Saturday, February 20, 2016

Instead of buying bullet-proof vest

Emanuel moves to acquire, redevelop old Main Post Office

Bill Davies, a British investor and resident of Monaco with International Property Developers North America, Inc., at a 2009 auction for the old Chicago Post Office (File Photo by Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times)
After years of grand plans and empty promises, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is moving to seize control over a giant civic embarrassment: the vacant Main Post Office that hovers over the Eisenhower Expressway.
British developer Bill Davies, who purchased the dilapidated hulk of a building eight years ago, was notified Friday of the city’s intention to use its sweeping condemnation powers to acquire the building and solicit bids to redevelop it.

The “request for proposals” for the entire building — not pieces of it — is expected to be issued this spring with a winner chosen this summer. The designated developer will be required to bankroll the city’s acquisition of the property and develop the project without tax-increment-financing (TIF) or any other city subsidy, said Planning and Development Commissioner David Reifman.

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