IBM Corp. is taking steps to sell its massive campus in Rochester, though it is expected to remain on the site by leasing back a portion of it.
According to a land development application IBM submitted to the city of Rochester this week, IBM wants to subdivide the nearly 500-acre campus into three large lots to “facilitate and support the sale of the property.”
The property, close to Hwy. 52 and 37th Street NW., would be known as Rochester Business Park after the sale. As part of the transaction, IBM will rent the buildings on one of the lots.
The 70-page application includes a copy of an agreement between Rochester East Campus LLC and Rochester West Campus LLC to own the property. Rochester East will own 60 acres of the property and Rochester West will own the remaining 430 acres. The owners of the two purchasing firms couldn’t be identified through available public records Friday.
No sale price was given, and there does not appear to be any state electronic certificate of real estate value recording a sale.
IBM real estate and communications executives did not return requests for comment Friday.
IBM began operations in Rochester in 1956. The facility became the home of IBM’s minicomputer development and manufacturing. Its engineers also designed card-punch machines, card readers and other data processing equipment, as well as assisting with mainframe computers that were built in other factories.
In the 1990s, the campus peaked at about 3.6 million square feet of owned and leased space, which was equal to about 78 football fields, and about 8,100 employees.
But over the years, employee numbers fell dramatically as the New York-based technology giant shifted work elsewhere.
As of 2015, the company employed about 2,500 in Rochester.