January 26, 2018 07:44 PM
Xerox says it's moving every employee out of the iconic Xerox Tower in downtown Rochester. The company says it has hundreds of employees in the Tower but did not pinpoint exactly how many.
The employees who work in the Tower are moving to the Xerox campus in Webster where the company still has more than 3,000 employees.
The employees will be moving by the middle of the year. One of them is Suveda Thiagaraj. When she started at Xerox 20 years ago she started in Webster and that's where she's going back.
Brean: Will you miss working in the building downtown?
Suveda Thiagaraj, Xerox employee: I like the building. It's iconic. But I don't mind working in Webster.
Xerox says its employees here fill less than half of the building and even though we still call it Xerox Tower, the company doesn't own it. It leases the space from Buckingham Properties.
Xerox says the move to Webster will "reinforce our commitment to the region."
This week, News10NBC reported that Xerox pays more than $2.3 million in property tax at its Webster campus and most of that goes to Webster schools.
Bob Duffy, President & CEO, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce: The most important thing is Xerox, the jobs are staying here.
Bob Duffy is the former mayor of Rochester and current President of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. He says he knew this move by Xerox was going to happen but he didn't think it would happen this quickly.
Brean: Do you feel as if, we're losing momentum downtown?
Bob Duffy, President & CEO, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce: No I think there's a lot going on downtown. This is something you can't help. This is a business decision they're making.
The Rochester Downtown Development Corporation says he total number of downtown jobs is 48,000 including the East End and High Falls. The total number of downtown residents is 7,200.
And since 2000, the total amount of investment (both private and public) downtown investment is $2.2 billion.
Brean: Are you concerned at all about what this says about the future of the company?
Suveda Thiagaraj, Xerox Tower employee: Not really because our engineering and our customer, the Gil Hatch Center is in Webster. So it's actually getting closer to where we thrive. So I don't feel that way, but who knows?
These kinds of corporate decisions made in Connecticut (where Xerox's headquarters is located) affects more than just Xerox employees.
Brean: How long have you been here?
Mike Obuck, DiPisa Old World Submarine: 10 years.
Mike Obruck owns DiPisa Old World Sub shop. It sits in the shadow of Xerox Tower and, unlike the Xerox jobs, it can't move.
Mike Obuck, DiPisa Old World Submarine: A lot of Xerox customers yes.
Brean: So I would imagine they're not going to do that anymore if they move to Webster.
MO: Exactly. We will take a loss. Hopefully we recover some of that back from a new tenant maybe.
That's up to owner, Buckingham Properties. It bought the Tower from Xerox in 2013. Buckingham Properties owns the former Bausch and Lomb building across the street and, with a team of developers, turned the old Midtown Tower into luxury apartments.
Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, Rochester Downtown Development Corp.: I think the more challenging question is what to do with the tower?
Heidi Zimmer-Meyer is the head of Rochester Downtown Development Corporation.
Brean: What role will you play in changing the tower?
Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, Rochester Downtown Development Corp.: Well we don't own it. It's Buckingham Properties and we're very fortunate that we have a company with as much of an experience-base. Their track record has been unbelievable.
Updated: January 26, 2018 07:44 PM
Created: January 26, 2018 12:06 PM
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