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What's Next For Tribune Tower?

Tribune Tower, Chicago

The water cooler talk heading into Labor Day is what CIM Group will do with Tribune Tower now that it owns the landmark Neo-Gothic building. The Block 37 developer announced it bought the 36-story tower at 435 North Michigan earlier this week for $240M. CIM was one of three finalists for the asset, and emerged as the front-runner in June.

The seller, Tribune Media, marketed the building as a lucrative redevelopment opportunity in the bustling Michigan Avenue/Chicago River submarket, where Apple is building a new flagship store at 401 North Michigan and Oxford Capital Group opened (and sold) its boutique hotel Londonhouse and is ready to start raising the height on the Atlantic Bank building, where it's planning another boutique hotel. And activity is strong in the submarket across the retail, office and hotel sectors.

CIM has plenty of options for repositioning Tribune Tower, according to DNAInfo. Fifield Cos CEO Steve Fifield says the key is that a Tribune Tower redevelopment is a mixed-use play. It can be ideally suited as another hotel in the market, along with some condos, retail and office space. Tribune Tower's parking lot is big enough to be redeveloped into a skyscraper project, if CIM chooses that route. And the building's landmark status opens CIM up to tax breaks from Cook County and more from the federal government, if it can land Tribune Tower on the National Register of Historic Places. [DNA]