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STAMFORD, CT-Cushman & Wakefield of Connecticut has been retained by Pitney Bowes Inc, to study whether it is feasible for the company to remain in its 422,000-sf world headquarters building here.

Sheryl Battles, a spokesperson for Pitney Bowes, said the company has decided, “to do a study to explore our options for our world headquarters building.” The company owns 1 Elmcroft Road, a five-story, 422,000-sf building that the $4.1 billion global provider of integrated mail and document services first took occupancy of in 1985. The property is the company’s world headquarters and currently houses approximately 1,000 employees. Pitney Bowes is a major employer in Connecticut and has a workforce of approximately 6,000 in the Nutmeg State. Worldwide the firm, which began operations in Stamford in 1920, employs about 30,000 workers.

Battles says the company is open to a host of options, including undertaking the necessary renovations and thereafter remaining at its current headquarters location. The company embarked on the headquarters study after it determined that its headquarters property “was not conducive to our future needs that require a more flexible and collaborative (working) environment,” she notes.

She adds that while the company may be considering other properties, “We expect and intend to stay in lower Fairfield County.”

Stephen Olvany, director and Andrew Merin, executive vice president of the metropolitan area financial services group of Cushman & Wakefield, note that the firm is in the early stages of the headquarters study. Cushman & Wakefield’s Stamford and New York City offices are working on the project. A recommendation on Pitney Bowes’ headquarters property is expected by year’s end, they say.

Merin notes that while “We haven’t closed the door on anything right now,” Pitney Bowes will most likely remain in Stamford or at the very least Lower Fairfield County.

Among the options the company could choose include a sale/leaseback of its current facility. Olvany says that the study will also look into build-to-suit locations in the area as well.

If Pitney Bowes decides to engage in a sale/leaseback transaction, it would join a host of major corporations in the Stamford area that have chosen that route, including International Paper and UBS Warburg to name a few. Olvany notes that investors are now searching for properties with top credit tenants located in high quality buildings. If Pitney Bowes does decide to engage in a sale/leaseback deal at its current headquarters property, the deal could garner the firm a premium price, he says.

In addition to owning the 1 Elmcroft Road property, Pitney Bowes also owns and operates a manufacturing facility nearby on Walter Wheeler Drive, which totals approximately 500,000 sf.

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