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WHITE PLAINS-The top three agenda items of the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency’s meeting on Tuesday involved a trio of possible mega deals-a 160,000-sf lease by Fuji Photo Film USA, Inc. in Valhalla; a potential 50,000-sf lease by a well-known New York City law firm for a data backup center in White Plains and the possible acquisition of additional space by a growing pharmaceutical firm in Hawthorne.

The deal that is closest to being finalized is the relocation of Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. from its corporate headquarters at 555 Taxter Road in Elmsford to approximately 160,000-sf of space at Reckson Associates Realty Corp’s 200 Summit Lake Drive property in Valhalla. The firm currently occupies approximately 106,000-sf of space at its current property in Elmsford, according to Paul G. Myers and Frank Tomasulo of CB Richard Ellis, who are representing Fuji in the deal.

The 200 Summit Lake Drive property is a four-story building that totals approximately 230,000 sf.

Myers said that the lease deal with Reckson has not been finalized, but noted that the Westchester County IDA incentive package “was about the ninth of 10 things we have to do to get the deal done.”

Sources say that the last piece to the puzzle may be the finalizing of incentives granted from New York State, which is expected to be announced shortly by Governor George Pataki. According to Westchester County officials, New York State is providing a $750,000 capital grant to Fuji Photo Film USA for retaining and growing jobs in New York State.

The incentive package by the Westchester County IDA is valued at $1.89 million and will come in the form of sales tax incentives.

Fuji Photo Film has been involved in a search for possible new space for its U.S. corporate headquarters for the past three years. The deal, if finalized at 200 Summit Lake Drive, would involve the retention of the firm’s current 350-member workforce. According to its filing with the Westchester County IDA, the firm expects to hire an additional 246 workers in the next five years. A total of 200 of the new workers will come to the county via a relocation of Fuji subsidiary Enovation Graphic Systems Inc., from offices it now has in New Jersey.

Commenting on the IDA inducement of Fuji Photo Film USA, Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano says, “Westchester is known for the headquarters it keeps – and Fuji Photo Film USA has been a major player for more than 15 years. We hope they will be successful in their efforts to continue operations in Westchester. The company has been a good corporate citizen and involved in many charitable activities.”

The Westchester County IDA also approved inducements for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Taro Pharmaceuticals USA. The IDA approved an incentive package of $1,081,125 (sales tax breaks) if the New York City-based law firm, signs a lease for 50,000 sf of space at 360 Hamilton Ave. in White Plains. The company is contemplating leasing space for its data backup center and regional office that would employ between 138 to 150 people at the Reckson property. However, the law firm is also considering housing those same operations in Jersey City. Representatives with Skadden Arps told the IDA they would like to make a decision on the location of the data backup center by this September.

The IDA also approved a total of a little over $1 million in sales and mortgage tax exemptions to Taro Pharmaceuticals, which is seeking to acquire additional space at 3 Skyline Drive in Hawthorne for its operations. Taro, now has its corporate headquarters in approximately 98,000 sf of space at an adjoining property — 5 Skyline Drive. Taro officials disclosed at the IDA meeting that Taro and partner Mack-Cali Texas L.P. are in negotiations to purchase 3 Skyline Drive from the current owner Michaelson Management Company and Michelin Management Company.

Taro officials said that the deal could be structured as a straight sales agreement or as a condominium purchase. Taro would initially purchase 37,430 sf of space in the three-story, 123,713-sf building to house research and development laboratory space and additional offices. The firm, which plans to remain at 5 Skyline Drive as well, has the option to purchase additional space at various times and will seek to acquire all the remaining space at 3 Skyline Drive from Mack-Cali by January 2005 if the current sales deal closes.

Mack-Cali Realty officials had no comment on the report that it is in discussions to acquire 3 Skyline Drive.

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