Just hours after the city officially announced that the sale of Chicago's Old Main Post Office had been completed, the spokesperson of the massive Art Deco building's previous owner has announced that developer Bill Davies has died. According to the Tribune, Sue Sadler, the rep of Davies' International Property Developers, sent an email this morning around 10 a.m. to announce Davies' passing. Crain's has also checked in on the developer's death, and has received confirmation from another associate of Davies. No specific details surrounding the British developer's death have been revealed, other than Sadler's email which suggests that Davies had been recently suffering from a "short illness."
The news comes just as Davies had finally sold the building after land banking on the property for years. This year's sale of the 2.5 million-square-foot property to developer 601W Companies LLC was expedited as the city was prepared to take the building back through the use of eminent domain. Davies purchased the building from the city in 2009 for $24 million, and has since proposed multiple mega-development proposals for the site. The first plan called for $3.5 billion phased, mixed-use mega-development that would eventually include a trio of towers and 16 million square feet of residential, retail, entertainment, and office space. More recently, Davies announced a proposal to build a tower on the post office property and to develop the massive building into a 1,500-unit apartment complex.
While Davies dragged his feet on developing the property, other real estate investors offered to take over the building and make way on the renovation of the structure. At one point, the Chicago-based developer Sterling Bay had teamed up with Davies, then offered $150 million to buy the property outright. Davies rejected the offer, causing frustration among city officials and elected representatives. A year later, Gulf Resources Development & Investment made a $150 million offer on the property, which was also rejected by Davies.
However, as of this week, the building has been officially sold to another developer, which has pledged a $500 million overhaul of the property.
- Rep says Bill Davies, longtime owner of old main post office, is dead [Chicago Tribune]
- Former Old Main Post Office owner William Davies dies [Crain's]
- Chicago's Old Post Office Sold to 601W Companies [Curbed Chicago]
- The Sad Saga of Chicago's Old Post Office Redevelopment [Curbed Chicago]