Governor Bruce Rauner's plan to sell the Thompson Center has run into a roadblock: Hosue Speaker Mike Madigan.
Selling the building, owned by the state, would take approval from the Illinois General Assembly. According to the governor's spokesperson Catherine Kelly, "the speaker hijacked the bill to steer $50 million to the city of Chicago while putting the interests of a close friend and lobbyist ahead of Illinois taxpayers."
One of the building's retail tenants is represented by Madigan ally, attorney Mike Kasper.
The governor has predicted the Thompson Center will sell for $300 million dollars. The sale would take a zoning change from the Chicago City Council and Mayor Rahm Emanuel has expressed concern about the cost of relocating the CTA Lake Street station located inside the Thompson.
A spokesperson for Madigan said the comments from the governor's office "make no sense," noting the bill was approved in a House committee Monday night.
"There were extensive negotiations," Steve Brown said in a statement. "And there were some of the 'blank check' ideas from the governor that are not part of the legislation. The state will get their loophole in the Surplus Property Act so they can proceed with the sale."