September 30, 2008

Lucent’s Lisle Building to Be Sold

By Anna Marie Kukec Daily Herald Business Writer

[email protected]

Alcatel-Lucent plans to move the remaining workers from its Lisle operation into its Naperville offices and put the Lisle office up for sale.

An internal memo provided to the Daily Herald said that since Lucent Technologies merged with Paris-based Alcatel, the new company has "made a number of changes to our business aimed at improving efficiencies, productivity and overall competitiveness. This includes making more efficient use of our real estate portfolio. After a careful review of our facilities in North America, we have made the decision to consolidate the number of buildings at our Lisle/Naperville campus and exit our facility in Whippany, N.J."

Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman Denise Panyik-Dale said: "People are keeping their existing jobs, just moving from one building to another."

She said the Lisle office, a 600,000-square-foot building on Warrenville Road and Lucent Lane, has about 2,000 employees and contractors. The Naperville offices house about 2,100 people. She declined to say how many are employees. The entire campus housed about 10,500 workers in 2001.

During May and June, those in Lisle will move across Naperville Road to the Naperville offices and vacate the Lisle building. The Lisle building then will be put up for sale.

"We are not actively marketing the buildings in Lisle at this time and don't have a timeframe at this point for when that process will begin," Panyik-Dale said.

She said the workers will continue to do a broad range of support for the carrier business unit, which enables service providers, enterprise and governments worldwide with voice, data and video communications services for consumers and others. This includes fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, Internet Protocol technologies, applications and services.

The once-bustling Lisle-Naperville campus of Lucent Technologies has been feeling the tremors of a shaky industry and a major merger in recent years.

The Daily Herald reported in 2000 that the buildings were expected to contribute a combined $2 million in property taxes to the two communities.

There was about 5,100 tons of steel per building and 3,000-plus glass panes. Although Lucent refused to give an exact cost, the project was estimated at around $250 million.

The Lisle offices opened in the summer of 2001. But shortly afterward, the tech bubble burst and thousands of workers were laid off.

Lisle Mayor Joe Broda said Monday he was disappointed to learn about the move when he talked with the company last week.

"I certainly understand the reasons behind it because the company is downsizing," Broda said. "It's a misfortune for the company that the work force is declining."

In 2006, Alcatel and Lucent closed its merger agreement and the new company said it would save about $1.7 billion through 2009 and eliminate about 10,000 jobs worldwide.

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