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Citicorp property for sale

August 16, 1999|By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

The Citicorp Credit Services campus north of Hagerstown is for sale as part of a block sell-off to raise capital for more profitable ventures, Citicorp spokesman Philip Kelly said Monday.

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The property's change of ownership, including an agreement that the credit services company would have a long-term lease, won't affect operations or employment locally or at any of the other facilities up for sale, Kelly said.

"It's strictly a balance sheet kind of thing," he said. "None of the places are going to close."

In addition to its campus near Hagerstown Regional Airport, where more than 2,400 people work, the package features Citicorp's facilities near Las Vegas, Nev., in Tampa, Fla., Sioux Falls, S.D., Florence, Ky., and on Wall Street in New York City, Kelly said.

Most of the properties included in the group offering are large customer service centers like the one near Hagerstown, he said.

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They're being offered as a single property, with the company wanting a lease-back agreement for at least 20 years, Kelly said.

"They're facilities where there's a lot of equity in the buildings," he said.

If the money is tied up in the buildings, the company can't put it into new ventures where it could get a better return, Kelly said.

Citicorp's 61-acre Washington County campus has three buildings - opened in 1986, 1990 and 1996 - and a large corporate-sponsored day care center.

The campus is listed in tax records as a single parcel with a fair market value of $38.2 million, according to Washington County Treasurer Todd Hershey.

The property offering was announced in financial markets early last week, Kelly said.

Citicorp employees were notified of the sale so they'd know what was going on, he said.

"They won't even notice when the transaction happens," Kelly said.

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