Chicago – Tribune Media Company (NYSE:TRCO), owner of a diverse portfolio of television and digital properties, announced on Thursday to be looking for strategic monetization alternatives for its iconic Tribune Tower.

Interest is expected to be high in acquiring the historic 36-story building which sits on three acres, with 305 feet of frontage on Chicago’s premiere street for shopping and entertainment, North Michigan Avenue. Speculation on potential buyers is high, and as for potential sales prices which are estimated to top $100 million. But whatever the price is, chances are the Tribune Tower would serve a totally different purpose than the current one.

Credit: Business 2 Community

“Retail and residential are very compelling uses because those are arguably the most valuable, given that location […]  But hotel and/or office may have merit, too.” John Rutledge, president and CEO of Chicago-based developer Oxford Capital said to the Chicago Tribune.

Why is it for sale?

Completed in 1925 as the headquarters for the Chicago Tribune, the building has 737,000 square feet of space, and currently headquarters also the Tribune Media, and Tribune Publishing, besides WGN Radio (720 kHz) broadcasting from the building.

This past summer, hurt by higher expenses and a loss on debt extinguishment the company Tribune Media shed its publishing business, including newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, through a spinoff.  In all for the latest quarter, the company reported a loss of $3.3 million, down from a profit of $82.9 million a year earlier. The company lost 4 cents a share against an 83-cents per share earning a year earlier.

Rutledge told the Tribune that Oxford Capital is one of the many companies who wants to buy the Tribune Tower, as it has already started a similar project with the landmarked London Guarantee & Accident Building in Michigan Ave.

“It’s the kind of project that we like, the scale of it, the complexity of it, the multi-dimensionality of it, and it happens to be right up our alley,” he commented to the Chicago Tribune.

Source: Chicago Tribune