Redevelopment of Vacant and Deteriorating Site Would Create Thousands of Jobs and Drive Neighborhood Economic Development Forward
CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–March 17, 2016. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD) yesterday issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Chicago’s Old Main Post Office complex, seeking to redevelop the long-vacant, West Loop property with a mix of new uses.
“Today we are continuing to move forward with the transformation of the Old Main Post office from a vacant property to a vibrant economic driver for the neighborhood and the entire city of Chicago,” Mayor Emanuel said. “This redevelopment will create thousands of jobs and bring economic opportunities for residents in our underserved communities. It will also allow the Old Main Post Office to once again become an iconic gateway that every Chicagoan will be proud of.”
Closed by the U.S. Postal Service in 1995 and acquired by International Property Developers North America Inc. in 2009, the 2.5-million-square-foot post office and annex buildings have been deteriorating for decades.
The city is in the process of pursuing acquisition of the site through the eminent domain process, and last month the city notified the current owner of DPD’s intention to issue this RFP to identify a company to take control of the redevelopment of the site. Earlier this month the Community Development Commission approved both actions. No city funds will be used to acquire or redevelop the building.
The successful respondent to the RFP will enter into a redevelopment agreement with the city, committing to purchase the site for its fair market value and paying all related acquisition costs.
“The RFP presents a unique opportunity to transform the Old Post Office complex into a premier office or mixed-use project that will support the continued growth of the West Loop,” said DPD Commissioner David L. Reifman. “Other cities have faced similar stalled projects with this owner, and the city of Chicago will take every step necessary to ensure this site is successfully redeveloped.”
Respondents may redevelop the site in accordance with current zoning — PD 1065 — or through modified redevelopment parameters. PD 1065 allows for a wide variety of commercial and residential uses.
DPD will review proposals based on the evaluation criteria and submission requirements outlined in the RFP. Among the criteria to be considered are the completeness of the submission; quality of the development proposal; responsiveness to goals of the RFP; appropriateness of the proposed use relative to the surrounding community; proposed design; ability to execute the project in a timely manner; and the experience and financial capacity of the development team.
Responses to the RFP are due on June 10, 2016. A pre-submittal conference is tentatively scheduled for April 14, 2016, at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Room 1103. The process will conclude with the selection of a developer this summer. City Council will be asked to approve the acquisition authority this spring, and a redevelopment agreement, pending the RFP response, this fall.
The RFP and related information is available at www.cityofchicago.org/dpd
Designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White and built in phases from 1921 to 1932, the Old Post Office is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and eligible for the 20 percent Federal Historic Tax Credit. The City Council may also consider designating the building as an official Chicago Landmark to facilitate Class L tax designation.