Unum feeds the rumor mill

Telling us nothing new beyond “we’re thinking about it,” Unum Group told employees today that it is thinking about moving to CitySquare.

But more and more, it looks as if the relocation (first broached years ago) may become a reality. City sources have been more confident in recent weeks about the likelihood of an eventual move.

Of course, an Unum move would put the long-delayed CitySquare back on a semblance of track, giving it the trigger tenant needed to release public funds for demolition.

The news comes days after CitySquare developer Berkeley Investments announced it was backing out of a deal to take over development of the NorthPoint project in East Cambridge.

UPDATE: The Unum memo, below the jump.

To: Worcester employees

From: Chris Collins and Steve Joseph

There is a high degree of interest in our community regarding the move of Unum’s Worcester campus to a new facility. This interest can at times create some speculation about exactly where we are in the process of seeking out a new location. We wanted to take this opportunity to let you know the exact status regarding our potential move.

Over the past several months we have analyzed the various proposals that we have received from developers for a new location for our local operations. We have now completed the first round of reviews. As we said earlier in this process, our preference was to investigate all of the viable options within the city of Worcester with a focus on the downtown area.

Presently, based on the information received from the competing developers, the City Square proposal represents the most economically attractive option. As a result, we have authorized our representatives to respond to this particular proposal and to enter into more detailed discussions regarding this facility.

It is premature, however, to interpret this as a final selection since it is a very complex process that involves resolving many details. As a result, we expect that it will take 60 days for detailed terms and conditions to be negotiated. In the meantime, we will continue to keep our options open and are willing to consider alternate locations if we are not able to make progress toward obtaining acceptable terms from the City Square project and the City of Worcester.

If circumstances change or a new milestone is reached we will update you at that time. Please know that those charged with the responsibility to explore these relocation options are working hard to make sure the new facility will accommodate the essential needs and functions of our operations. If you have any questions please feel free to give us a call or send us an email.

Let’s work together to make 2009 a great year for the company.

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