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State seeks consultant to help with Thompson Center sale

Officials say the office space has become too costly and inefficient.

James R. Thompson Center.
James R. Thompson Center
Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday the state will solicit proposals this week from consultants who can help with the sale of the Thompson Center.

Pritzker’s office said the state will issue a Request for Proposals for technical and project-management expertise involving the sale. The RFP will be posted this week on the state’s BidBuy website and responses will be due Oct. 4.

“Issuing this RFP moves the state a step closer to selling the property,” said Janel Forde, acting director of the Department of Central Management Services. “The property is inefficient and expensive to operate. The state can achieve significant cost savings by relocating to more optimized space.”

Pritzker signed legislation in April authorizing the sale of the 17-story Thompson Center at 100 W. Randolph. With its soaring atrium, the building’s architecture has both supporters and critics, but the state has concluded it can lower annual operating costs of more than $17 million by moving elsewhere.

The state said it will host a conference for potential respondents to the RFP on Sept. 13 in both Chicago and Springfield.

Officials said that because of deferred maintenance, it would cost more than $300 million to bring the building into good repair. While Pritzker’s budget didn’t estimate revenue from the sale, former Gov. Bruce Rauner had hoped it would bring in more than $200 million. Replacing the Thompson Center with new construction would require zoning approval from the city.