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DANBURY, CT-Grubb & Ellis has been retained by the owner of the former Union Carbide headquarters complex here to find a new owner.

The brokerage firm has been retained as the sales agent for the 1.2-million sf Corporate Center complex by Sunbelt Management Co., a German investment firm. The property was built in 1982 as the corporate headquarters for Union Carbide Corp. for a reported $200 million. In 1985 the chemical firm entered a sale/leaseback deal on the property with Sunbelt Management.

In February 2001, Union Carbide merged with Dow Chemical and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow. For years previous and since the merger the company has slowly downsized its presence at the park. The Corporate Center complex is 100 percent leased to Dow Chemical on a net lease basis. Dow currently occupies approximately 300,000 sf of space.

Dow Chemical will not be renewing its lease upon expiration, according to Grubb & Ellis officials. The buyer will have a significant time in which to add additional tenants to the rent roll with the cooperation of Dow Chemical, the firm adds. Officials with Grubb & Ellis would not divulge just when Dow’s lease expires on the property. Sources familiar with the Corporate Center complex estimate the remaining lease term to be about five years.

John C. Hoffman, Matthew Schnurr and Michael Harrington of Grubb & Ellis New Jersey have been hired to market the sale.

Subtenants include Boehringer Ingleheim, Morgan Stanley, Praxair, Honeywell International and others, which occupy approximately 450,000 sf of space. An additional 450,000 sf is available for sublease at the property.

The complex consists of a central enclosed parking area with 15 buildings connected to a central amenities core on 100-acres. Amenities include onsite dining, conference facilities, a health and fitness club, retail and a 24-hour controlled security entrance.

“Because of the size of the transaction, it is being marketed nationally with a focus on opportunity funds and other institutional investors,” Grubb & Ellis’ Schnurr says.

Offering memorandums will be available in the second or third week of January 2003, he adds.

One element of the marketing campaign will be the online distribution of confidential due diligence materials using the Peracon Web platform, Grubb & Ellis officials note. Peracon is a New York based company servicing the real estate industry.

Schnurr says that due to the scope of the potential deal and the likely investor interest in the property, “We believe that being able to provide qualified buyers instant access to the confidential materials online will lead to a smoother transaction for all parties.”

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