WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- A key procedural hurdle was cleared on Monday for the proposed sale of PepsiCo's office building in Somers , as Westchester County lawmakers approved transferring an easement to the property's potential new owner.
The easement provides access to the property, according to Legislator Mary Jane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson). Shimsky chairs the Board of Legislators' Infrastructure Committee, which was one of two committees that referred the legislation to the full board for a vote.
The board approved the transfer unanimously, assigning the easement from current owner PSI Investments, LLC to prospective buyer One P Way, LLC.
Somers' town assessment roll has a slightly different name for the owner, calling it PSI Holdings, LLC.
According to records, which were reviewed in a letter to the board from County Executive Rob Astorino, New York City, as the land's owner, initially agreed to the easement with the county in 1982. As part of the agreement, future transfer of the easement required consent from New York City, he added.
The county subsequently assigned the easement to a subsidiary of PepsiCo called Redux Realty, Inc., according to the records alluded to by Astorino, with a provision in the transfer that required county approval for future transfers from that point on.
Legislation that would have removed county approval for easement transfers was initially included in the newest transfer legislation. However, it was removed due to legal concern that a new local law and mandatory public referendum would have been required, according to Shimsky. Having such a process would have slowed down the transaction, Shimsky explained.
The county previously signed off on transferring the easement in 2006 in connection with the current owner's purchase of the site, according to Astorino's letter.
Mark Weingarten, an attorney for PSI, previously explained that his client is in contract to sell the property to One P Way. Weingarten could not be reached for comment on Monday.
While legislators have given their approval for the easement transfer, approvals are also needed from Astorino and New York City, according to Shimsky.
During her remarks at the board's meeting, Shimsky emphasized the economic importance of the easement for the vicinity, calling it “very economically useful land which cannot be used without this easement.”
The campus at 1 Pepsi Way, is roughly 200 acres and has a full market value of more than $69 million, according to Somers town records.
PepsiCo, which leases the building, confirmed last month that it will move out of the Somers campus and transfer employees to locations in Purchase and White Plains. There will not be layoffs in connection with the move, according to the company.
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