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Tribune Publishing in talks to leave Prudential Plaza offices

Ryan Ori, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Home and Consumer News

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Tribune's offices could be on the move for the second time in less than three years, as the newspaper's parent company seeks an exit from Prudential Plaza amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tribune Publishing is in talks with Prudential Plaza owner Sterling Bay for a buyout of its approximately 137,000-square-foot lease in the office complex overlooking Millennium Park, according to real estate sources.

Sterling Bay and Tribune Publishing's brokers from Jones Lang LaSalle have begun informally marketing the entire space to potential tenants in anticipation of the company's exit, according to sources.

The newspaper company, whose other titles include the Baltimore Sun and New York Daily News, hasn't made rent payments at most of the properties it leases since March, according to a regulatory filing.

It's unclear where the Chicago Tribune's newsroom and offices, as well as the corporate parent's headquarters, would relocate.

The Freedom Center printing facility along the Chicago River has some office space, but real estate experts are unsure the building is large or modern enough to accommodate even a scaled-down Tribune office.

 

Tribune Publishing spokesman Max Reinsdorf and Sterling Bay CEO Andy Gloor declined to comment.

The negotiations come a little more than two years after the Tribune moved from Tribune Tower to One Prudential Plaza in June 2018. That ended a 93-year run in the landmark tower on North Michigan Avenue, which was sold in 2016 and is being converted into condominiums.

Tribune Publishing is among many companies taking steps to reduce real estate and other costs during a pandemic that has left many office employees working from home since March.

Measures companies are taking include stopping rent payments, seeking rent relief and offering space for sublease. Uber and Groupon are among those with sublease space on the market, and a wave of additional sublease offerings is expected to flood the market in the coming months.

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