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Ceridian doesn't 'miss a beat' in move

The company transfers its operations to St. Petersburg over seven weekends.

By MATTIAS KAREN

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 13, 2000


PALM HARBOR -- Scanning the atrium of the near-empty building that used to be his company's headquarters, John Gianangelo had good reason to look relieved Monday.

Not counting Memorial Day, Sunday was the first day off in seven weeks for Gianangelo, senior project manager for Ceridian Benefits Services.

That's because Saturday was the successful conclusion of Ceridian's move from its 123,000-square-foot building on U.S. 19 to its new headquarters in St. Petersburg. Almost 900 employees were shifted over seven weekends, along with about 1,800 computers, 1,000 telephones, 100 computer servers, and a couple hundred truckloads of furniture.

"And the company didn't miss a beat," Gianangelo said. "It's kind of amazing."

Ceridian administers benefits programs for thousands of employers. Between 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays, telephone lines are open for people to call in with questions regarding their health and other benefits. One of the challenges of the move was to disconnect some of those phone lines every Friday, then have them up and working again Monday morning.

"We just really haven't encountered any kind of glitches at all," said Patrick Manders, vice president for communication. "All the congratulatory e-mails are going back and forth within the company because it went so well."

The move leaves two former Ceridian buildings on U.S. 19 empty. The smaller of the two, at 34125 U.S. 19, has been bought by Jeff Keierleber, owner of Decade Services Inc., based in Brookfield, Wis.

Keierleber said real estate company Colliers Arnold is looking for companies interested in leasing space in the 65,000-square-foot building. So far, several have displayed interest, but none have committed, he said.

"Palm Harbor is a great area," said Keierleber, who lives in Clearwater Beach. "We should have no problem leasing it."

Colliers Arnold is also trying to find a buyer for the larger building, at 31975 U.S. 19. Three "very large companies" have already toured the building, said Colliers Arnold vice president John Gerlach. He would not identify the prospective buyers.

Ceridian has moved into a 51-acre complex on 34th Street S in St. Petersburg. The nine-building facility, which used to be the headquarters for Florida Power Corp., has undergone a $28.5-million renovation by Ceridian.

- Mattias Karen can be reached at (727) 445-4243 or at northpin@sptimes.com.

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