ATLANTA (Aug. 9, 2011) - Atlanta's brief flirtation with Sears' site selection committee apparently is over.
The Associated Press reported late yesterday that Sears has narrowed its headquarters search to the 24-hour cities of Bosoton and Chicago. Crain's Chicago Business picked up the AP story, and this morning Citybizlist spread word of the Crain's story (chicagorealestatedaily.com) in its e-mail blasts.
Even with the list narrowed to two cities, relocation experts doubt Sears will move, due to the high cost of uprooting a major company and settling into new digs. The experts also say the search merely is a ploy to squeeze more economic incentives from the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, Ill., it now calls home. (Photo of Sears HQ courtesy of Perkins + Will.)
In May, Sears Holding Corp. said it would consider leaving Hoffman Estates. Several states were listed as the potential new home of the formerly iconic retailer. Georgia appeared on the list, as did neighbors South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. Best part about the initial reports: Massachusetts or Washington, D.C. were not heavily mentioned.
When word spread of Sears' apparent interest in Georgia, skepticism abounded about the serioussnes of its search. Still, with the national brand looking at the Empire State of the South, the opportunity was not ignored.
Now it looks like Sears will either stay put or head to Redskins Territory or Red Sox Country.