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State in talks with developer for Thompson Center sale

The group plans to retain the design of the 17-story curved glass structure in downtown Chicago and the state plans to keep some office space in the building.

Chicago Journal
Chicago Journal
| 2 min read
State in talks with developer for Thompson Center sale
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. https://apnews.com/article/illinois-chicago-e97cd37f53430cb1cc088ad882a8edc5. ↩︎

  2. “Illinois Selling James R. Thompson Center in Chicago.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, May 3, 2021. https://apnews.com/article/illinois-chicago-government-and-politics-fd8aaa32ec4f57846ce8d659999567e0. ↩︎

  3. “Famed German Architect Jahn Killed in Illinois Bike Accident.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, May 9, 2021. https://apnews.com/article/dc-wire-europe-illinois-accidents-c328988ac2a4b60ab863c9c588aea05d. ↩︎

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