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NORWALK, CT-Purdue Pharma LP, which relocated to Stamford earlier this year, has leased its former Norwalk corporate headquarters to Cendant Membership Services, a division of Cendant Corp. The membership services division, which will be spun off into an independent public company next year, will take occupancy of the 115,000 sf building by the end of the first quarter 2001.

Cendant officials and executives with CB Richard Ellis, who represented Purdue Pharma in the transaction, confirm the deal, which had been rumored in the real estate brokerage community.

Scott Bernstein, president of Cendant Membership Services, says, “Currently all of our executive team, more than 450 people, are situated in four buildings on Summer Street in Stamford. The lease will allow us to consolidate and have our management under one roof.”

He says Cendant Membership Services, which was formerly CUC International, will relocate to the Purdue Pharma building by the end of the first quarter 2001. Bernstein reports the spin off of what is now Cendant Membership Services and Cendant Incentives, based in Richmond, VA will take place by mid-2001. The new company, yet-to-be-named, will be an independent public company. Bernstein will take over as chief executive officer of the new company.

The division’s Stamford offices, which total more than 100,000 sf were housed at: 485 Summer St., 595 Summer St., 600 Summer St. and 707 Summer St.

On Oct. 25 Cendant announced that it intends to spin off Cendant Membership Services and Cendant Incentives. The spin-off does not include the direct marketing businesses: FISI Madison, Benefits Consultants Inc., CIMS and Long-Term Preferred Care, Cendant officials stress.

The Purdue Pharma property became available when the firm purchased the GTE building in Downtown Stamford earlier this year and relocated operations there. The 100 Connecticut Ave. property is situated on 10.5 acres, and could accommodate significant growth in the future, Cendant’s Bernstein says.

Al Mirin, vice president of CB Richard Ellis, says, “Cendant Membership Services was looking for a centralized location for all of their employees who are located throughout Fairfield County and Norwalk served that need.” Mirin as well as Tom Pajolek and Ned Burns of CB Richard Ellis represented Purdue Pharma in the deal. Coldwell Banker Commercial handled the lease transaction for Cendant.

Bernstein says the company did study space options in Westchester County and other adjoining markets. He adds that the company is in discussions with the state of Connecticut regarding any possible incentives they might receive for retaining their operations in the Nutmeg State.

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