Large datacenter company expected to purchase old Sears headquarters campus in Hoffman Estates

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Friday, September 8, 2023
Large datacenter company expected to buy old Sears campus
A large Texas datacenter company is expected to purchase the old Sears headquarters campus in Hoffman Estates, IL.

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (WLS) -- In its heyday, the Sears headquarters campus in Hoffman Estates was a thriving place with thousands of employees running largest retailer in the world.

The company, which moved out of former Sears Tower downtown, helped bring dramatic growth to the northwest suburb.

Current Mayor Bill McLeod was a village trustee when Sears opened in the mid-90s. He said the massive 2.3 million square-foot site helped draw other businesses and residential areas to the town as well.

"Sears made quite an impact. It put Hoffman Estates on the map at that point," McLeod said.

In the last couple years, as the company closed the headquarters and its final stores in Illinois, the site has been one of the more prominent pieces vacant real estate in the Chicago area. But, that may soon change. A huge datacenter company from Texas is expected to purchase the property.

"Absent demand for office space, which, coming out of the pandemic, is lacking. This is a pretty good use," said John Pletz, a Crain's Chicago Business writer.

Pletz said there is a great demand for data centers, and the former Sears site offers lots of advantages. And, while it may not be a high-profile corporate headquarters, village officials will be happy to see something there.

"With Sears leaving the property, taxes plummet, because the building is empty. So, to have it redeveloped is really a big deal for Hoffman Estates," McLeod said.

Village officials are under a non-disclosure agreement, so they can't talk about what is expected to go there, but they said it's likely that the next owner would demolish the building, taking with it the last legacy of Sears in Hoffman Estates.