SwissAir USA HQ heads to market
By: LIBN Staff June 7, 2002 Comments Off on SwissAir USA HQ heads to market
MELVILLE – Swiss International Airlines, the airline born out of the ashes of the SwissAir bankruptcy, is preparing to move from 41 Pinelawn Road to EAB Plaza in Uniondale.
As a result, the 60,000-square-foot, class A office facility is being prepared for sale with an asking price of $14.4 million.
SwissAir filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last October after an ill-fated effort to expand coincided with the slowing world economy, which led to a dramatic downturn in world travel. The 71-year-old carrier stopped flight operations on March 31.
SwissAir’s development of the Pinelawn Road site was completed in 1995, as the Island’s commercial real estate market was only beginning to emerge from recession.
"At the time it was a big deal," said Sutton & Edwards’ Ken Enos, who is marketing the property along with fellow broker Jim Fitzsimons.
"It was unique because here was this Swiss group that not only wanted to own rather than lease, but also wanted to make a statement with the building."
For that reason, the airline chose famed architect Richard Meier, who also designed the Federal Courthouse in Central Islip, to design what was its North American headquarters. According to Enos, the 41 Pinelawn site is expandable by 20,000 square feet and is in impeccable condition, both inside and out.
Swiss International Airlines, which was created out of the remains of SwissAir and CrossAir, has been in business since April 1.
The new airline will be relocating its passenger and cargo operations, along with about 45 percent of its 200 employees, from the Pinelawn Road site to 22,000 square feet at EAB Plaza by the fall, according to Marcel Biedermann, Swiss’ vice president of operations for North America.
The remainder of the airline’s workforce, mainly its call center, will be relocated to another location in Melville that hasn’t been disclosed.
Swiss currently operates two flights a day from John F. Kennedy Airport and one from Newark International in New Jersey. Biedermann said the load factors of the flights have been good, averaging more than 85 percent.
"But we are still battling with revenue-per-passenger numbers because of the low fares instituted following Sept. 11," Biedermann said.1:00 am Fri, June 7, 2002 LIBN Staff