IBM Rochester site

A Los Angeles real estate firm has purchased the 492-acre IBM campus in Rochester. IBM will lease eight of the 34 buildings for its operations here.

Greetings My Fabulous Fact Finding Friend,

I don’t recall if you have covered this already, but having recently moved into the former IBM buildings in NW Rochester with my fellow coworkers, what can you tell us about the history of the location?

Need to know the facts, thank you!

— Brenda Gilbert

In this case, IBM could stand for It’s Been Mentioned. That is, this has been a fairly well-covered chapter in local history, but I’m always happy to share important facts with those who flatter me.

This story takes us back to the 1950s, when IBM developed and, in 1958, opened its campus on 492 acres of what was then the bleeding edge of the city’s northwest side. Renowned architect Eero Saarinen, designer of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, drew up plans for Big Blue’s buildings here. That campus today has 34 buildings on it, eight of which are still filled by IBM, long the city’s No. 2 employer, after Mayo Clinic.

But IBM no longer owns its property or buildings. Early last year, Los Angeles-based Industrial Realty Group LLC paid $33.9 million for the property and buildings. IBM remains there under a 12-year lease. Now others, yourself included, are filling those buildings under an ambitious plan to recast it as a hub for biotechnology and other high-tech R&D.

IBM has a long history of proud achievements in Rochester, from producing computers used by NASA to putting out the world’s fastest supercomputer several years in a row.

Read this column online, and you’ll find it’s bristling with weblinks to articles with lots of other important facts about your new work home.

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