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ALPHARETTA, GA-Newell Rubbermaid Inc. won’t be relocating 60 top executives from its Freeport, IL headquarters into a 210,000-sf, three-building, $35 million build-to-suit corporate campus at Sanctuary Park in North Fulton County. The new office space was slated to showcase a 600-seat auditorium, a modern executive training area and a custom-built showroom.

Instead, the Illinois company will be leasing 40,000 sf on one floor in an existing building at the 150-acre park being developed and managed in this Atlanta suburb by Jones Lang LaSalle.

Area brokers following Newell’s arrival as Atlanta’s 13th Fortune 500 company tell GlobeSt.com the firm will probably be opening shop here in January 2004 rather than January 2005 under the initial plan.

Newell is also expected to save millions in rent by taking advantage of lower lease rates in existing buildings instead of paying a higher rent in a newly constructed structure, brokers tell GlobeSt.com. With some buildings in the North Fulton submarket at the 30% vacancy mark, Newell could negotiate a long-term or mid-term lease at rents in the $15- to $19-per-sf range, brokers tell GlobeSt.com. At Sanctuary Park in normal economic times, brokers say, Newell might have had to pay rent in the $21 to $24 per-sf range.

Sanctuary Park is owned by the New York-based JP Morgan Strategic Property Fund. Groundbreaking on Newell’s build-to-suit was tentatively set for this fall with occupancy anticipated by Jan. 1, 2005.

Newell plans to rent space at local hotels for its executive training center sessions, brokers tell GlobeSt.com. Most of the company’s 27 divisions will remain in Freeport where Newell’s headquarters staff total 350. Worldwide, the company has 48,000 employees. The company has been leasing temporary office space at the Deerfield Corporate Centre One on Morris Road here.

For the second quarter ended June 30, Newell’s net income fell 17% to $73.8 million, or 27 cents per share, versus $88.6 million, or 33 cents per share, in the comparable 2002 period. Analysts had been expecting the company to show 42 cents per share.

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