It’s official: Chicago’s Old Main Post office, the hulking Art Deco behemoth that stands over the Chicago River and Eisenhower Expressway, is ready to be redeveloped. Yes, you’ve probably heard this before, but this time it’s for real. This week, a court has approved developer 601W Companies’ $500 million overhaul of the long-vacant property. Earlier this year, the New York based developer stepped in to purchase the 2.5 million-square-foot property as the city was threatening eminent domain to take possession of the property back from its previous owner and oddball British developer Bill Davies.
The building is currently a saftey hazard and a lot of mechanical and foundation work needs to be done. The has been left to rot over the last several years and it seems to catch on fire at least once a year. According to the Sun-Times, the building’s new owner has a series of deadlines to correct code violations. However, the building’s previous owner is on the hook for $800,000 in fines for leaving the building in such disrepair.
The Old Main Post Office has represented one of the biggest lost opportunities of the last development cycle, however it now appears that real work is ready to begin to bring the building back to life. 601W’s plan includes new amenities like a large three-acre rooftop park and a fitness center. In addition, the site’s prominent river frontage will see the addition of outdoor cafes and a landscaped riverwalk for the building’s office workers.
- Court approves deal to develop Old Main Post Office [Sun-Times]
- Chicago's Old Post Office Sold to 601W Companies [Curbed Chicago]
- The Sad Saga of Chicago's Old Post Office Redevelopment [Curbed Chicago]