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Ciba complex for sale.

The Ciba-Geigy Corporation has decided to sell its 60-acre 12-building headquarters in Ardsley. The company intends to either move to one of four locations currently under review or remain and leaseback the property from the new owner.

"We're looking at leasing possibilities at five places and one of those is the Ardsley site," said Charles Keene, a spokesperson for Ciba.

Other sites under consideration are the Tarrytown Corporate Center, the Centre at Purchase, the Mid-Westchester Office Park in Hawthorne, and the Greenwich - American Center in Greenwich, Conn.

The company intends to sell the Ardsley site and move forward with leasing negotiations, Keene said, but the timetable is contingent on the negotiations.

"We have different space needs than we used to," Keene explained. "We would need new laboratory space but we need also need new office space."

The current complex on Ardsley Road contains 500,000 square feet and Keene said they are looking to lease a facility about the same size or slightly smaller.

The U.S. subsidiary of a Swiss conglomerate concluded it needs more office space and fewer, but more specialized laboratories.

The company has 830 employees at the Ardsley location, as well as 375 in Seven Skyline Drive in Hawthorne already in the corporate park under consideration, and 30 in Tarrytown. Keen didn't think the Tarrytown employees would be moved in any event. "It hasn't been determined yet whether to move the employees together," he added.

One local real estate expert estimated the property could sell for as much as $20 million, given the right user, but others said a straight number would be hard to come by.

Sol Krevlin, a principal at Abrams Benisch Riker in the Westchester Connecticut regional office, said it's difficult to put a value on the property because it is a complex that breaks down to office and laboratory. "It's more important to know if there is a buyer around," he said, noting that a developer would have a hard time obtaining financing for empty buildings. "If its a user," he observed, "where do we have that kind of user in the marketplace?" But if it's a sale-lease-back, then, Krevlin explained, it is a financial deal for the return on the rent.

Sources say local developer John Halpern, of Halpern Enterprises in Tarrytown, has an "interesting plan" for the property. He did not return a phone call before deadline.

Meanwhile, New York and Connecticut officials are scrambling to retain and lure the company, respectively.

The Urban Development Corporation, the New York State Dept. of Economic Development, the Westchester Business Partnership and the Office of Commerce and Economic Development in Westchester have all been involved. Ciba has been very responsive and attentive, said a spokesperson for the OCED.

"It's a wonderful corporate neighbor and we have been working with them for months and are very encouraged with things we've been able to get for them from UDC," said Margaret Soter, director of Commerce & Economic Development. These could include Industrial Development Agency bond financing, state economic development grant financing and power rate reductions. "We're encouraged about our discussions," she added.
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Title Annotation:CIBA-GEIGY Corp. sells headquarters in Ardsley, New York
Author:Weiss, Lois
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 2, 1993
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