Google’s Thompson Center deal, Highland Park suspect indicted on another 110 counts and more in your Chicago news roundup

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

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A nearly empty James R. Thompson Center in March 2020.

The James R. Thompson Center in March 2020.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be partly sunny with a high near 84 degrees and a chance of thunderstorms. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low near 68. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high near 83 and a chance of showers.

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Afternoon Edition
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Top story

Google taking over Thompson Center from the state

Gov. J.B. Pritzker revealed today a reboot of plans to save the Thompson Center, announcing that Google will take over the state’s former office hub downtown.

The search engine giant, with 2,000 employees in Chicago, will occupy the entire building. The state, in a deal involving developer Michael Reschke, will sell it to Google for $105 million. Reschke outlined the terms of the deal at a news conference.

In turn, the state will pay $75 million for the 115 S. LaSalle St. building, formerly the BMO Harris Bank building. Reschke, CEO of the firm Prime Group, will manage a renovation of the Thompson Center for Google.

“The state will own 50% more space on LaSalle Street at 50% less cost,” Reschke said.

Pritzker said the deal will save money for state taxpayers, certify Chicago’s appeal to the tech community and revitalize a section of downtown. The new agreement replaces plans announced in December for Reschke to buy most of the Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St., with the state retaining some space there.

State officials said $30 million from the Thompson Center sale will be in upfront cash. In acquiring 115 S. LaSalle, the state will own the westernmost tower of a three-building complex. The other two buildings use the address of 111 W. Monroe St. and will continue to be owned by a partnership of Reschke and Quintin Primo III, chairman of Capri Investment Group.

The 37-story 115 S. LaSalle building contains almost 592,000 usable square feet, state officials said. They said about 1,800 employees working at the Thompson Center and at leased offices downtown will be moved there. The state already has centralized about 2,000 workers in a building it owns at 555 W. Monroe St.

While the state will be responsible for renovating its new home, officials said the cost will be much less than the $148 million projected as its share of the work needed to modernize the Thompson Center, which opened in 1985 but suffered from the state’s neglect as the building aged.

David Roeder has more on Google’s big move here.

More news you need

  1. The suspect in the Fourth of July massacre in Highland Park now faces 110 additional criminal charges after a Lake County grand jury handed down an indictment today. Our David Struett has more on the charges here.
  2. Authorities have identified a 15-year-old girl who was shot and killed inside a home in Chicago Lawn last night as Shaniya Daniels. Although a person of interest was being questioned by police, no charges have been announced as of this afternoon.
  3. A benefit concert for the victims of the Highland Park July 4 massacre will be streamed live tonight with featured artists such as Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan and Jane’s Addiction frontman and Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell. The benefit will be presented by Corgan and his partner, clothing designer Chloé Mendel, at their tea house Madame Zuzu’s.
  4. Members of City Council’s Progressive Caucus gathered today with other abortion and gender equality advocates to urge the council to approve the so-called Bodily Autonomy Sanctuary Ordinance. Our Fran Spielman has more on the details of the ordinance here.
  5. Mayor Lori Lightfoot was accused yesterday of “do as I say, not as I do” hypocrisy amid revelations that some SUVs driving her around have reportedly received more tickets for speeding and running red lights that have gone unpaid. In response, the mayor’s office noted that Lightfoot has “repeatedly stressed” to her security detail that, “Running red lights is never acceptable.”
  6. A coyote at a nature center in Northbrook will be getting a bigger enclosure, but activists who have been fighting to move the animal to a wildlife sanctuary say the decision to keep him caged is “inhumane.” The coyote, called Rocky by activists, has been at the River Trail Nature Center since 2018.
  7. Chicago will be the first city in the world to experience an interactive attraction that brings visitors into Harry Potter’s wizarding world of spells, potions and Quidditch. “Harry Potter: Magic at Play” is set to open Nov. 11 at Water Tower Place in a 30,000-square-foot site that will simulate Harry’s journey into wizarding.
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A bright one

Paddleboarder with disabilities crosses Lake Michigan, rewards himself with deep dish pizza

Paddleboarding in the dark of night doesn’t become less scary the more you do it. Mike Shoreman can attest.

Shoreman, 39, is crossing all five Great Lakes to raise money for mental health awareness. He just crossed Lake Michigan off the list.

Shoreman left New Buffalo, Michigan, yesterday morning and spent 27 hours on the water, covering 46 miles, before arriving at North Avenue Beach this morning. The city’s skyline and tallest buildings served as his beacon.

Four years ago, Shoreman was diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, a rare condition brought on by shingles that left him with facial paralysis, impaired balance, vision loss and taste, speech, mobility and hearing problems. Shoreman, who is Canadian, had to relearn to walk and could no longer operate his paddleboard business in Toronto.

Paddleboarder Mike Shoreman approaches North Avenue Beach.

Mike Shoreman approaches North Avenue Beach today.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

“My parents insisted that I go and stay at a mental health treatment facility and that gave me the tools I needed and set me on a path to wellness, and I realized I don’t want kids to ever feel like I felt,” he said.

Shoreman estimates his body has recovered 80% from the damage caused by Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, but balance, vision and facial paralysis issues persist.

He is working with Jack.org to raise money to put mental health programs in schools in Canada. He’s also an ambassador for several groups in the United States seeking to promote mental health.

Today, a group of local stand-up paddleboard enthusiasts paddled out to meet Shoreman, cheer him on, and guide him to shore. Officers in a Chicago Police Department Marine boat did the same.

He fell into the arms of his friend and support team member Liana Neumann. He then sat in the sand and removed the waterproof bags from his feet and peeled off his socks.

His plans for the rest of the day: “A shower and deep dish pizza.”

Mitch Dudekhas more on Shoreman’s journey here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What’s the first thing you remember doing on the internet?

Send us an email at newsletters@suntimes.com and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: Where can you find the best Italian beef sandwich in Chicago? What makes it the best?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Al’s Beef on Taylor Street. It’s just so juicy and the bread is very fresh and crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. There’s a certain spice in the sandwich that makes it flavorful and mouth-watering. Scrumptious! And the French fries are beyond.” —Darr Gapshis

“Portillo’s! Hands down, the best ever! When you order it ‘juicy’ it is soaked and wonderful!” —Joy Grizely Libby

“Mr. Beef on Orleans, but I will not turn down Portillo’s.” — Maria Sue Szakmary

“Buona Beef. I like mine baptized when they dunk the whole beef sandwich into the juice.” —Marion Kucharzyk-Callese

“Al’s Beef, the original one on Taylor Street. Their Italian beef is authentic and they cook the beef perfectly.” —Maurice Snell

“Vince’s Restaurant & Pizzeria on 63rd makes a killer Italian Beef sammitch. It’s very flavorful, huge, and gets delivered to my front door.” —Jimmy Davey

“Roma’s Italian Beef & Sausage on Cicero and Hutchinson. Perfect seasoning makes it the best.” —Scott Fricke

“Mr. Beef is clearly the best. That homemade giardiniera pepper topping is the best. Haven’t been there in years as I live in Indianapolis now. But this post is making it so I need to make the drive.” —Jeff Kribley

“Luke’s on Jackson and Wells. The mozzarella and location did it for me.” — Brett Burkitt

“Connie’s Pizza on Archer Ave. The beef is very well seasoned and the bread makes for a perfect sandwich.” —John Czubaja

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition. Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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