The Thompson Center opened in 1985 and was designed by famed architect Helmut Jahn.

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois officials have started negotiations with a development group to sell the James R. Thompson Center for $70 million up front, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday.

Longtime developer Michael Reschke, who leads The Prime Group, will head development of the 17-story building that houses offices for Pritzker and other state leaders. The group plans to retain the design of the 17-story curved glass structure in downtown Chicago.

The state plans to keep some office space in the building. Some agencies have already moved to a building in the city's West Loop.[1]

Reschke expects the sale to close within six months and renovations to start within a year.

State officials have tried for years to sell the building, which is expensive to maintain and requires hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs.[2]

The Thompson Center opened in 1985 and was designed by famed architect Helmut Jahn, who died in May in a bicycle accident in west suburban St. Charles, Illinois.[3]

State officials said the move allows Illinois to be more efficient and save taxpayers over $800 million.

“This strategic public-private partnership allows us to retain a smaller presence in the property while partnering with an established development team to transfer significant financial risk and responsibility for the much-needed capital improvements at the James R. Thompson Center to a third-party,” Janel Forde, director of the Department of Central Management Services, said in a statement.

Notes & References

  1. “Illinois Buys Chicago Building for $73M to House Employees.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, January 31, 2021. ↩︎

  2. “Illinois Selling James R. Thompson Center in Chicago.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, May 3, 2021. ↩︎

  3. “Famed German Architect Jahn Killed in Illinois Bike Accident.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, May 9, 2021. ↩︎