“Less than four months after Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a development team would take over the beleaguered James R. Thompson Center in the Loop, the governor’s office on Thursday announced a purchase and sale agreement has been finalized.
“In December, Pritzker chose a proposal from a group led by Michael Reschke, chairman of Prime Group, a longtime developer in the region. Reschke’s plan — which included the $70 million upfront payment to the state — called for preserving the 17-story building as a mixed-use property with office, retail and hotel space — and with the state retaining about a 30% ownership. The sale and title transfer are expected to be completed this summer.
“The former home of state government in Chicago opened in 1985 and was designed by the internationally acclaimed architect Helmut Jahn, who died last year. Preservationists have argued the Thompson Center, with its soaring atrium and generous public space, is a postmodern landmark and keeping it would honor Jahn’s contributions to his hometown.
“A rendering of Reschke’s plan, which was unveiled in December, includes a replacement curtain wall to fix the blaring sunshine and slash energy costs by half. The building’s annual operating expenses are about $17 million, largely due to the building’s glass envelope. Reschke last year said renovations would begin this year and would take about two years from start to finish, with a budget of $280 million.” (Sfondeles, Chicago Sun-Times, 3/31/22)
Closing time? Deal to sell and renovate problematic Thompson Center finalized, sale to be completed in summer; A development group plans to preserve the building as a mixed-use property with office, retail and hotel space — and with the state retaining about a 30% ownership. The 37-year-old building has its share of problems, including leaky ceilings, temperature issues and less than desirable office aesthetics, Tina Sfondeles, Chicago Sun-Times, 3/31/22
Thompson Center revamp could boost La Salle Street corridor; A developer is plotting his strategy for the state-owned building as others consider how its reuse can benefit the nearby stretch of downtown, David Roeder, Chicago Sun-Times, 3/14/22