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SUMMIT, NJ-Late last month, German chemical giant Celanese AG informed local officials that they would be shuttering their 414,000-sf, 45-acre, 300-employee campus here, but company officials gave no indication at the time of what they intended to do with the sprawling facility (see earlier story). Now they have-the location, which the company has occupied since the late 1940s, is officially on the market for sale.

Disposition of the local campus, which had been expanded in several stages over the years, has been put in the hands of the Garibaldi Group of nearby Chatham, NJ. Handling the assignment will be company president Jeffrey J. Garibaldi, senior vice president John G. Osborne, senior associate James P. Southey and senior vice president/managing director Gerald E. Moore, Jr.

“The facility offers a terrific opportunity for users that require a large-scale corporate campus with superb amenities and infrastructure,” according to Garibaldi. He indicates that the marketing effort will target R&D users among the chemical, pharmaceutical, energy, electronics, telecom and food industries.

No specific closure date for the facility has been announced, although that’s expected to be announced by late this summer. Its operations, mostly involving Celanese’s Ticona Technical Polymers subsidiary, will be consolidated at other company locations in the Southeast and Midwest, according to company officials.

The campus, which began with an elementary school acquired by a Celanese predecessor company (it’s still the site’s reception center) and grew dramatically over the years, is, in a word, loaded. According to Garibaldi, its 15 interconnected buildings feature laboratory rooms with de-ionized water, compressed air, electric and central vacuum systems. Other amenities include tennis courts, a fitness center, an auditorium-style conference room, a full-service cafeteria and a small-scale pilot plant. <P.Most of the site is currently zoned RO-15, according to local officials, a designation that calls for research and office uses. Corporate neighbors include Schering-Plough, Lucent, AT&T, The BOC Group, D&B, C.R. Bard and Chubb Insurance. And, according to a published report, local officials are also looking at part of the acreage for possible recreational uses.

The Celanese move-out is the second major corporate upheaval for this Union County community in the last few years. In 2000, pharma giant Novartis put its 1.8 million-sf research campus here on the market pending a move to a new campus in East Hanover, NJ. Ironically, the Garibaldi Group was involved in that one, too-the real estate firm repped Schering-Plough in its acquisition of the Novartis property, a deal that came down only months after Novartis had put the property on the market.

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