Illinois looking to unload riverfront silos seen in Transformers film

The 23.4-acre property was declared useless in 2005

Chicago Field Supervisor Anthony Pascente and 2900 South Damen Avenue (LinkedIn, Google Maps)
Chicago Field Supervisor Anthony Pascente and 2900 South Damen Avenue (LinkedIn, Google Maps)

Illinois wants to set a new stage for Chicago’s iconic Damen Avenue Silos.

State officials first tried to sell the 23.4-acre property that runs alongside the Chicago River in 2014, BisNow reported. A potential deal was nearly finalized eight years ago, but ultimately fell through due to cost concerns related to asbestos removal, demolition and the need to build a sea wall.

The Silos may look familiar to fans of sci-fi action films. The site was used in Michael Bay’s 2014 film “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

Mike Senner, Executive Vice President at Colliers International told the Chicago Tribune that demand for the property should be high due to the market’s shrinking industrial inventory.

The state agrees, which is why it is looking to move the property in earnest.

“The sale of this surplus property will generate significant economic opportunities in Chicago’s Lower West Side and McKinley Park communities,” Anthony Pascente, acting director of the state’s Central Management Services, said in a statement.

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Finding a buyer for the Damen Silos is in line with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s broader plan to sell off properties in the state’s real estate portfolio that are either too old or too expensive to maintain.

It already unloaded a similar property when Google bought the James R. Thompson Center for $105 million earlier this summer. Officials said they estimate that sale will save taxpayers nearly $1 billion over 30 years.

The Damen Silos, once used to mix road-construction materials for the Illinois Department of Transportation, was transferred to the Illinois’ Central Management Services in 2005 after officially being declared useless.

Initial bids for the property are due by October 19, and must be at minimum $3.25 million.

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TradeLane Properties' Kari Lavezzi with an aerial of the acquisition (TradeLane Properties, Getty)
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— Victoria Pruitt