Pritzker announces major step towards sale of Thompson Center

Pritzker announces major step towards sale of Thompson Center
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Pritzker announces major step towards sale of Thompson Center

Governor Pritzker issues a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Technical and Project Management Expertise

Governor JB Pritzker today announced a major step toward the sale of the James R. Thompson Center (JRTC).  The Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) this week for an array of technical and project management expertise for the disposition of the JRTC at the best value to the State of Illinois.

“The Thompson Center is an inefficient work environment for the current demands of State business,” Governor Pritzker said.  “Today we are moving forward with the process of selling the facility and using the proceeds to help stabilize the pension system.”

Opened in 1985, the JRTC is a 17-story marble, granite, glass, and steel structure, encompassing approximately 1.2 million sq. ft. of enclosed area.  The building’s steel frame is topped by a cylindrical skylight, 75 ft. above the roof level. The sky-lit rotunda is 160 ft. in diameter and is surrounded by 16 floors of open office space.  The main building enclosure system is glazed with single-pane, non-thermally broken aluminum frames.  The system is energy inefficient and does not meet current standards for performance or thermal comfort.

James R. Thompson Center, Chicago, Illinois. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

James R. Thompson Center, Chicago, Illinois. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Because of prolonged deferred maintenance and delayed capital projects, the construction cost in 2016 was estimated to be over $300 million to bring the building into a good state of repair.  The facility is also larger than necessary and costly to operate with annual operating expenses exceeding $17 million.  By divesting of the oversized, outdated and expensive facility, the State can relocate its core services to appropriate replacement spaces.  This strategic relocation effort will reduce operating costs and increase productivity.

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“Issuing this RFP moves the State a step closer to selling the property,” CMS Acting Director Janel Forde said.  “The property is inefficient and expensive to operate.  The State can achieve significant cost savings by relocating to more optimized space.”

The RFP for Technical and Project Management Expertise will be issued this week; responses are due at 1:00 P.M. Central Time on October 4, 2019.  A copy of the RFP will be available on the General Services Illinois Procurement Bulletin, also referred to as the Bulletin or BidBuy (https://www.bidbuy.illinois.gov/bso/). The Offeror’s conference meeting and networking event will be held at the JRTC in Chicago and at the Stratton Office Building in Springfield at 1:00 P.M. Central Time on September 13, 2019.

In April, the Governor signed Senate Bill 886 into law that dictates the process for the sale of the property.

The move is the latest by the Pritzker administration to ensure the State’s pensions are sustainably funded.  In February, the Governor established the Pension Asset Value and Transfer Task Force and the Pension Consolidation Task Force.  Both task forces will provide recommendations and help finalize a long-term pension reform plan.  In April, Illinois received significantly stronger than expected revenues that allowed the State to meet the current funding commitment to the pension systems without extending the ramp.

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America. 

Click here to listen to Ray's Political Podcast. 

Hanania's columns are archived on his personal website at RayHanania.com. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

Email Ray Hanania at rghanania@gmail.com.
Ray Hanania

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