Zurich’s space, meanwhile, is one of the most upscale offices in the Chicago suburbs today. The company completed its new North American home office in 2016 — at the time the largest new single-tenant suburban Chicago office development in more than a decade — and outfitted it with new amenities including outdoor terraces, a conference center with a 300-seat theater, an on-site dry cleaner, two golf simulators and a “wellness center” with locker rooms equipped with saunas and various table games, according to a JLL flyer.
The building, designed by Goettsch Partners, sits on 39 acres and comes fully furnished with workspace in the sublease block, which could fit 1,500 employees, the flyer said. The property is owned by a venture of Atlanta-based real estate investor Stonemont Financial.
Zurich, which leases the building through mid-2042, is offering a flexible lease term length and can divide up the space it’s marketing for smaller users, according to JLL. The flyer does not include an asking rental rate, but sources familiar with the offering said the company is seeking rents in line with what other top-tier suburban office buildings command today.
Zurich’s use — or lack thereof — of its physical office space is at the center of a lawsuit that the company itself filed early last year. Zurich alleges that the village of Schaumburg owes it millions of dollars in property tax reimbursements that the company was promised under its agreement to develop a new headquarters with at least 1,700 workers. The village struck that deal on the premise that those employees would be an economic boon to the area, dining at lunch spots, filling up at local gas stations and shopping at nearby grocery stories, among other activities.
Then came the pandemic. Those employees were no longer around on a daily basis, and in 2020, Schaumburg proposed renegotiating the deal, according to the lawsuit. In 2021 the village refused to make any reimbursement payment to Zurich, the company alleges in the complaint, which is pending in Cook County Circuit Court.
Zurich argues that the tax incentive agreement requires only that its employees be “assigned” to that office, whether or not they’re physically there every day. The company says in the complaint that about 2,100 employees were assigned to the building as of early 2021 and that missed reimbursements had cost Zurich $5.5 million at the time the lawsuit was filed.
In the statement to Crain’s regarding the sublease offering, the Zurich spokeswoman said the decision to try to get rid of space “reinforces our longstanding commitment to Illinois because it’s expected the building’s transition to a multi-tenant facility will foster even greater economic impact to the region by drawing additional businesses and more jobs.”
Schaumburg Director of Economic Development Matt Frank declined to comment on the lawsuit but said the village is happy Zurich is hunting for users that could bring more employees there on a daily basis.
Zurich “trying to attract another company to occupy that space is a benefit and helps us with getting that additional daytime population to support (local) businesses,” Frank said. “We view that as a good thing that they’re being proactive to fully utilize the entire space.”
Zurich’s sublease listing is far larger than the next-biggest block of suburban offices available on the secondary market, according to JLL data. The second-largest is a roughly 150,000-square-foot offering from educational products company Follett at 3 Westbrook Corporate Center in Westchester, followed by Caterpillar’s 116,000-square-foot sublease listing at the Corporate 500 office complex in Deerfield, JLL data show.
Zurich North America is the U.S. arm of Swiss insurance giant Zurich Insurance Group.
JLL’s Rick Benoy and Jeffrey Miller are marketing the Zurich space for sublease.
This story has been updated to clarify that about 3.3 million square feet of suburban office space is available for sublease.