Major Software Firm Relocates From New Jersey to Pearl River
John Jordan | December 2016
PEARL RIVER—Global software company Syncsort Inc. has relocated its corporate headquarters from Woodcliff Lake, NJ to approximately 55,000 square feet of space at 2 Blue Hill Plaza here.
The relocation deal was fueled in part by incentives provided under New York State’s START-UP-NY program. Syncsort is collaborating with Iona College, which has its Rockland Graduate Center located at the 2 Blue Hill Plaza property, as part of the START-UP NY deal.
A ceremonial ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Dec. 6 and was hosted by Syncsort and Iona College. A number of county, state and local dignitaries attended the event held at Blue Hill Plaza, including State Senator David Carlucci and Rockland Business Association President and CEO Al Samuels.
The corporate headquarters relocation is the largest single project between a company and a private college within the network of the START-UP NY consortium, enabling the creation of 144 new jobs along with an investment of $2,895,000 from Syncsort. The collaboration with Iona College is expected to create increased professional and academic opportunities for Iona students and the local community.
The transaction was announced in December 2015 but relocation of some tenants at 2 Blue Hill Plaza and significant work on the fit-out of its space at its new Pearl River operations took nearly a year to complete, according to Syncsort CEO Josh Rogers. Syncsort, which was founded in 1968, provides powerful, secure, enterprise-grade software that spans “Big Iron to Big Data,” including analytical platforms such as Apache Hadoop, Splunk, Apache Spark, and the cloud, as well as mature, business critical platforms such as the IBM z Systems mainframe. The company’s products are deployed in top Fortune 500 companies across industries, such as financial services, healthcare, telecommunications and other data intensive domains.
Rogers said that the company had occupied approximately 70,000 square feet of space at its former New Jersey headquarters. However, the company had not utilized all of its office space there since it had sold off a business that operated out of the property. He told Real Estate In-Depth that the company had occupied the New Jersey headquarters at 50 Tice Blvd. for 30 years. The company decided to relocate operations rather than suffer through a building renovation. The company looked at about 40 properties in the Tri-State metro region before deciding on leasing the space at the 1.1-million-square-foot Blue Hill Plaza complex owned by Glorious Sun. James B. Tully, executive vice president of CB Richard Ellis, represented Glorious Sun in the long-term lease transaction. Michael Maroon, founding partner of The Acclaim Group, represented Syncsort in the deal. With the transaction and several deals pending, Blue Hill Plaza will be about 70% occupied.
In late November, Syncsort, which is backed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., announced it signed a definitive agreement with Harte Hanks, Inc. to acquire Trillium Software, a leading global provider of data quality solutions. Rogers said that while Syncsort intends to grow its Pearl River operations, the Trillium purchase will likely not add any workers to its headquarters operations and that it would likely maintain the Trillium offices in Burlington, MA once the deal closes. No financial terms of the transaction were released.
The company also operates two offices in London, as well as operations in Amsterdam, Germany, Paris and Tokyo.
Rogers said the Iona College relationship, the START-UP NY incentives and the amenities offered at Blue Hill Plaza were major factors in convincing the firm to relocate from the Garden State to Rockland County. In addition to the food court, health club and numerous other amenities, CBRE’s Tully revealed that the Blue Hill Plaza ownership is in negotiations with Coach USA to provide bus service from Blue Hill Plaza into Manhattan.
“I have to say that I really feel validated in our decision,” Rogers said at the ribbon-cutting, noting that their first visit to the offices at 2 Blue Hill Plaza already had a positive impact on the company’s workers and teams.
He also added that the partnership with Iona College holds great promise, especially in the fields of analytics and healthcare.
Dr. Vincent Colluzzo, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Iona College, said, “Iona College’s partnership with Syncsort will have a positive impact on our students and faculty, creating resources of business expertise and internship possibilities for our students in Rockland and at our main campus in New Rochelle.”
START-UP NY provides businesses that create net new jobs in New York State with the opportunity to operate 100% tax-free for 10 years, paying no state income tax, business or corporate state or local taxes, sales tax, property tax or franchise fees. The companies also partner with the higher education institutions they are sponsored by, and have the ability to access industry experts and advanced research laboratories associated with the schools.
Meghan Taylor, regional director for the Mid-Hudson region for Empire State Development Corp., said that New York State is pleased that Syncsort, a major global software company, decided to relocate to New York State. She noted that while the incentives are a major part of the START-UP NY program, the job creation and the collaboration between the private sector and educational institutions are critical elements as well.
Taylor related that since the launch of START-UP NY three years ago, the program has more than 200 commitments from companies to create more than 4,500 jobs and invest $250 million in New York State over the next three to five years.