says taxpayers could save up to $12 million annually if the state sells the
James R. Thompson Center (JRTC), a downtown Chicago office building that houses
state government offices. It’s one of the many reasons the Governor intends to
sell the building.
16-story building’s infrastructure has been deteriorating over the years and is
costly to maintain, due to its very large and open atrium. Rauner estimates
there are more than $100 million in repairs that need to be made, and it’s not
compelling to make those repairs. The JRTC occupies almost three times the
per-square-footage of office space as compared to the rest of downtown Chicago,
and double what the rest of the state has for its employees working elsewhere.
Such waste and inefficiency is the reason why the Governor wants to put the
JRTC up for auction, explaining from a purely financial point of view that this
is compelling for the people of the state and allows a developer to make more
productive use of the space.
Republican Leader Christine Radogno said that the building is no longer
functional for state government, and the taxpayers need to come first. Selling
the Thompson Center will allow the state to explore more options for managing
employees in Chicago and the suburbs.
says the goal is to sell the building in the next year, in which he says a new
building could generate $20 million per year for Chicago and create thousands
of construction jobs.