Meat processor Tyson Foods will move around 500 company employees based in its Chicago Office and Downers Grove Innovation Center at its world headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, the company said in a press release Wednesday.
Tyson is also moving employees to Arkansas from Dakota Dunes, South Dakota. A “gradual relocation” of employees from these three sites will begin early next year, the company said.
About 1,000 total employees will be affected by the consolidation, Tyson spokesman Derek Burleson said in an email.
The company’s Chicago offices are located at 400 S. Jefferson St. Tyson began working from this office and the Downers Grove Innovation Center when it purchased Hillshire Brands. for almost 8 billion dollars in 2014. The 247,000 square foot building is now owned by Newton, Mass.-based Office Properties Income Trust, which last year bought Google’s Fulton Market headquarters for $357 million.
by Tyson The Dakota Dunes location is the headquarters for its beef and pork business, Burleson said.
In 2020, the company cut about 500 jobs in Chicago and Arkansas as part of a restructuring program.
Burleson said the company does not anticipate any layoffs in association with the consolidation. Severance pay will be determined “on an individual basis” for those who choose not to move to Arkansas, he said. The company is also planning an expansion and renovation of its Arkansas facilities.
“Bringing together our talented corporate team members and businesses under one roof opens up greater opportunities to share insights and ideas, while allowing us to act quickly to solve problems and deliver solutions. innovative products that our customers deserve and love,” said CEO Donnie King. in a report.
In August, Tyson reported third-quarter revenue of nearly $13.5 billion, up about 8% from the same period a year earlier. The company’s net profit, however, was flat year over year. On an earnings call, King told investors the sales gains were largely driven by price inflation for chicken and prepared foods.
Last month McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski sounded the alarm on the effects of crime on business in Chicago and called for greater collaboration between business leaders and the public sector to address the problem. Mayor Lori Lightfoot retaliated, claiming that more than 100 businesses had moved to or opened in Chicago in the past year and a half.
Despite Kempczinski’s comments about the downtown business climate, McDonald’s announced plans the same day to move 120 jobs from Romeoville to the West Loop headquarters.
It’s unclear what Tyson’s plans are for the office space he’s renting on Jefferson Street, but a full departure would leave a hole in the downtown real estate market, which has been disrupted by COVID-19. Many downtown businesses have decided to reduce their footprint, while others are reluctant to sign new leases, hampering efforts to fill empty spaces. The downtown vacancy rate reached 20% mid-year, according to commercial real estate firm Colliers International, an all-time high.
David Burden, director of Colliers, said filling the space on Jefferson Street, a 1940s warehouse converted into offices a decade ago by developer Sterling Bay, might not take very long if Tyson leaves his lease.
“There’s still a lot of demand for West Loop buildings that are retro on the outside but modern on the inside,” he said. “This building needs updating, but that’s not unusual as it’s been 10 years.”