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Old August 28th, 2009, 05:49 AM   #81
nomarandlee
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If I had to venture to guess it would be that they have plans to rehab it somewhat soon. There is not much use to spend millions per year on upkeep and wait till better a next boom as it were. The economy seems it show signs of stabilizing or at least not headed for a 1931 free fall so someone with a long term vision understandably would be interested.
This is one piece of property whose stock likely went considerably up with all the talk about HSR. It is situated perfectly to be a unique destination complex for Midwestern's who travel by rail.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 06:11 AM   #82
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Article last week in suntimes about what to do with OPO.

Quote:
http://www.suntimes.com/entertainmen...hedy23.article

What to do with Old Post Office? Go green


August 23, 2009

BY HEDY WEISS

.........I think I have an answer. It should warm the hearts of all those who believe in the importance of the green revolution and the necessity of water-reclamation projects.

It should excite all those who dream of having a plot of land that might rival Michelle Obama's White House kitchen garden.

It should intrigue all those who believe we should start thinking more seriously about "eating local."

And it should cheer all those who would like to see Chicago live up to its motto, "Urbs in Horto" ("City in a Garden") in a way that would attract the attention of the whole world, with an impact far greater and more enduring than any single summer Olympics.

Here's the plan: Have the federal government declare the building a tax-free innovation zone and turn it into a vast new national lab dedicated to the propagation, experimentation and support of all things green. Replace the roof with solar panels. Devise a water-reclamation and irrigation system that could operate throughout the building. Set up headquarters for a program dedicated to protecting and defending the entire Great Lakes region. And perhaps most alluring of all, take advantage of the building's unique weight-bearing construction to support a vast collection of indoor gardens that could be "rented out" for minimal fees (and on a sliding scale) to landless city dwellers. Schools -- from local grade schools to universities around the globe -- should be invited to be part of the mix. Scientists, architects, engineers and artists also should come on board.

Entice startups involved in green industries to locate in the building. Get local food wholesalers and major retailers to subsidize the growth of special produce that would not need to be hauled over long distances and could feed the city for less. Devote an entire wing of the building to creating an indoor "tropical rainforest" environment that might become the source of crucial pharmaceutical ingredients. (And no, I'm not talking about a giant marijuana farm.)

While brainstorming recently over dinner with several friends, including a Chicago architect, planner and developer who prefers not to be named here, more suggestions for the building came into play. He thought the Post Office would be an ideal spot for the Children's Museum (gardens and all), now that the controversial plans for a Grant Park site seem stalled. And he talked about a groundbreaking project called GreenPix that already exists in Beijing and could be adapted to the western and eastern facades of the building. (Using sustainable and digital media technology, GreenPix is a huge color LED display for a building's curtain wall that operates as a self-sufficient organic system, "harvesting solar energy by day and using it to illuminate the screen after dark.") A program of changing installations could attract media artists from around the globe and become the city's latest attraction..............
I don't put a lot of stock in her geen industries suggestion but the part about the Green Pix facade intrigued me. I know that some are against the floodlighting of downtown or anywhere in the city but I think it perhaps has potential here...........


http://blog.girvin.com/?p=1111
A company — GreenPix “has created an astounding combination of sustainable technology and digital media virtuosity, dubbed the Zero Energy Media Wall. The system features the world’s largest (so they claim) color LED display, powered completely by photovoltaic cells which are integrated into the glass curtain. During the day, the wall — located on the Xicui entertainment complex in Beijing — harvests solar energy, then expends the charge at night in a display of undulating colors.

This huge LED screen displays mesmerizing patterns of light and video to passersby. But the really amazing thing about the enormous wall of light is that it’s completely self-sustaining. That is, the light panels themselves harness the energy of the sun during the day to power a colorful light show at night.”


photos from the above blog






GreenPix - Dynamic Architecture
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Old August 28th, 2009, 06:41 PM   #83
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While the whole "green" idea is interesting, it'll never happen unless the buyers could figure out how to actually make money doing it. The last thing we need is for this building to fail yet again.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 07:10 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnk View Post
From following this anything over 1M bucks is an overpay unless the buyer is looking into the long term. This could be a 2016 bet. Forget any hate for those that are unwiling to throw 40 million around just to insult people because they think they know more than the bidder. Shame on those haters that did not put up the min bid of 300K, I mean who would hate on those that bidded on this property.... really....
what? ah, two people separated by a common language...
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Old August 29th, 2009, 06:51 AM   #85
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A few more images of the old proposal. Let's see what happens now.

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Old August 30th, 2009, 09:08 PM   #86
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Please God let those old plans or something extremely close to those plans come to fruition. I love the picture that's taken from the one tower looking over the middle section.

