- Sep 16, 2015
Kraft’s recent merger with Heinz to form Kraft Heinz, and the subsequent announcement of the new company’s plans to relocate its corporate operations to downtown Chicago, has piqued interest about future possibilities for the site.
For 25 years, Kraft’s headquarters has been located at the familiar 700,000 square foot complex on a 70 acre site in Northfield. The complex consists of 7 wings that are interconnected and currently configured to accommodate up to 2,300 employees. The site features a large cafeteria, fitness center, auditorium, employee store, conference centers, loading docks, shipping and receiving areas.
In January 2013, Kraft sold the building to W.P. Carey, a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and signed an agreement to lease it back for 10 years. With seven years remaining on the lease, brokers representing Kraft Heinz are seeking a single tenant or tenants to sublease the Class A office space. According to Cushman Wakefield broker Ned Franke, the site is a unique, high quality property, in a highly desirable location, ideally suited for a large employer. Its proximity to transportation, excellent schools and amenities make it attractive to employees. However, he cautions the number of corporations seeking this size property are limited. While a single tenant is preferred, the interconnected wings on the site could be divided to accommodate anywhere from two to four companies.
Franke noted that there is a lot of interest in having the site re-tenanted as Kraft has been a fixture since the site was initially constructed in 1990. The process for seeking a new tenant has already begun and will continue during the company’s move to Chicago.
Kraft’s location at the edge of Northbrook made it an important business generator with nearby service providers. Renaissance General Manager Rik Blyth comments that the hotel has been dealing with the Kraft downsizing and ultimate move for a long time. The hotel has aggressively been seeking new business opportunities, including from new neighbors Barilla, which moved its corporate headquarters to Northbrook in August. “The North Shore is fortunate to have so many Fortune 500 companies and I hope this site presents the opportunity for one more,” he comments.
Northfield officials are also quietly optimistic about the future of the site. “The Kraft relocation closes an important chapter in our community’s evolution and opens another,” comments Northfield Village President Fred Gougler, noting that a great deal has changed in 25 years.” Northfield is a different community and this prime location is more desirable than ever before. We look forward to its next chapter and to the many ways that it will contribute to the life and vitality of our Village.”