Allstate Corp. is in talks about moving its headquarters to Chicago after selling the majority of its suburban campus earlier this year, potentially returning to a city that it quit decades ago.
The insurer has held discussions with Chicago officials about the potential move, but it has yet to announce a decision, according to people familiar with the matter. Discussions are ongoing and Allstate, which employs more than 7,000 people in Illinois, could still choose a different location for the headquarters. It’s unclear how many people would be affected, since 75 percent of the company’s employees work from home.
Moving back to the city would help Chicago make up for some high-profile corporate departures this year, including the decision by Citadel, Ken Griffin’s giant hedge fund, to leave for Miami. It also would dovetail with a trend of companies decamping from the Illinois suburbs to the city in search of young university talent. McDonald’s Corp. and Oreo-cookie maker Mondelez International Inc. are among companies that relocated from the suburbs to the trendy Fulton market district in recent years.
A spokesman for Allstate said the insurer is “considering options for a modern headquarters in Illinois that will support the way our employees are working now and into the future.” The city of Chicago didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Allstate bought a building in Chicago’s central business district earlier this year. While 29 North Wacker Drive will house some employees, it’s unlikely to become Allstate’s headquarters, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks with the city are private.
In an interview, Chief Executive Officer Tom Wilson said the company was re-evaluating what it would want from a new headquarters and that an ideal campus would foster collaboration and mentorship, rather than languishing as an empty office full of computer monitors.
Allstate sold the majority of its Northbrook campus for $232 million this year.
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