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Old August 30th, 2009, 11:39 PM   #87
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Me too! I love the renderings!!
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for the Pelasgians, too, were a Greek nation originally from the Peloponnesus
The Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...assus/1B*.html

Macedonia, of course, is a part of Greece". Strabo, VII, Frg. 9
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...ragments*.html

But north of the gulf, the first inhabitants are Greeks called Epirotes....
Procopius
http://books.google.com/books?id=9m6...page&q&f=false
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Old September 1st, 2009, 12:47 AM   #88
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how on earth can anyone make a 40 million dollar bid without anyone knowing who did it?
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Old September 1st, 2009, 03:31 AM   #89
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Tonight on Chicago Tonight they said the buyer was from oversees.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 03:50 AM   #90
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The buyer is from overseas? This is cloak-and-dagger stuff.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 03:35 PM   #91
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Quote:
http://www.suntimes.com/business/roe...eder09.article

The man who bought old Post Office

REAL ESTATE |
Past says be skeptical of Bill Davies

September 9, 2009

DAVID ROEDER [email protected]

The mysterious buyer of the Old Chicago Main Post Office, 433 W. Van Buren, is Bill Davies, a globe-trotting investor who apparently has left a trail of broken promises in his former hometown of Liverpool, England.

Davies is in his 70s and is believed to reside in Monaco. People here have seen business cards of his that list offices in Monaco, London and Las Vegas.

Sources late Tuesday said Davies was the unidentified man who submitted the winning $40 million bid at an auction of the massive old post office Aug. 27. At the time, he refused to disclose his identity and said his company was International Property Developers North America Inc. The auctioneer and the building's seller, the U.S. Postal Service, played by his rules and would not disclose information about him, except for a statement in which the buyer pledged to "re-energize the property as a focal point and destination for the entire city."

If his history in England is any indication, Chicagoans should view those words with skepticism.

According to the Liverpool Daily Post, Davies has tried unsuccessfully to launch several projects in that city. His plan for a shopping complex in a central part of Liverpool called Chavasse Park dragged on for years until the local council pulled his legal right to the property. Davies charged that the action cost him about $160 million in lost profits. He ended up settling with the council in 2008 for what the Daily Post said was a payout worth about $3 million.

He apparently is best known in Liverpool for ownership of Aintree Racecourse, home of the Grand National Steeplechase. He pushed an unrealized plan in Liverpool involving a large old post office, so the man seems to have a thing about them.

Sources said Davies has hired the prominent law firm of DLA Piper to advise him on zoning issues and on dealings with the city regarding the Chicago site. The old post office spans the Eisenhower Expy. and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Davies, who has given few interviews over the years, did not return a message left at his room at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago.

Last week, he posted the required 10 percent of the purchase price. Closing has been set for Sept. 30, when Davies must put up the balance of the total $41.2 million. The amount includes a 3 percent premium due to the auctioneer, Rick Levin & Associates Inc. If Davies fails to close, he forfeits his deposit and the postal service again will have to decide what to do with the building.

A 2007 Daily Post article quoted a Davies associate as saying, "He loves owning property and in fact when he has money rather than property he finds it much less exciting." That seems an apt description for a man who laid out millions more than local developers thought the post office was worth.
..

..
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Old September 9th, 2009, 03:57 PM   #92
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Old September 9th, 2009, 04:04 PM   #93
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Oh crap.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 11:54 PM   #94
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Here comes another Block 37 to go along with the still unfinished original Block 37.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 11:12 AM   #95
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Quote:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...0,670652.story

Buyer of old Chicago post office not known to deliver on projects
English developer Bill Davies has let several other properties languish


By Melissa Harris

Tribune reporter

September 10, 2009

.........Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) identified the purchaser as Davies. Other sources confirmed he was the winning bidder, and one person familiar with the deal said Davies wants to convert the building into a shopping mall with free indoor parking.

Davies did not return a message left with his assistant at a Chicago hotel where he is staying, and it is unclear whether he has any partners in the deal.

The Postal Service, auctioneer and DLA Piper, the law firm assisting him with zoning issues, all declined to comment, citing the bidder's demand for anonymity as he posted a $4 million deposit last week. News of Davies' purchase was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Asked about Davies' track record of sitting on large developments, Fioretti said, "I am concerned. He has to have a lot more wherewithal to make this happen than just the opening bid. ... It's the biggest eyesore in the city right now. I hope he's ready to proceed at a quick pace."

This is not the first time Davies, who has appeared on the Times of London's list of England's richest people, has bought an abandoned post office. He bought Liverpool's facility in 1986 and then sold it 16 years later in the same blighted condition he bought it, much to the ire of Liverpool leaders.

"Good luck, Chicago, is my blunt take on it," Flo Clucas, deputy leader of Liverpool's City Council, said in a phone interview. "The history we have of Mr. Davies and his company is long-winded and desperately difficult."

