- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Agribusiness giant Cargill said it is considering moving several of its operations out of the Wichita buildings where they are headquartered.

The company hasn’t said whether it’s looking into moving the operations to another location within the city or elsewhere, The Wichita Eagle (https://bit.ly/1RNHvg2 ) reports.

“We’re looking at a variety of options, and that’s really all I can say,” said Mike Martin, director of communications for the Minneapolis-based company. He added: “Nothing’s been decided at this point and time.”

Wichita is home to the company’s beef business; its turkey and cooked meat business, which includes deli meats; its value-added protein services, including its North American egg business; and its food distribution. Most of the 900 employees that work in those Wichita-based operations are housed in a 10-story building, although some also work in leased space in another building. Martin said the main building’s classic configuration isn’t a good thing for the company going forward.

“If you look at the marketplace in terms of people, especially young professionals coming into the marketplace for careers, less and less of them are attracted to traditional office space and office-type buildings,” Martin says. “We’re taking that into consideration to attract millennials and younger people.”

He also noted that there are “continuity and work-flow issues with having people in multiple buildings.”

Cargill’s Minneapolis complex is undergoing a complete renovation to create more open spaces with fewer traditional offices and cubicles. Martin says the headquarters here need something more like that, too.

The Cargill Innovation Center is nearby, but Martin says it’s premature to comment about whether that may move, too. Cargill also has a 50-employee plant that crushes soybeans to make oil. A few months ago, the company announced it’s making a $50 million expansion there.

Mayor Jeff Longwell is proceeding as if the company will move within Wichita.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to see Cargill expand in downtown Wichita,” he says.

“The simple fact that our city continues to improve with quality of life and other amenities . we believe will continue to make us an attractive place for businesses to continue to grow.”

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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