CIM Group to Buy Tribune Tower in Chicago for $205M

CHICAGO — Tribune Media Co. (NYSE: TRCO) has agreed to sell the iconic Tribune Tower in downtown Chicago to Los Angeles-based CIM group for $205 million in cash at closing.

The buyer could pay up to an additional $35 million based on contingencies and conditions, which could bring the total up to $240 million. The sale is expected to close by the end of September.

Built in 1925, the building features 35 stories and nearly 740,000 square feet. The sale also includes a 36,000-square-foot development site located directly to the east of Tribune Tower, fronting Cityfront Plaza.

“Tribune Tower has been a unique part of Chicago’s skyline since the 1920s,” says Peter Liguori, Tribune Media’s president and CEO. “It is a gem of architectural and structural accomplishment and a constant reminder of the important role that Tribune has played in the development of the city itself.”

Since the beginning of the year, Tribune Media has sold several smaller properties in markets ranging from South Florida to Seattle for gross proceeds of approximately $89 million. Earlier this year, the company agreed to sell the north block of the Los Angeles Times Square property and the nearby Olympic printing plant, both in Los Angeles. Those sales are also expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

“Tribune Tower is a prominent property with a rich history that has been a feature of the Chicago skyline for nearly a century,” says Avi Shemesh, co-founder and principal of CIM Group. “It’s in an area that, today, is attracting new businesses and residents.”

Tribune Media hired real estate investment banker Eastdil Secured in October to explore a sale or partnership to redevelop the tower, which sits on three acres. The property is zoned for up to 2.4 million square feet and could be redeveloped as part of a mixed-use development, according to the Chicago Tribune, which is a former subsidiary of Tribune Media and a longtime tenant at the building.

CIM Group is a real estate and infrastructure firm that invests in densely populated North American communities. CIM’s investments in Chicago include Block Thirty Seven, Marquee at Block 37 and 440 S. LaSalle.

Tribune Media Co. owns a portfolio of television and digital properties producing news, entertainment and sports programming. The company includes Tribune Broadcasting’s 42 owned or operated local television stations, national entertainment network WGN America, Tribune Studios, and Gracenote, a source of video, music and sports metadata.

TRCO’s stock price closed at $39.01 per share on Tuesday, Aug. 30, down from $39.12 one year ago.

— Haisten Willis

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