Emanuel Announces Tentative Settlement for Old Post Office

The mayor announced a tentative settlement for the sale and redevelopment of the city's Old Post Office

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a tentative agreement Tuesday with the proposed buyer of the city’s Old Post Office.

“This agreement establishes a strict timeline for the sale and a plan to redevelop the Old Main Post Office and turn it into an economic driver for the city of Chicago,” Emanuel said. “The sooner we conclude this process the sooner we can create thousands of jobs and generate economic opportunities for residents throughout Chicago, while restoring an iconic gateway to the city.”

The tentative settlement gives the potential purchaser, an entity associated with 601 W Companies, until June 1 to complete the acquisition of the building.

601W is a New York-based company that reportedly owns Chicago’s AON Center and Prudential Plaza, among other properties.

“The buyer appears to be an experienced commercial property owner with the expertise and financial capacity to meet our goals for the building, so we’re providing strict terms and conditions for a purchase to close in a timely fashion and a redevelopment plan that’s satisfactory to the city to move forward,” Emanuel said.

The city would also require approval of a formal plan for redevelopment. This would include approval of a budget, uses and timelines, among other things.

The mayor, alongside Ald. Danny Solis and the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, announced their plan to acquire the building and accept bids for the vacant property in February.

Emanuel has touted the building’s redevelopment as a potential source of jobs and economic opportunity for the city.

In March, Chicago’s Community Development Commission voted to recommend Emanuel's plan to use eminent domain to take control of the property. A Request for Proposals will be issued by the city on March 16 for parties interested in redeveloping the building.

Under the new tentative settlement, the city will suspend its plan to acquire the building from its current owner as well as the Request for Proposals issued last month.

The building, which was closed by the U.S. Postal Service in 1995, was acquired by International Property Developers North America Inc. in 2009. The company paid $1.5 billion for the property at the time.

The 2.5 million-square-foot property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. The building, which is monitored by the City's Law Department in Circuit Court, has had a litany of code violations since 2012.

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