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Gov. JB Pritzker takes steps to sell James R. Thompson Center

The State of Illinois is taking steps to sell the building in downtown Chicago.
The State of Illinois is taking steps to sell the building in downtown Chicago.(kwqc)
Published: May. 3, 2021 at 4:11 PM CDT
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CHICAGO, Ill. (KWQC) -Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Central Management Services announced Monday the issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the sale of the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago.

“The sale of the Thompson Center has been discussed for nearly 20 years and we are taking another important step to making it a reality,” said Pritzker. “Selling the property provides a unique opportunity to maximize taxpayer savings, create thousands of union jobs, generate millions of dollars in real estate taxes to benefit the City of Chicago and spur economic development,” he added.

At the beginning of his administration, Governor Pritzker directed CMS to optimize the State’s real estate portfolio, reduce operating expenses, and enhance workplace performance and efficiency. CMS determined the sale of the JRTC was in the state’s best interest since the facility is oversized, outdated and expensive to operate.

Due to prolonged deferred maintenance and delayed capital projects, it is estimated that the cost to bring the JRTC into good repair exceeds $325 million and is projected to increase to over $525 million by 2026. According to a news release from the governor’s office, by selling the facility, the state can relocate its core services to more appropriate and efficient replacement spaces.

Named after the late former Governor James R. Thomson, the building opened in 1985 with 17-stories and 1.2 million square feet of enclosed area. Currently, the state occupies nearly 780,000 square feet. Comprised of a full city block in the heart of the Chicago Loop, the JRTC site represents a rare and exciting development opportunity. The site’s central location affords close proximity to numerous amenities, including world-renowned museums and parks, the Chicago Theater District, the Chicago Riverwalk and Lakefront.

Responses to the RFP for the sale of the James R. Thompson Center are due at 3 p.m. on August 16, 2021. More information on the RFP can be viewed at www.illinois.gov/ThompsonCenter4Sale and www.bidbuy.illinois.gov.

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