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GREENWICH, CT-A corporate headquarters consolidation program by a Connecticut company offering 290,000 sf of space may provide a viable option to New York City firms looking to relocate to the suburbs.

Crompton Corp., which plans to relocate its corporate headquarters from Greenwich to Middlebury, Ct., has hired Cushman & Wakefield to market a total of 290,000 sf of office space the company leases at the former American Can headquarters complex at One American Lane in Greenwich.

Mary Ann Dunnell, vice president of corporate communications for Crompton Corp., says that while the company has engaged in a restructuring program, the move of its corporate headquarters operations to Middlebury was not part of that effort. She adds that the company, which has maintained two principal offices in Connecticut since its September 1999 merger with Witco, wants all headquarters personnel in one location. Dunnell notes the move to Middlebury is scheduled for the end of 2002 and that most of the 250 workers at the company’s Greenwich offices will be offered positions at the Middlebury facility in the Preston Hill Office Park where the company leases approximately 320,000 sf of space.

Crompton, formerly Crompton and Knowles Corp., once maintained offices in Stamford. Witco, the subject of a major bidding war between New York State and Connecticut in the early 1990s, eventually secured several million dollars in incentives from the Nutmeg State to relocate operations from New York City to Greenwich. Crompton is a $3 billion producer of specialty chemicals and polymer products.

Cushman & Wakefield executive director Jay Hruska is working with vice chairman August DiRenzo of the brokerage firm’s New York City office in marketing the Crompton space.

Hruska says his firm was originally hired about three months ago by Crompton to seek tenants for approximately 125,000 sf of space (one floor) at the 600,000 sf Greenwich American Centre complex. Late last month, Crompton put the remainder of its lease commitment on the sublease market, Hruska explains. The Greenwich American Centre is 100% leased.

“This is the largest block of contiguous office space in lower Fairfield County,” he says, noting that the space should be attractive to some of the large office space requirements currently studying the Westchester /Fairfield County suburban office market. Cushman has fielded inquiries from New York City firms seeking anywhere from 50,000 sf to 300,000 sf of space.

While the headquarters consolidation initiative is unrelated to the ongoing restructuring program, Crompton’s other real estate assets did take a hit due to recent cost cutting measures. In September the company reported it was closing six plants and eliminating 700 jobs or approximately eight percent of its workforce. Closing facilities are in Naugatuck, Ct; Edison, Newark and Nutley, N.J.; and two plants in the United Kingdom.

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