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State gets 2 bids to buy the James R. Thompson Center; here’s what’s next

Chicago Sun Times

Sunday, October 10, 2021  |  Article  |  Madeline Kenney

Two potential buyers have submitted plans to acquire the Helmut Jahn-designed building that preservationists have pushed to save from demolition.

Illinois is one step closer to selling the James R. Thompson Center.

Two potential buyers for the Thompson Center, the state government’s former base in the Loop, have emerged. Both groups submitted proposals to the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, an agency spokesperson said Saturday.

But what’s next for the 17-story building known for its all-glass sloping facade and domed skylight remains a mystery. Details of the two proposals weren’t revealed, thanks to a state law that allows officials to keep the submissions concealed until a winning plan is picked.

State officials have begun to evaluate the proposals “to determine which is in the best interest of the state and its taxpayers,” the spokesperson said. Organizers of the contest hoped the results might influence discussions about whether the Thompson Center can be saved.