At the behest of Gov. Bruce Rauner, Illinois House GOP Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs filed legislation Thursday to hasten the sale of the James R. Thomson Center in Chicago.
If Durkin's legislation passes, the building would be fast tracked for a closed sale or lease of the building or a public private-partnership of the state government-owned facility. The bill, HB 4313, would also allow the state to forgo having to first offer the building for sale to the city of Chicago or another public jurisdiction. The legislation would also help the state avoid a long public comment period and allow the building to be sold for less than its appraised worth. Additionally, the provision calls for the state's ability to lease the building back should the need arise.
A spokesperson for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan was reticent to get behind the legislation without more information on the plan.
"That will all have to be examined," Steve Brown said. "I'm not sure rushing is a good idea. Usually when you rush things, that's when you make mistakes."
Rauner has called the 16-story building "inefficient," adding that it should be sold to a developer and demolished.