AT&T Inc. is looking at subleasing all or part its sprawling Midwest headquarters in Hoffman Estates as part of a plan to consolidate operations.
New mobile technologies allow employees to work "almost anywhere and at this location we are currently leasing office space that is now underutilized," the company said Friday in a statement. "We are looking to consolidate employees within the Hoffman Estates facility, but have partnered with a marketing firm to evaluate our options for up to the entire 1.6 million square feet."
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In the event that a potential partner would be interested in all of that space, AT&T said it has enough space in its real estate portfolio in the Chicago area to accommodate all of the employees who currently work in Hoffman Estates.
"To be clear, this action is not related to any workforce reductions," the statement said.
While it could be an obvious blow to the village if one of its largest employers moves jobs elsewhere, there have been rumors for years about the possibility of AT&T relocating, said Hoffman Estates Mayor William McLeod.
For the time being, the village can only hope that the sublease offer will attract at least as many jobs as are lost, he said.
"It's a beautiful facility," McLeod added.
AT&T hired Jones Lang LaSalle, a commercial real estate services firm in Chicago, which began marketing the property last week. The campus includes a full-service cafeteria, corporate offices, call center, data center, training and auditorium facilities, among other features in three main buildings.
AT&T is one of several corporations with major operations in the suburbs that said they were considering a move or other change to their campuses. Navistar, Caterpillar, Motorola Mobility and others all negotiated some type of tax incentive deal with state and local officials to remain here after seeking sites out of state.
Like AT&T, Motorola Solutions also said earlier this year that it will lease some buildings on its Schaumburg campus because they're no longer being used.
The AT&T campus, near I-90 and Meacham Road, was sold to a real estate investment company in 2005 by AT&T's predecessor, SBC Communications Inc., and then leased back to the telecommunications firm.
Jones Lang said it could lease out the entire campus or break it up as needed. It is targeting corporate users, tech and lab groups, educational institutions, data centers, call centers, among others, according to the firm's brochure on the site.
The facility layout is flexible and can be configured to accommodate almost all types of requirements, regardless of size, said George Kotrogiannis, senior vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle.
"We are confident that potential users will identify the many advantages offered by this property and its location in Hoffman Estates," said Kotrogiannis.
Kotrogiannis said he has no set timeline on when to sign up clients.
• Daily Herald Staff Writer Eric Peterson contributed to this report.