Zurich North America sued over condition of former HQ

  • Oak Brook-based Retail Properties of America Inc. is suing Zurich North America, claiming the insurance company left the two 20-story Schaumburg buildings that previously served its headquarters in conditions that violate the terms of the lease agreement.

      Oak Brook-based Retail Properties of America Inc. is suing Zurich North America, claiming the insurance company left the two 20-story Schaumburg buildings that previously served its headquarters in conditions that violate the terms of the lease agreement. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer, 2012

 
 
Updated 12/6/2016 4:23 PM

Zurich North America, which wowed the Northwest suburbs and the state with its impressive new headquarters in Schaumburg this fall, now faces a lawsuit from its former landlord over the conditions left behind at its former headquarters less than two miles away.

Oak Brook-based Retail Properties of America Inc. filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Chicago on Dec. 1, just a day after Zurich's lease expired for the 20-story towers at 1400 E. American Lane near Woodfield Mall.

 

Court documents don't specify the time or cost necessary to bring the buildings up to Retail Properties of America's standards. The suit seeks more than $75,000 in damages.

Kim Freely, director of public relations and communications for Retail Properties of America, said she couldn't comment on the pending litigation, but it is not expected to delay Paylocity's move from its current headquarters in Arlington Heights to the vacated towers.

RPAI announced in June that Paylocity would begin moving into the towers late this year through a process expected to run through early 2019, and would ultimately occupy 309,000 square feet of the 895,000-square-foot buildings.

Jennifer Schneider, Zurich North America's director of media and public relations, said the company is in the process of reviewing the complaint but confident that it complied with its obligations under the lease.

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According to the suit, a consultant hired by Retail Properties of America inspected the property last spring in anticipation of the lease's expiration and noted numerous areas in need of repair or maintenance.

The company sent Zurich a notice of default on its lease agreement for these issues on Sept. 7. On Sept. 27, Zurich representatives replied that they would not remediate any of the issues raised, the suit states.

A second notice of default was sent to Zurich North America on Oct. 17, and the suit was filed on Dec. 1.

Zurich North America opened its new 783,800-square-foot headquarters in a corner of the former Motorola Solutions campus in late September, and transferred its 3,000 employees there from the towers throughout October.

In November, during the weeks before its lease expired, Zurich donated hundreds of tons of furniture left behind in the towers to various public and private agencies throughout the state and country.

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