Humana says it will vacate its iconic tower in 18 to 24 months

Kentucky Health News

Three months ago, Louisville leaders unveiled a “Hometown Heroes” banner of Humana, Inc. co-founder David Jones, pictured in front of the company’s distinctive Main Street tower, which opened in May 1985. But in two years the building will no longer bear the firm’s name, because it is consolidating offices elsewhere.

“The pink granite tower, designed by the late, renowned architect Michael Graves, has been a symbol of Humana’s homegrown roots,” notes Chris Otts of WDRB. “But Humana, which ranks No. 42 on the Fortune 500 and brings in about $100 billion in revenue annually, no longer needs the building amid its embrace of hybrid and remote work.”

In an internal memo, Humana told its 10,000 Louisville-area employees that consolidating the health-insurance firm’s offices on the city’s riverfront will provide “significant cost savings.”

The building has been expensive to maintain. Humana spokesman Mark Taylor said, “Although the Humana Tower is safe for our associates and visitors, since 2020 Humana has invested a considerable amount in remediating structural components of the Humana Tower to rectify original design, engineering, and construction issues.”

In 2023 Humana sued the companies that designed and built the tower, saying it has incurred “significant costs” to fix “latent defects” that were found in 2019. The company said it planned to correct the defects to “ensure the building’s sustainability for many years to come.”

“In late January, Humana shared dampened expectations” for profitability in 2024 “and was ‘disappointed’ in Q4 results, noting additional challenges and increased costs,” notes Courier-Journal business reporter Olivia Evans, who first reported the company’s move. Edwards told her the fourth-quarter results and expectations for 2024 did not influence the company’s decision.

“Edwards said the company has not decided if it will sell the Humana Tower or maintain ownership of the property. Regardless, Humana has already been involved in talks with Mayor Craig Greenberg’s office ‘to figure out the highest and best use of that property’,” Evans reports.

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