The conflicts repeatedly made headlines. In 1996, Davies paid Liverpool's city council 25,000 pounds for the option to develop a shopping center on a park. In 2002, after little or no movement, Davies lost the rights to develop the site to the Duke of Westminster's development firm, which quickly moved forward. The city council settled the legal dispute with Davies.

"We reached an accommodation to get rid of him," Clucas said.

In another deal in the late 1980s, Davies bought a historical site called Exchange Flags and again let it sit virtually vacant, Clucas said. In 2002, he returned a 4.5 million-pound city grant he received for the redevelopment efforts, again as part of a settlement, Clucas said.

Davies' first prominent purchase was of Aintree racecourse, home to England's Grand National, in 1973. Soon, he tripled admission prices, which led to all-time attendance lows and the near-collapse of the event, according to Aintree's Web site and news reports.

"He didn't do anything wrong; he just sat on key sites that really held up redevelopment in the city," said Larry Neild, the former city editor at the Liverpool Daily Post, who now works in public relations. "There was a huge sigh of relief when he disposed of his last Liverpool interests. The council was really glad to see the back of him."

Davies' version of these disputes has never been told in the British media because the developer "never gives interviews," Neild said. "He's a very secretive guy," Neild said. "He doesn't put himself about."..................
..
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Old September 11th, 2009, 11:32 PM   #96
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UGH, if this were a movie i wouldn't believe it.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 01:20 AM   #97
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Quote:
http://www.suntimes.com/business/179...093009.article

Old post office deal now in question



September 30, 2009

BY DAVID ROEDER Staff Reporter
The sale of the Old Chicago Main Post Office remained a muddled affair today after the buyer who won it at auction missed a deadline to close the deal.

Bill Davies, a globe-trotting investor who pledged $40 million for the vacant hulk at the Aug. 27 auction, did not close the sale despite having the available funds, said an attorney representing him. The property’s seller, the U.S. Postal Service, had him put down a $4 million deposit after the auction and he was required to pay the balance by today.

Why he did not couldn’t be determined. The postal service said in a statement that the sales contract gives Davies a 10-day “cure period,” extra time to rectify any defaults, and that it will work with him in the meantime.

“The contract stipulates that the buyer still has until Oct. 10, a 10-day period, in which to settle and acquire the property, after which time the buyer relinquishes all rights to the property,” the statement said. “We are disappointed with the turn of events but given the interest shown during the
auction process, we will be reviewing our options.”

Those options could include opening talks with the bidder who finished second at the auction with a last offer of $39.5 million. That bidder is Investor Immigration Funds Inc., a partnership represented by Chicago immigration lawyer Nathaniel Hsieh.

Hsieh said his group intends to close the sale in 15 days if given the chance. He said he expects to be the ultimate purchaser of the 2.7-million-square-foot building that spans the Eisenhower Expy.

“If they can’t close today, they’re not going to close in 10 days,” he said of the Davies bid. “We can get this done. Legally and economically, it just makes sense for the seller to to come to us.”

Hsieh said his group consists of mostly Chinese and Russian investors. “This is actually our very first venture,” he said.

The post office, 433 W. Van Buren, has been the subject of many plans over the years and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Davies has not explained what he wants to do with the property and has avoided interviews. He has failed at a number of attempts to redevelop parts of Liverpool, England, is former hometown.

Hsieh said his team wants to take over plans previously developed for the post office. Crafted Walton Street Capital, the plan called for razing part of the massive building and retrofitting the rest of it for a hotel, offices and condominiums.

..
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Old October 1st, 2009, 02:14 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
This is actually our very first venture.
Not exactly comforting to hear...
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Old October 7th, 2009, 07:57 PM   #99
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Quote:
http://www.suntimes.com/business/roe...eder07.article

REAL ESTATE | High office vacancies bad news for landlords
October 7, 2009

DAVID ROEDER [email protected]

..........POSTAGE DUE? A source close to Bill Davies, the would-be buyer of the old Main Chicago Post Office, insists Davies is "working collaboratively" with the U.S. Postal Service in trying to close the $40 million sale. He has to do it by Saturday or the postal service can go to its No. 2 bidder, a group represented by Chicago lawyer Nathaniel Hsieh.

However, the Hsieh bid of $39.5 million relied on money from China. Sources say the Chinese interest in the transaction diminished after Chicago lost its Olympics bid.

The postal service could have to resort to another auction to unload this 2.7-million-square-foot giant. But it could decide to wait on a new auction until the capital markets improve. Davies and the Hsieh group were the only parties at the property's well-attended Aug. 27 auction to escalate the bidding to a realm where local experts believe only fools dwell................

..
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Old October 7th, 2009, 09:36 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
..
agreed. d'oh!
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