CPS officials talking to prospective buyer for headquarters
By Lauren FitzPatrick and Fran Spielman Staff Reporters May 21, 2014 1:22PM
Updated: May 21, 2014 5:46PM
Chicago Public Schools confirmed it’s in talks with an interested buyer for its headquarters at 125 S. Clark St., and according to the alderman, a developer wants to convert it into residential units.
District spokesman Joel Hood said CPS is discussing a potential sale with Marc Realty Residential, but said the proceedings are in their early stages.
CPS began soliciting bids in January for the 19-story building. Hood would not comment on the price. When CPS bought the building in 1998 from ComEd, it paid $8.3 million, according to the district.
CPS’ central office staffers are moving from the Clark Street building to the first three floors of 1 N. Dearborn, which formerly housed the Sears’ Loop store. Officials have said the number of staffers has decreased in recent years, requiring less space. They project the move should save some $60 million over 15 years in costs, such as energy and upkeep. That savings allows for an added $5 million to purchase and assemble office furniture for the new space, as well as $400,000 in moving costs.
Marc Realty Residential could not be reached for comment. The firm did not return a phone message for comment.
Ald. Brendon Reilly (42nd) said he’s spoken with the developer, who’d like to convert it into apartments.
“I think that’s an appropriate use of that building but we don’t have a lot of detail about how it’s programmed, how many units…So whatever proposal comes forward, that will be vetted with the community, but generally I think conceptually it would make sense for that block.
“There’s tremendous demand for residential units in the Loop,” Reilly said. “People want to have a short walk to work so from that perspective it’s an excellent location.”