Post Office Buyer May Not Deliver

Investor has had history of failed projects

By Matt Bartosik
|  Thursday, Sep 10, 2009  |  Updated 1:40 PM CDT
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Post Office Buyer May Not Deliver

B12 Partners, LLC

The man who bought the giant Post Office downtown has a history of failed projects. Perfect for Chicago.

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On August 27, the massive old post office at 433 W Van Buren went up for auction and was sold for $40 million to an elderly man who refused to reveal his identity. However, he did promise Chicagoans that he would "re-energize the property as a focal point and destination for the entire city."

The Sun-Times this morning has reported that the buyer is Bill Davies, an English investor who may not be able to live up to that promise.

According to the Liverpool Daily Post, Davies is well known for initiating projects that never come to fruition, including a never-developed shopping complex in the city center of Liverpool and an unrealized plan involving—get this—a large old post office.

A construction plan that doesn't live up to its hype? Sounds like it's perfect for Chicago.

Part of the problem is that Davies is as fast with his money as he is slow with results. According to a 2007 Daily Post article:

"He loves owning property, and in fact when he has money rather than property he finds it much less exciting."

Mr. Davies, if you think your Chicago project will be any different from your past failed ones, then I have a bridge—and a Bean—to sell you.

Matt Bartosik is a "between blogs" blogger and a born-and-raised Chicagoan.

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