Former Simplex headquarters up for sale

The building was vacated only a short time after the company, employees moved in
Monday, April 1, 2002

WESTMINSTER, Mass.-Less than two years after moving into a new $40 million headquarters here, the former Simplex Time Recorder Co. moved out and the building is now up for sale.

Relocating to the company's manufacturing facility down the road came only a short while after the fire and systems integration company was bought by Tyco International and combined with Grinnell Fire Protection to create SimplexGrinnell. Staff reductions then followed, leaving the expansive building less full.

"It really was a situation where it was built by Simplex and built for growth of the Simplex business," said Chris Woodcock, manager of advertising and public relations for SimplexGrinnell. "After the acquisition was made, Tyco and SimplexGrinnell operated on more of a decentralized model and a lot of the operations housed here in Westminster were moved out."

Simplex originally moved into the new, 176,000 square-foot building in April 2000. At that time the headquarters, which could accommodate 500 people, was touted as a state-of-the-art facility that was an important step in achieving the company's objective to become a leading brand.

The building featured a training center, top-notch mechanical systems, a cafeteria and parking for 600 people. It's located on a 50.6 acre parcel.

But by combining operations into its manufacturing center, the company expects to save money. That move took place in the summer of 2001. Woodcock did not have details on exactly how much company officials expect to save.

"It really made sense to move everybody," he said. Now, the company operates manufacturing, research and development, administration, sales and distribution from its facility on 100 Simplex Drive. The company also has a Houston-based corporate facility that came from the Grinnell side of the business.

Woodcock said the company moved between 150 to 200 employees to work in offices located at its manufacturing facility. He did not have figures on how many employees were laid off after Tyco bought Simplex.

The building is now listed with a Boston corporate real estate firm, GVA Thompson, Doyle, Hennessey & Everest. The listing price for the building was not available.

"It's been actively marketed and there have been numerous inquiries from interested parties and several showings," said Woodcock.