“The state has extended the cutoff date for any would-be buyers to bid on Chicago’s James R. Thompson Center, but officials say they’re sticking to their April 2022 deadline to put the sold sign up on the downtown state government building.
“The due date to bid — or respond to the state’s request for proposals — had been Aug. 30. But that date was pushed to Oct. 8, according to documents reviewed by the Tribune and information from the state’s Central Management Services office.
“The delay comes just weeks after Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the city extended the deadline for bidders to submit proposals for a Chicago casino, a move that comes as the city struggles to generate interest in the project. The state didn’t respond to a question about whether interest in the Thompson Center was lacking, instead saying interested parties asked for an extension.
“‘Several vendors interested in responding to the RFP (request for proposal) have requested additional time to develop their proposals to reflect a number of positive developments that will impact pricing including the zoning change passed by City Council, memorandum of understanding with the Chicago Transit Authority, and a memorandum of agreement with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources,” CMS said in a statement.
“In June, the state Historic Preservation Office, which is part of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, signed a memorandum of agreement that the Thompson Center should not be considered a ‘historic resource.’
“The document appears to have been created in anticipation of the building’s sale, and it states a sale and potential demolition ‘would not constitute an adverse effect on a historic resource protected under the Illinois State Agency Historic Resources Preservation Act.’
“Preservationists see the agreement as a way to remove any barriers to developers swooping up the property and tearing down the Thompson Center. (Donovan, Chicago Tribune, 8/19/21)