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Sears Considering Whether To Stay In Hoffman Estates

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Sears Sign (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Sears Sign (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — With a series incentives set to expire next year, retail giant Sears Roebuck and Co. is considering whether to move from its headquarters in Hoffman Estates.

Over two decades ago, Sears got a set of incentives, reportedly valued at $240 million, to lure it from its old corporate headquarters at the Sears (now Willis) Tower in Chicago to a sprawling complex in Hoffman Estates.

Those incentives are set to expire in 2012, and the company has “had some preliminary discussions with Hoffman Estates and did commission and economic impact study” on what a move might mean to the area, according to Sears spokesman Chris Brathwaite.

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“It’s very important for everyone to understand that we have made no decisions at this point. Sears has a very long history here, and we value our relationships with the Village of Hoffman Estates and the State of Illinois.”

Brathwaite said any speculation about whether it will stay in the northwest suburb “is not fair to our associates, particularly so early in this process.”

The Daily Herald reports, state Rep. Fred Crespo, a former village board member, has introduced House Bill 3435. The bill aims to keep Sears in the village for 15 more years by continuing property tax breaks that were part of the original deal.

Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday said he is looking to keep Sears right here. On Friday, he reached a deal that provides $100 million in incentives to keep cell phone giant Motorola in its Libertyville headquarters.

“I have talked to CEO of Sears on other issues,” said Quinn. “We look forward to working with Sears. We’ll be talking about how to look at the future.”

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