Health insurer Cigna has put its East Brainerd campus, a 95-acre tract with a 98,000-square-foot office building, on the market as the company plans to let employees continue to work remotely.
"COVID has changed the way our teams work and collaborate – and our teams have not only adjusted but flourished in this environment," said company spokeswoman Courtney Nogas.
She said about 450 employees have worked at the Hamilton Village site, which is located at 7555 Goodwin Road just behind the Walmart center.
"As a health services company, the health, well-being and safety of our customers and employees is our top priority," Nogas said. "We know our employees have appreciated the enhanced flexibility they've had over the past year, and now we're taking what we've learned from the pandemic and determining the best way forward for our colleagues, our culture, and our company."
Nogas said the employees will work remotely going forward as the company makes a final determination about the longtime suburban corporate campus.
Since mid-July when the property and office building went on the market, it has received a lot of interest, said Russ Elliott of Pointe Commercial Real Estate.
"There has been a lot of activity, both interest in the building and the land," he said. Some 65 of the 95 acres are undeveloped.
Elliott said the site is a big tract in the East Brainerd area, which is seeing a lot of new home building. The site is one of the larger parcels in the city.
"To find 95 acres in the heart of Chattanooga, especially in East Brainerd, you just don't find it," he said.
The company has not set an asking price for the building or land, Elliott said.
"We're asking people to make offers," he said. "They feel that with the uniqueness of the property, it's not fair to establish a price."
The structure, built in 1990, was updated last in 2019 and 2020, according to the real estate company.
More than 800 work stations are still in place in the building.
"It's fully furnished," Elliott said. "You could walk in tomorrow to go to work."
Also, the building has 26 private offices, 10 conference rooms, and an employee cafeteria with a full kitchen and seating for about 200 people, the broker said.
In addition, the structure is equipped with a card key access system throughout and an employee health clinic and fitness center.
Outside, the site has 700 parking spaces, a private walking trail and electric vehicle charging stations, according to Pointe Commercial.
Cigna has more than 1,700 employees in the Chattanooga area. Elliott said the company recently renewed a lease for a large amount of office space at 401 Chestnut St. in downtown Chattanooga.
Cigna isn't the only company with a local presence figuring out office uses in the future.
Myles Meehan of HomeServe USA, which has a call center off Lee Highway, said the office is open for normal operations but the majority of tenured employees are working from home.
"We have approximately 10% to 20% of our employee body in the Chattanooga office on any given day, and all of our new employees that are in training are required to be in the office until such time as they are fully trained and self-sufficient," he said.
HomeServe's other offices in Connecticut and Pennsylvania also are open for normal operations, but most employees continue to primarily work from home, Meehan said.
"We are working on a hybrid approach that we currently expect to begin around Labor Day, depending on the Delta variant, for most of the employee base, allowing employees the option to be fully remote, come in one to several days a week or be full time as desired," he said.
Nogas said Cigna is continuing to refine its future plans.
The company is doing so "with an eye toward enhanced flexibility, opportunities to connect and collaborate when and where optimal, and enabling our colleagues to do their best work regardless of their location," she said.
The Tennessee Valley Authority announced this week it will keep most of its staff working remotely until January while Chattanooga's biggest insurance employers - BlueCross Blueshield of Tennessee and Unum - both plan to bring back most of their staff to the office next month but with a bigger share of remote work than in the past.
Unum is offering a schedule of three days at the office and two days working at home each week for many of the employees at its headquarters in Chattanooga. BlueCross is planning on having a majority of its Chattanooga staff working remotely even after the pandemic is over.
Contact Mike Pare at email@example.com or at 423-757-6318.