State officially puts 1.2M sf Thompson Center on the block. Selling it will be a challenge.

A division of Ernst & Young has been hired to offload the iconic Chicago building

TRD CHICAGO /
Dec.December 13, 2019 10:57 AM
Governor J.B. Pritzker and Ernst and Young's Mike Parker (inset) with the Thompson Center (Credit: Getty Images, Wikipedia, E&Y) 

Governor J.B. Pritzker and Ernst and Young’s Mike Parker (inset) with the Thompson Center (Credit: Getty Images, Wikipedia, E&Y)

A division of Ernst & Young has been hired to sell the state’s headquarters in the historic Loop building known as the Thompson Center, not long after hearing it would cost $325 million to overhaul.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Thursday that Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors will lead the effort to sell the center, which is costing the city and taxpayers $17 million a year. The state hopes to identify a potential developer in the spring and sell the 1.2-million-square-foot building in the second half of 2020, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Those who are interested in purchasing the 34-year-old building will have to maintain the Clark/Lake CTA station operating in the building. They’d also have to work out the retail lease held by Winthrop Realty Trust, which doesn’t expire until 2034.

Pritzker said the money generated by the sale would go toward closing the gap in the state’s underfunded pension system. Gov. Bruce Rauner pushed for the sale during his tenure, and predicted it would bring in $300 million.

“The Thompson Center has outlived its useful life in its current state, requiring $17 million a year just to operatie – and it’s time to generate value for the taxpayers from selling the building,” Pritzker said. [Chicago Tribune] — Jacqueline Flynn


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