Kodak wants buyer for Eastman Business Park

Posted at: 03/25/2014 10:29 AM
Updated at: 03/25/2014 4:34 PM
By: Brett Davidsen

A “For Sale” sign went up at Eastman Business Park Tuesday. Kodak announced its plans to shed the 1,200 acre site to a firm focused on re-development.

For years, Kodak has been reducing its footprint at its historic manufacturing park, bringing in new tenants to fill the space. But Kodak has decided to get out of the landlord business in what its CEO says is the right move for the right reasons at the right time.

It is one of the largest industrial sites in the nation. Eastman Business Park, the hub of Kodak manufacturing for 100 years, is now up for sale. The company announced its plans Tuesday morning.

Mike Alt, Eastman Business Park Director, said, “It makes sense for us now as a company now that's focusing on commercial imaging. We want to make sure we best deploy our human resources and our physical resources to grow the business in that area."

The site has been in a state of transition for years and has now become a community priority with the governor committing more than $90 million in investments to attract new businesses. There are now 50 companies with about 4,700 employees now working in the Eastman Business Park.

Sandy Parker, Rochester Business Alliance, said, "It almost completes the transition that this community has gone through from being a three company town to a town that is now really dependent on a diverse group of employers.”

Kodak says it doesn't have an asking price for the 1,200 acre site and didn't name any interested buyers.  

George Conboy, of Brighton Securities, doesn't foresee a company buying up the park for its own use and evicting the current tenants. Instead, he sees a large real estate developer taking on the role of landlord.

George Conboy, Brighton Securities, said, "I think that anybody who buys it, their plan is going to be, let's get some tenants in there. Let's cash that rent check."

Parker said, "Whoever comes in as the new owners is going to be working with an entire community because it will be to their benefit to have community leaders and government leaders at their side."

Kodak says any sale will have to be approved by the state and it’s not interested in seeing the site dismantled.