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State Farm’s national expansion plans coming to light — but what does it mean for DuPont and Washington state?

Post by Kathleen Cooper / The News Tribune on Feb. 19, 2013 at 2:40 pm with No Comments »
February 19, 2013 3:09 pm

The Phoenix Business Journal is reporting that Illinios-based State Farm Insurance is planning to build a very large regional headquarters in Tempe, Ariz.

(M)ultiple sources … confirmed this but wanted to remain anonymous. These sources (said) that State Farm will build a roughly 1 million-square-foot regional headquarters campus on a site owned by Arizona State University in which Scottsdale-based Sunbelt Holdings Inc. has an option to buy. The facility would house about 5,000 to 7,000 employees, sources (said).

Notably, State Farm confirms to the Phoenix business newspaper that it is indeed “expanding our established presence in Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix.” To my knowledge, that’s the first official explanation of real estate deals that have been getting attention.

In light of my reporting earlier this month about State Farm’s possible interest in downtown Tacoma, I asked regional spokesman Brad Hilliard to comment on the Arizona news and what it might mean for local jobs. I’m waiting to hear back from him.

I can’t help but notice that if you’re looking at State Farm’s operations on a national map, there’s a lot of territory to cover between Arizona, company headquarters in Illinois and the Pacific Northwest. Seems like expanding their established presence up here would make some sense.

I’ll post here with updates.

UPDATE, 3:05 p.m.: I just heard back from Hilliard. In addition to asking for how the Arizona news would affect local operations, I asked when the company plans to announce its intentions locally. He said this in an email:

As it has done throughout its 90-year history, State Farm continues to review its facilities, looking to ensure employees are in the right places to provide the best service possible for our customers.  Customers’ expectations continue to evolve and we need to adapt as those expectations change. Decisions will be made over time – some happening sooner – others years later.

What we can confirm is that:

  • Our company headquarters remains in Bloomington, Illinois.
  • We are expanding our established presence in Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix.
  • In addition to these locations, we will continue operating in a number of communities where we have an established presence.  Today, we are continuing to use our DuPont facility to support our work and serve customers.  Our review is ongoing.

We appreciate the continued contributions of people in all these facilities.  We do not have further details to share now but when we do we will be certain to communicate with our agents, employees and associates.

This is basically the same statement other spokespeople are giving other reporters. So, we’ll keep at it, trying to find out more about plans for Pierce County’s seventh largest private employer.

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