Former Motorola Harvard campus sells to Chinese firm for $9.3 million

The former Motorola Inc. campus in Harvard has been sold for about $9.3 million to a Chinese company seeking to get various manufacturers launched in the United States, a Harvard official said Tuesday.

Charles Eldredge, executive director of the Harvard Economic Development Corp. and the administrator to the site's enterprise zone, said he was told by the broker, Jones Lang LaSalle, that a Chinese company presented the winning bid.

The name of the company was not immediately released. The deal is expected to close in about 30 days, Eldredge said.

"The firm wants to do an incubator for Chinese manufacturers who want to get a toehold into the United States," Eldredge said.

Besides the $9.3 million for the campus, the Chinese firm likely will need to invest more to rehab the aging electrical system or other parts of the buildings to accommodate the companies that move in, he said.

Irvine, California-based Ten-X, formerly, hosted an online real estate auction to sell the campus. Bidders were required to show proof of funds, said Ten-X spokeswoman Cheri Mascitelli.

Besides the offices and manufacturing space, the property also offered on-site day care facilities, a cafeteria, an auditorium and heliports, all on 325 acres of land with ponds, biking and running trails and developmental opportunities, the information says.

The investment firm Optima International in Miami, Florida, had owned the vacant property since 2008, when it paid about $16.75 million.

The former Motorola had invested roughly $100 million in the cellphone plant when it opened in 1996 and housed about 5,000 employees with promises of economic growth. But when the economy crashed, Motorola cut tens of thousands of workers, closed the Harvard plant and split into two companies.

Former Motorola's Harvard campus hits an online auction, this time with tax incentives

A Chinese firm has purchased Motorola's former campus in Harvard for about $9.3 million. DAILY HERALD FILE PHOTO 2008
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