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Pritzker issues RFP for Thompson Center sale

Monday, May 3, 2021

* Press release…

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) today announced the issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the sale of the James R. Thompson Center (JRTC) at 100 West Randolph Street. Information on the RFP can be viewed at www.illinois.gov/ThompsonCenter4Sale and www.bidbuy.illinois.gov.

“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 Governor JB 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. My team looks forward to working with the city as we move forward.”

At the beginning of his administration, Governor Pritzker directed CMS to optimize the State’s real estate portfolio, reduce operating expenses, and enhance workforce and workplace performance and efficiency. As part of its due diligence, CMS determined the sale of the JRTC was in the State’s best interest as the facility is oversized, outdated and expensive to operate.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 a state of good repair exceeds $325 million and is projected to increase to over $525 million by 2026. By selling the facility, the State can relocate its core services to more appropriate and efficient replacement spaces. This strategic relocation effort has already begun, with the below-asking price purchase of 555 W. Monroe, and will reduce operating costs, increase productivity, and better serve constituents.

“Issuing this RFP moves the State a step closer to selling the JRTC and actualizing more sustainable and efficient governance practices on behalf of Illinois residents,” CMS Director Janel L. Forde. “The sale of this prime property will not only save millions in annual operating costs but also makes way for significant economic opportunities in Chicago’s Central Business District.”

The State has been reviewing its downtown Chicago real estate portfolio to identify opportunities for efficiency improvements, space consolidation, and other strategies that produce real savings while maintaining a productive workforce. In January 2021, the State acquired 555 West Monroe and announced its intent to relocate over 1,000 employees to this new facility, including employees who work in nearby leased facilities as well as those currently located at the JRTC. The State leases office space in seven properties in the Loop, at a cost of $21.3 million in annual base rent and operating costs and will continue to seek consolidation and savings opportunities into State-owned real estate.

Opened in 1985, the JRTC is a 17-story building, encompassing approximately 1.2 million square feet of enclosed area of which 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 is unique in its combination of size, transit connectivity, and adjacency to world-class amenities. The site’s central location affords close proximity to numerous world-class amenities, including world-renowned museums and parks, the Chicago Theater District, the Chicago Riverwalk and Lakefront.

Redevelopment of the property would spur economic activity on the LaSalle Street corridor and is estimated to create up to 5,500 union jobs during the development and more than 15,000 jobs after completion.

Responses to the RFP for the sale of the James R. Thompson Center are due at 3 p.m. on August 16, 2021. A copy of the RFP is available on the General Services Illinois Procurement Bulletin, also referred to as the Bulletin or BidBuy at www.bidbuy.illinois.gov. Additional information on JRTC and the amenities of the City of Chicago are provided at www.illinois.gov/ThompsonCenter4Sale.

The Pre-proposal conference meeting will be held on May 18, 2021. Interested parties must register for the event at: https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=edfeebde1b8deacf9fc430c309574456e

In April 2019, Governor Pritzker signed SB 886 (Public Act 100-1184) that outlines the process for the sale of the property. The bill provides for the sale of the JRTC by a competitive request for proposals process within two years. This bill was amended due to COVID-19 and the revised timeline is April 5, 2022.

Keep your fingers crossed for a water park. /s

- Posted by Rich Miller        

14 Comments »
  1. - DuPage Dave - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 2:24 pm:

    Worked there 30+ years. Sad to see it go.


  2. - OneMan - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 2:29 pm:

    It seems like the ideal use for the facility, why go to the Dells when you can go downtown?


  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 2:35 pm:

    “I rise in support of a water park…”

    The lazy river alone should be a huge draw with the “Friday after 2” crowd who can’t go home but are done working.

    If there’s a swim up bar worthy of Statehouse Chick’s approval, I’d expect a tweet and an editorial shortly from the Trib


  4. - SouthSide Markie - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 3:04 pm:

    Two words. Harness racing.

    Gambling with people’s money and manure.

    Same as what goes on in the building now.


  5. - thisjustinagain - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 3:16 pm:

    SouthSide Markie: So there’s gonna do harness racing on the water slide? I expect the ASPCA is gonna be all over that idea.

    Seriously, $325 million in deferred maintenance on a building not even that old? Be better remaking “The Towering Inferno” and blowing the water tanks on the roof while they’re at it….
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXO7P-r1vSE


  6. - Nick Name - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 3:16 pm:

    How about an office building with a big atrium in the middle? /s


  7. - Anon E Moose - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 3:20 pm:

    A waterslide would be amazing


  8. - Why not both? - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 3:23 pm:

    A waterpark and casino would be fun for the whole family.


  9. - zatoichi - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 3:53 pm:

    Could the high divers at the state fair come and do a demo in the atrium?


  10. - Annonin' - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 3:57 pm:

    Seems like it is big enough to hold everything…water park, Bears Stadium, offices —if anyone needs pne of those — launch pad for SpaceX. You name it. Best of luck to all involved in this nightmare


  11. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 4:05 pm:

    Speaking of waterparks, at what point in our vaccinated metrics can we get some updated IDPH guidance for outdoor swimming pools and waterparks at least?

    The one that seems the most arbitrary to me is wave pools can open but the wave machines can’t be turned on.


  12. - SouthSide Markie - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 4:35 pm:

    Thisjustinagain: Not on the waterslide. I was thinking more like sulkies around the lazy river and past the swim up bar.


  13. - Keyrock - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 11:44 pm:

    Part of the new site must be named for Big Jim. Which part would be best? Now there’s a QOTD.


  14. - sladay - Tuesday, May 4, 21 @ 3:26 pm:

    why not have the Chicago casino proposal buy it and turn it into a hotel, casino with 4000 gaming seats.


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