Sears to sell its suburban Chicago corporate headquarters

Dec 17, 2021, 8:40 AM | Updated: 9:02 am

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) — Sears plans to sell the sprawling suburban Chicago corporate headquarters that’s been the struggling retailer’s home for three decades.

Transformco, Sears’ parent company, confirmed this week that in early 2022 it plans to market the 273-acre (110.5-hectare) corporate headquarters in the northwest suburb of Hoffman Estates.

Transformco has been downsizing Sears’ operations and corporate staff for several years.

“These changes have reduced our needs for a corporate campus that was built 30 years ago for the needs of a more centralized business,” Transformco spokesman Larry Costello said in a statement.

Costello said employees have been operating under a hybrid structure during the pandemic, with a mix of in-office and remote work. He declined to say how many employees are based out of Hoffman Estates, or where a future headquarters might be located.

The Hoffman Estates campus was home to more than 4,000 Sears employees as recently as 2017, according to company filings.

The site features a 2.3 million-square-foot (213,677- square-meter) corporate office and 273 acres (110.5 hectares), including 100 acres (44.5 hectares) of undeveloped land.

Sears was once the nation’s largest retailer, but it has struggled in recent years, seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2018 with billions of dollars in debt.

Transformco, an entity controlled by former Sears CEO and its largest shareholder, Edward Lampert, purchased the retailer and 425 stores in a 2019 bankruptcy auction.

Since then, Sears has continued to reduce its retail footprint, closing its last full-service Illinois department store at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg on Nov. 14.

Hoffman Estates has been home to Sears’ corporate headquarters since 1992, when the company left its namesake Sears Tower in downtown Chicago before selling the skyscraper, now the Willis Tower, two years later.

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Sears to sell its suburban Chicago corporate headquarters