Yesterday, Tribune Media announced that is has teamed up with a banker to search for a partner for either the redevelopment or outright sale of its landmark Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue. It's no shocker that the company is looking to redevelop the property, as it had hinted at such a plan late last year. However, the sale of the 36-story neo-Gothic tower and the three acres it sits on would open the door to many opportunities to developers. Developers have been on a building spree in the last two years, building mostly new apartments and hotel rooms. The tower would likely not be a great candidate for apartments, but it does have good bones for a hotel. Built in 1925, the tower designed by Raymond Hood and John Mead Howells stands near the Wrigley Building, and represents one of the early icons of the Chicago skyline.
The announcement comes just over a year after the Tribune first announced that it would be looking to get the most from its real estate assets. In September 2014, Tribune Media hinted that it was looking to redevelop its seven acre Freedom Center campus on Chicago Avenue, between the river and Halsted. Considering that nearby River North has seen a boom in the cost of office space, the move could be lucrative one for Tribune Media. However, the Tribune Tower is the company's crown jewel. Considering that many vintage downtown towers have been converted into hotels in recent years, it wouldn't be too shocking to see a more flushed out hotel plan for the tower in the future. The tower also stands at a point of transition for Michigan Avenue, as more development is moving down the famous commercial district and connecting shoppers and tourists to Millennium Park. If Tribune Media is going to redevelop the tower, the timing is right, but let's hope that whatever plan does emerge respects the tower's landmark status and its storied history.
·Tribune Tower is for sale [Tribune]
·The Tribune Considering Redevelopment of Landmark Tower [Curbed Chicago]
·Tribune to Redevelop 7 Acres of Property on Chicago Avenue [Curbed Chicago]