Thomson Reuters is considering options for the 263-acre Eagan campus that is chiefly the headquarters of its legal products business, as company planners expect less need for space because employees now appear likely to continue splitting work between office and home.
The company may sell or reduce its presence in the office complex that, at 1.3 million square feet, is one of the largest in the Twin Cities. It has nearly the amount of space that the IDS Tower, the tallest skyscraper in downtown Minneapolis, does.
Paul Fischer, president of Thomson Reuters Legal Professionals and co-site lead for what the company calls its MSP Location, told employees in an e-mail recently that it is committed to maintaining its operations in the Twin Cities.
"The foundation of this project is simple — we want to create a modern, energized and collaborative work environment that fully supports our hybrid ways of working for our office-based roles," Fischer said in the e-mail. "We are a best-in-class, global organization with deep roots in MSP, and we want to continue to provide our employees with a site where we're all proud to work."
A spokesperson for the company said that, while the company has made the decision to explore its options, the property is not currently being marketed.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Thomson Reuters had about 5,000 employees working at the campus. Likely nearly all office businesses, the company quickly shifted to remote work as the coronavirus spread in early 2020.
This spring, Thomson Reuters will implement a hybrid work policy that requires employees to be in the office about three days a week. That will mean only about 2,000 to 3,000 employees on the Eagan campus at any given time.
"Given our the vacancy level in our buildings, the site is too large for the company's current needs," Fischer said.
Options include staying in the company's current buildings, investing in the site or moving to a new location in the Twin Cities. The search for a possible new location, he said, would begin in the southeast metro area.
Fischer also stressed that the company's state-of-the-art printing facility will remain on its Eagan campus. The company is in the process of retaining advisers to help guide the process, he said.
Thomson Reuters, based in Toronto, is best known for operating the Reuters news service and also provides information for professional markets. For decades, Eagan has been headquarters for the company's legal publishing operations, which have roots in the former West Publishing Co. of St. Paul.
The Eagan site has employees working all segments of Thomson Reuters, but most employees work in the legal publishing business or as part of its technology, editorial or print operations.
The campus, which is located along Opperman Drive, has long touted its wellness-oriented amenities and several strip-mall style conveniences, including Subway and Caribou Coffee.
Fischer said that even before the pandemic the company wasn't fully utilizing all the space it had available. In 2010, the company had 7,000 employees at the site. That was down to around 6,000 in 2018.
Thomson Reuters joins a long list of major companies in the Twin Cities that are exploring how and when employees will return to work. Several companies recently said that they will delay a return to the office.
Last March, Target Corp. announced that it would vacate nearly 1 million square feet of office space it rents in the City Center building after adopting a hybrid work model and relocating some to a suburban campus.