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LAWRENCE TWP., NJ-Just over a year ago, fiber-optic network provider RCN set off a feeding frenzy when it announced it would build a big new headquarters operation and move out of its West Windsor, NJ location. Lawrence Twp. got the site selection plum when RCN bought the 134-acre former Union Camp site and quickly began sitework. A 10-building, 1.5 million-sf headquarters facility and 2,000 jobs were expected to quickly follow.

That was then–the telecom industry’s woes didn’t bypass RCN, which has been cutting jobs. So the headquarters plans are off, for now. Indeed, RCN has sold the tract to pharma giant Bristol-Myers Squibb for $40 million. Bristol-Myers Squibb, which employs more than 8,400 people at 10 locations in the Garden State, plans to stockpile the land for future use, according to a company spokesman.

RCN plans to retain its headquarters at Carnegie Center in nearby West Windsor for the time being. However, as part of the deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb, the company will retain the rights to construct up to about 400,000 sf of building space on a portion of the tract. Under the agreement, RCN would occupy that space as a tenant.

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