Safeco to Lease Puget Sound Facilities

March 27, 2006

Safeco, Seattle, has revised the real estate strategy for its Puget Sound operations that calls for the company to lease space rather than build and own office facilities. That is a lower-cost solution that also provides the company with flexibility to pursue telecommuting and virtual workplace alternatives, the company said.

Under the new plan, Safeco intends to place its University District building complex on the market and lease space in downtown Seattle for headquarters employees. The company will not consolidate Puget Sound operations in the U-District as previously announced. The sale of the company’s Redmond campus will move forward, and employees who currently work on the campus will relocate to a yet-to-be-determined Eastside site by 2008. Approximately 700 employees will continue to work in leased space in the U-District.

Safeco will begin immediately to evaluate office space availability in downtown Seattle and on the Eastside. The company is currently working to determine its square-footage requirements for each new location and expects the site evaluation process to take several months to complete.

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