Another Unisys Building Put On The Block

Posted: February 02, 1990

Another Unisys Corp. building is up for sale as part of the struggling company's restructuring.

For-sale signs are now on an office building at Route 252 and Central Avenue in Paoli. The building houses 200 to 250 Unisys engineers and white- collar workers who specialize in defense industry work. They will be moved to about a dozen other Unisys buildings in Chester and Montgomery counties by March 31, company spokeswoman Charlotte LeGates said.

The company listed the property with Jackson-Cross Co. about two weeks ago, LeGates said. "We have been looking at that site for some time," she said. ''The sale of that is part of a long-range asset-management plan . . . that started to take shape in 1987."

Unisys, the third-largest computer company in the United States, has had repeated earnings declines since it was formed in 1986 by the merger of Burroughs and Sperry corporations.

In Malvern, Unisys has a sale agreement for a 76-acre complex that includes a 288,000-square-foot factory, office and training space and dormitories for trainees.

The $25 million agreement is with the Shidler Group, a Honolulu-based real estate firm. Under the agreement, Unisys will sell the complex and then lease back the buildings.

Most of the site's 1,500 white-collar workers would likely continue to work there in a lease-back arrangement, LeGates said. But Unisys intends to quit factory operations at the site this summer, and only about 100 of the 475 workers have gotten jobs in other Unisys plants, LeGates said.

The complex borders the Great Valley Corporate Center, spanning East Whiteland and Tredyffrin Townships near Route 202.

LeGates said a sale of the Malvern property will allow Unisys to take out equity it has built up since the complex opened in the mid-'60s. "This was built when the real estate was sold at cornfield prices," she said.

The Malvern property would be the first major buy in this area by Shidler, which opened its Philadelphia office last year.

Shidler was formed in 1972 by real estate entrepreneur Jay Shidler and now owns more than $1 billion worth of properties nationwide.

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