Chicagos old post office gets green light to begin redevelopment

Chicagos old post office gets green light to begin redevelopment
Chicago's old post office. Photo: Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune

Chicago’s old post office, a dinosaur of a building encompassing 2.5 million-square-feet of crumbling art deco architecture that was designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White and built in phases from 1921 to 1932, may finally be getting its deserved place in the sun according to today’s announcement from City Hall.

After sitting vacant and unused for decades, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that the City has reached a court-approved agreement, with the 601W Companies LLC where they will immediately begin an extensive renovation and restoration of the building that straddles the Eisenhower Expressway as it turns into Congress Parkway on the city’s near west side.

“Today is a bright day for the near West Side and all of Chicago,” Mayor Emanuel said continuing “…we can now begin the work to transform this iconic gateway to the city of Chicago into the economic driver it was designed to be.”

The mayor promises thousands of new jobs to be generated by the project that is expected to take five years to complete. It is expected to generate more than 1,500 construction jobs alone. The agreement includes requirements to give priority to minority-and women-owned businesses.

A rendering from 601W Cos. shows the plan for the Old Main Post Office's renovation.  (601W Cos.)

A rendering from 601W Cos. shows the plan for the Old Main Post Office’s renovation. (601W Cos.)

The 601W renovation plan will feature three-phases. The building will be made up primarily of offices, targeting commercial users to the building’s 18-foot ceilings and 250,000-square-foot open floor spaces.

Planned amenities are expected to include a three-acre rooftop park complex and a landscaped riverwalk that will be open to the public along with cafes and more.

When completed, the space will be a city inside the city that could house an estimated 12,000 people.

Details for the old Post Office Building have not yet been released.

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