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ELKHART, IN-For one dollar, Bayer HealthCare LLC has sold one million sf of laboratory, manufacturing, office and warehouse space at its campus here to the charitable organization Feed The Children. Currently headquartered in Oklahoma City, the organization says it will relocate its international headquarters and Midwest distribution center to the building and, eventually, launch a research and development center focused on meeting the nutritional needs of children worldwide. Grubb & Ellis/Cressy & Everett handled the sale of the property, which has an estimated value of $12 million.

The property sale is part of the Bayer Group’s reorganization of its Northern Indiana facilities. Bayer promised it would market the property to companies worldwide, and paid for a global marketing effort to attract a new employer to the city. Feed the Children, a Christian non-profit relief organization, is one of several organizations Bayer considered from the hundreds of groups that expressed interest through a special website created to market the building. In its bid for the property, Feed The Children sought community support, including backing from local elected and civic leaders.

Bayer Diagnositcs SVP Joe Martin says Feed the Children offered the best combination of opportunities for the City of Elkhart. “We were tremendously impressed with Feed The Children’s proposal for a number of reasons, particularly the organization’s plans to create new jobs in Northern Indiana,” says Martin. “And the organization’s history of consistent growth over the past 24 years gave us comfort that it will deliver on its promises.”

Larry Jones, who with his wife Frances founded Feed The Children in 1979, says the Bayer facility will be a huge boost to the organization’s mission, which is to deliver food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to families worldwide who lack these essentials due to famine, war, poverty or natural disaster. “We consider the Bayer building to be one of the most substantial facilities in Elkhart; it will provide us opportunities far beyond our original quest for a Midwest distribution headquarters,” says Jones. “The Bayer building will be the cornerstone of our international expansion and will be absolutely critical as we work with various public and private sector partners to create a research and development center aimed at improving the nutrition of children around the world.”

One of the region’s largest employers, Bayer subdivided its local campus to provide Feed The Children with legal ownership of the property and will remain a neighbor of the organization, having recently invested $15 million to remodel, upgrade and consolidate its global Self Testing Segment’s corporate offices and research and development laboratories on the campus. The Self Testing Segment conducts critical research and development needed to provide products to people with diabetes.

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