PAETEC, Windstream Will Move Into Downtown Rochester

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PAETEC and Windstream have, according to reports, saved downtown Rochester, N.Y. from a so-called "meltdown" by making good on plans to open new offices there.

The facilities won't serve as PAETEC's new world headquarters, as originally intended, since, in the intervening months, Windstream agreed to buy PAETEC. Instead, Windstream said during a press event earlier this week, it will keep PAETEC's current Perinton headquarters while also moving into the 67,000-square-foot space downtown. Rochester City Newspaper reported Windstream CEO Jeff Gardner as saying no fewer than 335 employees will work in the new offices — that staffing number is down from the 1,000 PAETEC was supposed to employ in that same facility.

Windstream will sign a 15-year lease, according to Rochester City Newspaper, which must be approved by the city council.

The agreement bolsters an ailing downtown that had been counting on PAETEC to breathe some new economic life into the area. It also removes a major hurdle in the pending, PAETEC-Windstream transaction: The City of Rochester is dropping its objections to the merger, objections it had filed with the FCC and New York's public service commission.

Questions remain, however, about the acquisition's impact on employment. PAETEC CEO Arunas Chesonis recently confirmed there will be layoffs.  

Windstream is buying PAETEC for $891 million plus the assumption of $1.4 billion in debt.

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