Just one day following the announcement that it had completed the sale of Chicago’s iconic Tribune Tower for mixed-use redevelopment, Tribune Media is reportedly setting its sights on its 30-acre printing facility on the western bank of the Chicago River near Goose Island. Unlike the recently completed deal for its namesake tower, Tribune Media is courting developers to form a joint partnership that could see all or part of the site support new residential, office, and retail space, reports Crain’s.
Known as Freedom Center, the parcel located at the southeast corner of Chicago and Halsted is anchored by a 850,000-square-foot printing building that could potentially remain in operation if the southern portion of the massive site is redeveloped first. Though its location in Planned Manufacturing District (PMD) limits what can be built at Freedom Center, efforts to amend or even reverse protected PMD zoning designations are already underway — most notably at the site of the former Finkl Steel mill in Lincoln Park.
Freedom Center isn’t the first piece of waterfront real estate that Tribune Media has tapped for redevelopment. Last year, the company selected Chicago-based Riverside Investment & Development to transform a seven-acre parcel just north of Freedom Center. According to Crain’s, both Riverside and Chicago’s Sterling Bay are likely among the firms on the Tribune’s short list of potential development partners.
Update: Tribune Media reached out to provide a statement regarding today's news. The statement comes from Murray McQueen, president of Tribune Media's real estate division.
Today’s story in Crain's Chicago Business regarding the property at 777 West Chicago Avenue is wrong. We have not solicited or engaged with any developer regarding a potential joint venture or sale of the property; it would be extremely premature to do so. No decisions whatsoever have been made about the future use of the property. Instead, we intend to work carefully and deliberately with the City of Chicago to follow the established process for evaluating the possible future use of the property.