Old Chicago Main Post Office Redevelopment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Old Chicago Main Post Office Phase II
Old Chicago Main Post Office Development rendering.jpeg
Rendering of the proposed complex
General information
Status Never built
Type Supertall skyscraper
Location Chicago, Illinois

West Congress Parkway and South Canal Street,

433 West Van Buren
Country United States
Cost $3.5 billion
Roof 2,000 feet (610 m)
Technical details
Floor count 120
Floor area 16,000,000 square feet (1,500,000 m2)
Design and construction
Architect Booth Hansen
Developer International Property Developers

The Old Chicago Main Post Office Redevelopment was an approved 20-acre (81,000 m2) project on a lot located along the Chicago River on the southwest side of Downtown Chicago, Illinois to be constructed in phases over a period of one decade that would have includes the renovation of Chicago's historic Old Main Post Office building as well as residential, retail, entertainment and office space. The plan included several towers, the tallest one being a proposed 120-story mixed use twin tower skyscraper to stand about 2,000 feet (610 m) high to the roof, which would have made it the tallest building in the United States,[2] over 500 feet (150 m) taller than the Willis Tower, containing office, residential, and hotel space. It would also have included two 60-story residential towers as well as a 40-story hotel.[3] All the buildings in the development were to be connected via a ground level complex[4] that would have been built over the Chicago River and the Eisenhower Expressway.[5]

The proposal was sent to Chicago City Commission in July 2011 for approval, which was expected to be a several month process. The project had an estimated cost of $3.5 billion and the potential to create 12,000 jobs.[6] Some critics opposed the proposal, calling it old-fashioned and suburban and an unrealistic pipe dream, as it was largely car oriented (12,000 parking spaces and free parking) with shopping mall style retail.[7] The city voted and approved the plan July 18, 2013.[8]

In December 2014, Davies canceled the project and put the post office building up for sale.[9]


On June 9, 2009, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the postal service was placing the post office on the auction block. Held on August 27 and conducted by Rick Levin & Associates Inc., the auction raised $40 million, which was well over the opening bid of $300,000.[10][11] The buyer was reported to be English real estate developer Bill Davies.[12][13] While Davies missed an October 10, 2009 deadline to close the deal, he finally acquired the building on October 21, 2009, paying about $17 million.[14]

Exactly one year and nine months after acquiring the post office property from the Postal Service, Davies unveiled his plan for the Post Office on July 21, 2011. The proposal, which involved three other properties besides the 14-story Post Office, was broken down into three-phases pending the required $3.5 billion in funding:

  • Phase 1: Converting the Post Office into a retail complex whose main entrance would be through the Beaux Arts-inspired lobby along Van Buren street, the remaining interior would become a parking garage, and a 40-story hotel on the east side of the building. (Approximate cost: $450 million)
  • Phase 2: Building a 60-story hotel west of the Post Office and a 120-story, 2,000 ft (610 m) office, hotel, and residential tower that would be the tallest in North America. (Approximate cost: $2 billion)
  • Phase 3: Two residential towers built on the east side of the Chicago River diagonally southeast from the proposed 120-story skyscraper plus a 12,000 space parking garage. (Approximate cost: $1 billion)

The whole $3.5 billion plan was submitted to the Chicago City Council and the Planning Commission for approval the same day it was released to the public. Only funding for Phase 1 has been secured as of July 21, 2011.[3][15]

In spring of 2013, Antunovich Associates, who purchased the site three years ago, created a new proposal on the site featuring a 1000-foot skyscraper (with a 2,000 foot tower in their 2nd phase). Other potential uses include a casino and/or entertainment complex. [16] [17]

On June 18, 2014, Bill Davies announced the formation of a $500 million joint venture with Sterling Bay Companies for phase I of the redevelopment.[18][19] On July 18, Sterling announced a new relationship with J.P. Morgan Asset Management, which gave them access to new financial resources.[20]

The plan was canceled at the end of 2014, with Davies putting the property up for sale.[9]


  1. ^ Alby Gallun (July 21, 2011). "Skyscrapers, retail part of massive Old Post Office plan". ChicagoRealEstateDaily. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  2. ^ Brian Louis (July 21, 2011). "Tallest U.S. Tower Proposed as Part of Chicago Development". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  3. ^ a b Alejandra Cancino, Blair Kamin (July 21, 2011). "Old Chicago post office redevelopment plan unveiled". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  4. ^ Ben Meyerson (July 27, 2011). "Old post office plans include hotels, skyscrapers for Chicago". Chicago Journal. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  5. ^ Don DeBat (July 27, 2011). "Towering old post office plan air mailed to Chicago". Chicago Journal. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  6. ^ Kate Springer, Susie An (July 22, 2011). "Big plans for the old Chicago post office". WBEZ-FM. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  7. ^ Blair Kamin (July 24, 2011). "Plan for old post office: A suburban throwback, and a pipe dream". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  8. ^ http://www.gazettechicago.com/index/2013/07/city-to-examine-old-post-office-rehab-plan/
  9. ^ a b Ori, Ryan (December 4, 2014). "Subscription Center". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "Let the bidding begin ...". Chicago Tribune. 2009-08-27. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  11. ^ Lutz, Bj. "Why So Seriously Expensive?". NBC Chicago. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  12. ^ Bartosik, Matt (2009-09-10). "Post Office Buyer May Not Deliver". NBC Chicago. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  13. ^ David Roeder. "High bidder defaults on deal to buy old Chicago Post Office". Chicago Sun-Times. October 14, 2009. Retrieved on October 15, 2009.
  14. ^ David Roeder. "Brit gets discount on old post office". Chicago Sun-Times. October 22, 2009. Retrieved on October 22, 2009.
  15. ^ David Roeder (July 21, 2011). "Old Post Office figures in mega downtown expansion plan". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  16. ^ http://wgntv.com/2013/05/08/exclusive-whats-in-the-works-for-chicagos-old-post-office/
  17. ^ http://www.antunovich.com/projects/CPO/index.html
  18. ^ Ori, Ryan (2014-06-18). "Old Main Post Office revamp gets a boost". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2014-09-16. 
  19. ^ Ori, Ryan (2014-06-19). "Chicago's Old Main Post Office to be redeveloped". WLS-TV. Retrieved 2014-09-16. 
  20. ^ Harris, Melissa and Bob Goldsborough (2014-07-18). "Sterling Bay retools old buildings, reshapes neighborhoods". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2014-09-16.