is, though it would be a boon to the county. “It would just, in my opinion, be really hard to attract a large user or large users up to that region of the county just given the location,” he said.

Morrissey said he hoped to see another large technology company move into the Somers property, though he added that the possibility of getting a single tenant to take over an entire office park is “slowly becoming a thing of the past.”

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About the author

Aleesia Forni
Aleesia Forni covers transportation, tourism, nonprofits and residential real estate for the Westchester County Business Journal. She previously worked as a financial reporter for the online newsletter Prospect News. She started with the Westchester County Business Journal in April 2016.

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