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Smurfit-Stone To Leave Chicago Behind

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150 N. Michigan Ave.

Smurfit-Stone was headquartered for many years at 150 N. Michigan Ave. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The sale of the Smurfit-Stone Container Company means Chicago will be losing its corporate headquarters.

The Chicago Tribune reported Monday that the company’s dual headquarters in Chicago and in Creve Coeur, Mo,, will be shut down, and the company will now be based in Norcross, Ga. RockTenn, which is based in Norcrioss, bought Smurfit-Stone in a $3.5 billion cash-and-stock deal, the Tribune reported.

For many years, Smurfit-Stone has been associated with the diamond-peaked skyscraper at 150 N. Michigan Ave., which was originally known as the Associates Center when it opened in 1984.

Smurfit-Stone filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009, but emerged in the summer. During reorganization, the company moved its headquarters out of the Michigan Avenue building and relocated to 222 N. LaSalle St., the Tribune reported.

Smurfit-Stone had a total of seven facilities in Chicago, including a New Lenox box-making plant that opened in 2008, and a research and development facility in Carol Stream, the Tribune reported.

The roots of Smurfit-Stone in Chicago go back to 1926, when Russian immigrant Joseph Stone set up shop in an old wholesale grocery operation at 120 N. Green St., and began shipping paper goods and supplies. The company entered the cardboard box manufacturing business during the Great Depression, and went public in 1947.

In 1961, the London Guarantee and Accident Building at 360 N. Michigan Ave., was renamed the Stone Container Building when the company moved its headquarters there. In a move that confused some Chicagoans, the 150 N. Michigan Ave. building was also known as the Stone Container building for a period of time, while the London Guarantee Building, now home to Crain Communications, became known just by its street address.

Smurfit-Stone was formed with Stone Container merged with Ireland-based packing conglomerate Jefferson-Smurfit in 1998.

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