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BASKING RIDGE, NJ-Verizon gives Skanska USA Building Inc. the construction management assignment on the former AT&T campus here. The project, which carries an estimated price tag of $98 million, will make the 135-acre campus ready for its new owner/occupant. The site contains seven four-story buildings with a total of 1.3 million sf of usable office space.

Scheduled for completion by July 30, 2006, the project involves interior and exterior renovations and mechanical upgrades, according to Skanska’s Caroline Bucquet. Interior work will include a new entrance lobby, a remodeled cafeteria, a fitness center and an upgraded security system. New York City-based Gensler is the architect.

Verizon, which will house a total of up to 3,500 employees at the site, is moving several domestic telecom and international units here from existing locations in New Jersey and New York City. The telecom giant bought the campus for a reported $125 million in early spring from Pfizer, which had inherited it when it acquired rival Pharmacia in 2002.

Pharmacia itself picked up the property earlier in 2002 from downsizing AT&T for $210 million, intending to use it as its own headquarters, but never occupied it. The seven interconnecting buildings total about 2.6 million sf, but only about half of that is usable office space. The rest consists of an underground parking complex and a network of 30 miles worth of hallways.

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