Insurance giant State Farm has landed another big block of office space near Perimeter Mall, a move that raises questions about whether the company might make changes to its major campus in Johns Creek.
The lease at the Hammond Exchange building, a 10-story tower on Hammond Drive near Perimeter Mall and the Dunwoody MARTA station, follows last year’s announcement of a new customer operations center and 500 new jobs in the Central Perimeter area.
The Bloomington, Ill.-based insurer has publicly said little about its plans in metro Atlanta, leaving some in the real estate industry to question if State Farm is considering local campus moves or something bigger.
Recent real estate shuffling in metro Dallas has raised similar questions there, according to the Dallas Morning News. And again, the company has said little.
Georgia and Dunwoody economic development officials say they’re unaware of State Farm’s ultimate intention.
A Georgia-based spokesman for State Farm confirmed the company has signed a five-year lease for more than 180,000 square feet of office space at the Hammond Exchange building.
Whether the space is for new jobs or transplants from other areas isn’t clear. If the space State Farm leased last year in the 64 and 66 Perimeter Center East buildings for 500 customer service employees is any guide, the new offices could comfortably house a few hundred workers, perhaps more.
State Farm now has nearly 2,000 workers at its Johns Creek campus.
Given recent moves to obtain large blocks of space in Texas, the Dunwoody lease has some in the real estate community wondering if State Farm is contemplating major shifts in its space here. Real estate insiders have said the company could shift its Johns Creek regional hub to the Dunwoody/Sandy Springs area, or perhaps elsewhere.
State Farm spokesman Justin Tomczak said the company could not provide any additional information.
In the Dallas and north Texas area, the company has reportedly leased about 2.5 million square feet of new space in recent months. It’s enough space — the size of two Bank of America Plazas — for thousands of workers.
The move has fueled speculation that State Farm could consolidate regional hubs or even move its global headquarters from Illinois to Texas. State Farm’s top officer is a former Dallas resident.
The shuffling in Texas and Georgia has prompted similar speculation here. Tomczak said the company is not considering moving its Illinois headquarters to metro Atlanta.
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