Farmers New World Life Insurance will be leaving Mercer Island for Bellevue by the end of this year. The company, owned by Farmers Insurance, has been operating out of Mercer Island for six decades. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Farmers New World Life Insurance will be leaving Mercer Island for Bellevue by the end of this year. The company, owned by Farmers Insurance, has been operating out of Mercer Island for six decades. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Farmers New World Insurance leaving Mercer Island

One of Island’s largest employers relocating to Bellevue.

Farmers New World Life Insurance will be leaving Mercer Island this year after more than six decades operating out of the city.

Information from the company was scarce, but Farmers spokesperson Carly Kraft said they were moving to a location in Bellevue. They anticipate the full move to be completed by the end of 2018.

“We’ve been proud to call Mercer Island home for decades,” Kraft said.

The move will effect around 400 employees. Kraft declined to give a specific reason for the move, saying business needs had evolved and that the new office would benefit employees.

Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laurie Givan didn’t expect the announcement to hurt the city’s economy if a new tenant was found soon. Commercial real estate is in high demand on Mercer Island, Givan said.

New World Life Insurance was started in Spokane in 1910 and moved to Seattle in 1930. The company was bought by Farmers Underwriters Association in 1953 when it was given its current name.

In 1958 the company moved to Mercer Island and opened its current location in 1982.

The property was sold to investors in 2005, but Farmers signed a 15-year lease to remain in the building, which should have ran through 2020. It is unclear why this was changed.

King County GIS records indicate CLF Mercer Island LLC owns the plot, which Farmers sits on with an appraised value of $39 million as of 2018. In 2005 the total taxable value registered on the company’s website was $16 million.

Farmers cut 60 jobs in 2010, but still had around 600 employees at the Mercer Island facility at the time. The company is one of the largest employers on Mercer Island.

Farmers New World owning company, Farmers Insurance Company, is one of the largest insurance groups in the U.S.

[flipp]

More in News

Rosenbaum wins by 40 votes in election recount

Mercer Island City Council Pos. 1 results certified Dec. 6.

Washington Low Income Housing Alliance is among supporters of statewide “just cause” legislation to protect tenants in Washington. However, some landlords say removing the ability to quickly remove tenants limits their ability to get rid of problem renters. (Courtesy image)
Tenant advocates prepare for another push in Olympia

Following wins in Burien and Federal Way, just cause evictions are on the 2020 Legislative agenda.

City continues climate commitment

Mercer Island council adopts K4C update.

Natalie DeFord / staff photo
                                People walk past the Mercer Island Park-and-Ride on a cloudy morning Dec. 2.
New reserved parking permits for Park-and-Ride

Sound Transit’s online monthly pass secures a spot during busy commute times.

Fire along Twisp River Road in the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest in 2018. Courtesy photo
Wildfire response: State unveils funding legislation proposal

Last year, Department of Natural Resources responded to record number of wildfires.

A new report, complete with recommendations to the Legislature, has been released by a statewide task force that was formed to address a lack of child care in Washington. File photo
Report outlines lack of child care in Washington

In King County, supply doesn’t meet demand for child care.

Demonstrators from La Resistencia protest Amazon’s involvement with ICE. Photo courtesy of La Resistencia
How will the U.S. respond to climate refugees?

Business as usual has been harder borders, are there other ways to address climate migration?

Eastside election recounts

Bothell, Redmond, and Mercer Island council races going to recount.

Most Read