Hoffman Estates: Sears headquarters to be up for sale in 2022

The company born from the bankruptcy of Sears has informed the village of Hoffman Estates that it intends to put its corporate headquarters and 120 surrounding acres in the Northwest suburb on the market at the start of the new year.

The announcement comes only a month after Transformco closed its last Sears department store in Illinois, at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.

Transformco representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday, but Hoffman Estates officials said the company has not indicated what the sale would mean for its presence in the village.

Since its move from Chicago 30 years ago, Sears' corporate headquarters has consisted of seven interconnected office buildings totaling 2.4 million square feet in western Hoffman Estates. Transformco also owns 120 undeveloped acres around the headquarters.

Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod and Village Manager Eric Palm said Tuesday that Transformco informed them Monday of plans to list its property for sale after the first of the year.

"Everything that they own would be part of that listing," Palm said.

McLeod said a change of ownership for the struggling property would likely be positive news.

"I think it's another opportunity, just like Bell Works at the AT&T campus," McLeod said, referring to the redevelopment of the former AT&T corporate center along I-90. "We'll see what kind of offers they get. It's a beautiful building."

The assessed value of the corporate campus was $50 million last year, down from $150 million in 2013.

The Hoffman Estates village board next Monday is scheduled to vote on plans to dissolve, as of Dec. 31, the Economic Development Area that forged the business park and Sears headquarters three decades ago with a tax break.

A settlement and indemnification agreement approved by the board this week resolves a legal and financial dispute with Algonquin-based Community Unit District 300 and other taxing bodies regarding the extension of the EDA beyond its original 2012 expiration date.

Hoffman Estates Corporation Counsel Art Janura said creditors to whom the bankrupt Sears owed money will share $12.5 million, while Transformco will drop its tax appeal for approximately $15 million.

District 300 will receive $1.4 million directly from Transformco, while it and the other taxing bodies will begin to receive a greater annual share of the business park's property taxes in the absence of the EDA, Janura said.

Some of those other taxing bodies include the Barrington Library District, Elgin Community College, Barrington Township, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and Elgin Area School District U-46.

Sears last year ended its 14-year run as the naming-rights sponsor of the 11,000-seat arena owned by Hoffman Estates in the same Prairie Stone Business Park as the company's corporate headquarters. Formerly known as the Sears Centre, the venue is now called the Now Arena after the Bloomingdale-based Now Health Grou, Inc.

Though there are no longer any Sears stores in the company's home state, its website lists remaining locations in a number of other states, including as far away as Hawaii.

The Deal at 30 In 1989, Sears threatened to leave Illinois. Legendary Gov. Jim Thompson lured the iconic retail giant to the suburbs instead in what was a widely celebrated deal. 30 years later, how well did it work out?

The Deal at 30: Study suggests Hoffman would have grown without Sears

McLeod on Sears: 'It's been good basically for everybody'

'Everyone kept waiting for something to happen in Prairie Stone'

The promise of jobs

If Sears failed, how hard would it be to redevelop its headquarters?

The Sears Centre Arena is no more. Today it's the Now Arena.

Sears closing Woodfield Mall store, its last in Illinois

'It's a heartache': Woodfield Sears visitors shop for nostalgia on store's closing day

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