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[IMGCAP(1)]HANOVER TWP., NJ-Alcatel-Lucent has revealed that it will vacate its 1.4-million-sf facility in this township’s Whippany section and relocate the site’s 2,100 staffers 10 miles down the road to its North American headquarters in Murray Hill. The move will be made in phases beginning this summer and ending in Q3 2009.

“We did notify our employees that we plan to exit the facility,” Alcatel-Lucent spokesperson Mary Lou Ambrus tells GlobeSt.com. “We are taking these actions to make the most effective use of our existing real estate portfolio, to improve productivity and our operational efficiency.

[IMGCAP(2)]“We’re taking action not just in New Jersey, but across all [of] our real estate portfolio,” she says. Company officials also say that both the Whippany and Murray Hill sites have been underutilized for a number of years.

The move follows the $12 billion merger, two years ago, of Lucent Technologies and the Paris-based Alcatel. Predecessor Bell Labs began operations at the local site in the mid-1920s, and as many as 3,500 people were employed there in the early 1980s. The current staffing of 2,100 consists mostly of researchers and support staff for the company’s wire and wireless services. The Murray Hill site totals 1.9 million sf and currently has 2,300 employees.

And Alcatel-Lucent has formally notified local officials of their plan to vacate the facility and its 140-acre site at the intersection of Whippany Rd. and Route 10. Local officials say they have already received inquiries from developers, which have not been identified, about the site. And mixed-use redevelopment may be in the works.

“There is no real market for office space,” says Hanover Mayor Ron Francioli, in a statement. “Retail and residential would make some sense. We are going to be looking at high-quality ratables.”

Alcatel-Lucent’s current use generates $2.4 million in taxes as the township’s largest taxpayer, according to local officials. The property is currently listed with an assessed value of $97 million.

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