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IBM pulls the plug on negotiations with city over potential park space

IBM pulls the plug on negotiations with city over potential park space

(THE MED CITY BEAT) - The Rochester Park and Recreation Department is no longer in talks with IBM about a 160-acre property in northwest Rochester.

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The tech giant pulled the plug on negotiations Friday, just three days after the park board unanimously approved the park department's request to pursue the acquisition of the property.

Paul Widman, the department's director, confirmed to the Med City Beat Tuesday morning that negotiations had come to a halt. However, he remains optimistic the company will come back to the table again in the future.

Widman declined to say whether IBM provided a reason for its abrupt decision. But according to a report by KAAL-TV, it may have had something to do with amount of media attention the property was getting.

According to an email obtained by ABC 6 News dated February 6, IBM told the city the reason the offer is being withdrawn is because IBM didn’t want to negotiate the terms of the sale in a public process. The city said IBM knew that would be the process from the beginning.
— KAAL-TV

IBM recently offered the city the first chance at purchasing some land near its Rochester campus. 

Mike Nigbur, the head of the Park and Forestry Division, suggested to the park board last week that the city consider purchasing the farm land for $5 million under the condition IBM agrees to donate the existing park.

Graphic: Rochester Park and Recreation Department

He said the deal would only be in the city's best interest if the land was combined in a package deal. The total property is 160 acres, about twice the size of Soldiers Field Park.

The existing IBM park already has an 18-hole disc golf course, two baseball/softball fields, tennis courts, shelter, play equipment and trails. The undeveloped portion has space for an additional 14 soccer fields and a large indoor sports complex.


(Cover photo: File /  Balthazar Korab)

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