Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - IBM has shrunk its presence in Rochester to the point that it has decided to sell much of its sprawling campus in northwest Rochester.

A statement issued by IBM Wednesday afternoon says the company is in the process of moving all of its local operations into eight buildings on the east side of the huge complex along Highway 52. Once the consolidation is completed, which is expected by March of next year, IBM plans to sell the other buildings and the the remainder of the land at the site.  IBM officials informed the company’s employees in Rochester of the plans this afternoon.

According to IBM’s website, the firm announced plans to locate a manufacturing plant in Rochester in 1956 and opened the first building at the campus in 1958. The complex eventually grew to several million square feet of space.

At its peak, IBM’s Rochester workforce was over 8000 in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. The company no longer provides information about the size of the local workforce, but recent estimates and put it at around 2500.

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