Monday, May 16, 2016

Old-Post Office Sold To Investment Group; Plans Call for Offices and Various Other Amenities

In case you missed this on Friday, another huge real estate story (via Chicago Tribune):
Plans to buy and redevelop the empty and crumbling post office on the western entrance to downtown Chicago were finalized Thursday, the city said in a statement. 
The building that straddles Congress Parkway was bought by investment group 601W Cos., which will undertake a $500 million redevelopment plan, according to the release. 
Plans for the building, vacant since the mid-1990s, are for offices with a three-acre rooftop park complex, outdoor cafes, events space and a sports and fitness center. The building's riverfront space will include a riverwalk and a grand plaza that has outdoor dining, according to the release.
While maybe not as spectacular as some of the other plans that were historically floated (see 120 story high-rise from 2011) for this building, it does seem like progress.

This story also has a really strange twist as the former owner, Bill Davies, apparently passed away the next day (via Chicago Tribune):
Just a day after City Hall announced that Bill Davies' company relinquished control of Chicago's massive old main post office building, a representative for the 82-year-old Brit said the eccentric entrepreneur has died.  
Davies — who touted several proposals to redevelop the crumbling building on the western entrance to downtown Chicago after buying the property at auction for $24 million in 2009 — died after "a short illness," according to Sue Sadler, who acts as a spokeswoman for Davies' company, International Property Developers. City Hall announced the post office deal to the media about 7 p.m. Thursday.  
Sadler's email announcing Davies' death was sent shortly after 10 a.m. Friday. But no one involved in the sale of the post office building to New York-based 601W Cos. could say — or would say — on Friday evening whether Davies, known for controlling every aspect of his business, was alive when the deal was concluded.
Anyway, the new plans for the building will require various stages of renovation and construction with leasing slated to begin in 2018.  So we got some time on this one...

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