Liberty Mutual to reduce Inland Northwest footprint in work-from-home shift
Work-from-home shift prompts insurer to shed 100K-plus square feet
Erica BullockJanuary 27th, 2022
Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. plans to shed more than 100,000 square feet of office space in Liberty Lake this year as a portion of the company’s 1,150-person workforce here shifts to working from home permanently.
The Boston-based insurance company has leased about 169,000 square feet of office space in two buildings in the Meadowwood Technology Campus for about eight years. Its footprint in the office park, however, will shrink to 60,000 square feet with the consolidation of its operations to one of the smaller of two buildings it has occupied.
Glenn Greenberg, a Liberty Mutual spokesperson in Boston, says in an emailed statement that pandemic workplace policies had the company reposition a portion of its office employees to work from home. He adds that the consolidation was a result of a regular reassessment of the company’s real estate portfolio for business and workplace needs.
Once temporary pandemic policies are lifted, some of those employees will continue to work virtually, and others will have a choice to remain virtual or return to the office, Greenberg says.
“The enhanced hybrid work arrangement, coupled with flexible seating, results in an excess of space in Liberty Lake,” Greenberg says. “As a result, we are consolidating our Liberty Lake operations into one location.”
Casey Brazil, vice president and director of brokerage at Spokane commercial real estate company Kiemle Hagood, says that three months ago, he wouldn’t have guessed he’d hear talk of tenants looking to reduce office spaces. Now, however, with another coronavirus variant on the rise, he says it’s possible some corporations will take a step back to reevaluate their move-in plans.
Brazil adds that it is still too early to tell if this will become a continuing trend in our area this year.
Greenberg says the consolidation in Liberty Lake will take place throughout the remainder of the year as leases in other locations expire.
Greenstone Corp., a Liberty Lake-based real estate development company, owns the office campus, which includes the two buildings that have been occupied by Liberty Mutal—Meadowwood One, at 24001 E. Mission, and Meadowwood Three, at 24041 E. Mission.
Liberty Mutual first moved into 105,000 square feet of office space in the Meadowwood One building in 2011, as previously reported in the Journal.
Then, in 2013, the company signed an additional lease to occupy a 64,000-square-foot building on campus, Meadowwood Three.
Greenberg says Liberty Mutual will retain 60,000 square feet of office space in the Meadowwood Three building after the consolidation, reducing Liberty Mutual’s office space on the campus by 109,000 square feet.
Liberty Mutual employees in Liberty Lake work predominantly in personal insurance business operations, including auto and home insurance claims and distribution, Greenberg says.