Thompson Center Saved From Wrecking Ball

by Arthur Lake, The Chicago Times

December 16, 2021

CHICAGO — Governor J.B. Pritzker said that the state has entered into exclusive discussions with the Prime Group for a $70 million agreement.

According to Pritzker, the new owners plan to leave the building intact while developing executive offices, retail, and hotel space.  He stated that they will proceed with a “public-private cooperation.”  The state of Illinois will retain around 30% ownership of the structure, but the sale will allow the government to offload decades of neglected upkeep — hundreds of millions of dollars – on taxpayers.

According to a statement from the governor’s office, the state will save about $20 million each year for the next 30 years by reducing operational costs and consolidating leases.

“Today, I’m delighted to announce that, for the first time, we’re taking a giant step forward with a proposal that will result in the sale of the Thompson Center, saving taxpayers $800 million,” Pritzker said in a statement.

Pritzker claims that selling the building, which is expected to be finished within the next six months, will save taxpayers $800 million.

Governor Pritzker stated that he communicated with the family of former Governor James R. Thompson.  Everyone concerned agreed that the state would name another structure or monument after him.

The Thompson Center, designed by famous architect Helmut Jahn, first opened its doors in 1985.