The 52,752-square-foot offering on the 11th floor of the West Loop building adds the online vehicle marketplace to the growing list of companies trying to unload office space amid the COVID-19 crisis. Some have done so in the wake of sweeping layoffs while others have listed space after finding many of their employees can be just as efficient working from home.
Cars.com's move comes about four months after it announced it would lay off 170 employees as car-buying demand plummeted after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March. The company also froze hiring, reduced salaries and slashed its marketing expenses by 40 percent year-over-year in the second quarter, according to a regulatory filing. That partially offset a big dip in revenue to $102 million during the quarter, which was 31 percent less than it pulled in during the same period in 2019.
But the company has a long commitment ahead at 300 S. Riverside, where it signed a roughly 158,000-square-foot lease for its headquarters in a 2016 relocation and expansion. That deal runs through June 2031, according to real estate information company CoStar Group.
"We took our 1,500-person company virtual in March due to COVID-19," Cars.com spokeswoman Christine Spinelli said in an emailed statement. "As a technology company with a partially remote workforce prior to the pandemic, we were fully prepared with the infrastructure and resources to maintain production and innovation as all of our employees transitioned to a remote work model.
"We are aligning our office space with what we will need to continue operating effectively in this new world, and have decided to sublease some of our office space temporarily as part of that process."
The listing broker is playing up the 300 S. Riverside space as "plug and play" offices with 316 desks and 27 conference rooms well-suited for a tech company user.
Crain's Chicago Business is an affiliate of Automotive News.