Bill to sell Thompson Center would open up Loop site to development

Pritzker, who is weighing the measure, supports unloading much-maligned Helmut Jahn-designed government building: spokesperson

Feb.February 14, 2019 02:30 PM

Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Thompson Center (Credit: Getty Images and Wikipedia)

Legislation allowing the state to sell the Thompson Center is on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk, and it could open up a big piece of Loop real estate to new development.

Lawmakers actually approved the bill nearly two years ago, but Senate President John Cullerton used a legislative maneuver to hold it in limbo until now, according to Block Club Chicago.

Now the governor is reviewing the legislation, but a spokesperson said he supports selling the much-maligned structure at 100 West Randolph Street, which was designed by Helmut Jahn and covers an entire city block.

Former Gov. Bruce Rauner had proposed selling the building and using a predicted $300 million from the deal to bolster the state budget. Rauner’s office later released architectural concepts showing three new towers on the site, including one taller than the Willis Tower, according to Block Club.

Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd), who would hold key power over what goes on in the Thompson Center site, said the $300 million potential sale price figure counts on the city allowing a much denser development on the site than currently allowed. [Block Club]John O’Brien


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