Tribune Company announced it will explore strategic options for maximizing the value of Chicago’s Tribune Tower, which houses the Chicago Tribune, and LA’s Times Mirror Square, which hosts The LA Times. The company issued RFPs this week to several of the country’s leading real estate firms.
Tribune is seeking assistance in identifying various structures, development opportunities, and occupancy strategies for both properties. The company intends to maintain an ongoing ownership position in the Tower and in Times Mirror Square. "We are not rushing this process, and I can assure you we will not accept anything but full-market value for these assets," said Tribune Chairman and Chief CEO Sam Zell said in a statement to the firms.
"Both Tribune Tower and Times Mirror Square are iconic structures, deeply intertwined with the history of this company," Zell in an email to employees. "But they are also under-utilized, and as employee-owners, it’s in our best interests to maximize the value of all our assets."
Zell, who worked the 8.2 billion deal that took Tribune private in December, would use proceeds from a transaction to pay down debt, according to a Tribune story.
Tribune Tower is 40 stories tall and has 940,000 square feet of usable space. The property also includes an adjacent parcel of land, approximately one acre in size, currently being used as a surface parking lot.
Times Mirror Square is a complex of five buildings with 750,000 square feet of usable space, located on one city block. The property also includes an adjacent parcel of vacant land, approximately two acres in size and a parking garage.
Employees of both the Tribune and LA Times are likely to stay put for the foreseeable future. And the Chicago Tribune’s Freedom Center printing plant at 777 W. Chicago Ave. is not part of the proposal, a source told The Trib.