Johnson Publishing, who publishes Ebony and JET magazines, has sold it's Michigan Avenue headquarters to Columbia College. The building is at 820 S. Michigan and gives Columbia College another high profile building to add to it's ever expanding footprint in the neighborhood. Linda Johnson Rice, CEO of Johnson Publishing, was quoted on Chicagobusiness.com saying:
"When we learned of Columbia's interest in preserving the building and using it to expand opportunities for young people to study visual, performing, media and communication arts, we knew this was an opportunity that we should pursue,"
This seems to be a good development for the neighborhood in our eyes. Besides some of the civic and cultural institutions (ie Field Museum, Shedd, Soldier Field, McCormick Place, etc)Columbia College is probably the most important institution in the neighborhood. Yes some residents have issues with students, but the students help the neighborhood in a variety of ways. Whether it's simply patronizing restaurants, shop and businesses or renting some of the excess condos, these institutions are helping the neighborhood grow.
With this real estate deal in mind, we were curious if Columbia College might be a bidder in the real estate auction of a couple other high profile Michigan Avenue lots. We posted about a month ago saying there are some empty lots on the 1300 block of Michigan Avenue that will be auction off in December. This is complete speculation on our part but this could complement some of the buildings the college already has in the area just south of Roosevelt. This would be a welcomed addition to this stretch of Michigan in our opinion.
Regardless, glad to see Columbia College expanding in the neighborhood.
(Image from Chicago Archtecture)