(CBS) — The administration of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says it is seeking an appraisal of the James R. Thompson Center as the state continues to wrestle with chronic budget problems.
Earlier this week, the Illinois Department of Central Management Services issued a Request for Information for appraisal services at 100 W. Randolph St., the Thompson Center’s formal address. It gives until April 7 for those interested and qualified to reply.
“The Administration is doing its due diligence in determining the value and best use of state assets, including the JRTC,” a Rauner spokesperson said in an emailed statement Friday, following published reports about a potential sale.
JRTC is the acronym for the 1980s-era state office building at LaSalle and Randolph, which was named in honor of former Gov. James R. Thompson, whose administration oversaw construction of the once-trailblazing piece of contemporary architecture. In recent years, the mostly glass, poorly maintained building of nearly 20 floors has arguably become more of an eyesore. Its atrium is considered impressive, if not very practical.
The idea of selling the Thompson Center isn’t new. In 2003, then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich proposed sale of the Thompson Center in a lease-back deal that would have helped to erase a budget deficit. The proposal faded away, but not before more than $500,000 had been spent on legal fees.