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Columbia searching for new business to lease old IBM industrial for first time in over a decade


For the first time in over a decade, the old IMB building on Lemone Industrial Blvd is vacant. Columbia is now looking for a new business to buy or lease the building from them. 

The city is taking proposals and hopes to have a list of interested parties by Nov. 27. 

The city first purchased the industrial building at 2810 Lemone Blvd in 2010 in an effort to recruit IBM into Columbia. They were successful in doing so, but in 2021 IBM split into two companies. Kyndryl then took over as the employer in Columbia. 

Kyndryl’s lease expired on Oct. 31 leaving the building vacant. 

The 93,000-square-foot facility includes more than eight hundred cubical spaces, nine conference rooms, a kitchen, a cafeteria, a large storm shelter, a 32-seat training room and 721 parking spaces. 

Kyndryl did not renew its lease because the company felt like it no longer needed a building of that size.

“Kyndrl cited that they were just not utilizing the facility like they had been in the past so they cited flexible work practices. I think we are seeing a lot of people working from home and we have seen a lot more of that since the pandemic. so they really cited underutilization of the building as a reason why they were no longer in need of it,” Columbia spokesperson Sydney Olsen told ABC 17 News.

The city views their exit as an opportunity. 

“While they are exiting this is an opportunity for potentially a new business either from out of town or maybe for an existing employer here to take over,” Olsen said.  

The city anticipates a large company taking over the lease due to the size of the building. 

Proposals must include the name of the company and owners, along with a brief history, proposed terms for the lease or purchase and plans for use of the building.

Finalists will be selected from qualified submissions and will be notified by email or phone in December. 

If the city does not get a proposal that meets their criteria, Olsen says they will simply extend the Nov. 27 deadline.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

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Mitchell Kaminski

Mitchell Kaminski is from Wheaton, Illinois. He earned a degree in sports communication and journalism from Bradley University. He has done radio play-by-play and co-hosts a Chicago White Sox podcast.


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