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IRVING, TX-Effective immediately, Atmel Corp. is closing its lone Texas manufacturing site, a 650,000-sf structure situated on 39 acres at 6431 Longhorn Dr. in Irving. The San Jose, CA-based semiconductor supplier is displacing 300 workers while keeping in place a 12-member workforce dedicated to sales and tech support in Texas.

Yesterday’s announced shutdown follows two years of capital investment into the facility bought in December 1999 from Hitachi. Atmel projects the shutdown will save $9 million per quarter in ongoing expenses and up to another $6 million per quarter in future depreciation.

Atmel is interviewing several local and national brokers to market the site, which includes an abutting undeveloped 17 acres. Company officials won’t commit to a timeframe for selecting the firm that will be tasked with the challenge of selling an industrial site in a submarket with nearly 6.2 million sf of vacant space and bearing a 27.1% vacancy. The contract goes “to whoever we think can get us the best deal for the property,” B. Jeffrey Katz, marketing vice president, tells GlobeSt.com.

The Irving property was part of a $1-billion capital investment plan for equipment and building improvements in what was considered key locations. Today’s current business environment and advanced micron processes spelled doom for the Irving facility.

“Therefore, even with the recovering demand that we expect, our remaining facilities will serve us well,” George Perlegos, Atmel’s CEO, said in a prepared statement. He tendered his regrets about the shutdown, but said it is integral to a restructuring program “which includes a reduction in manufacturing expenses.”

Atmel occupies about one-third of the office and manufacturing site, built in two phases in the past decade. When the building was acquired, Atmel said it would create 2,300 jobs by 2003. The manufacturing once ticketed for Irving will go to FAB plants in Colorado and France.

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