Sterling Bay, Bill Davies part ways on old post office
October 9, 2014

Bill Davies' plans for the old post office, the behemoth concrete building that straddles the Eisenhower Expressway, were once compared to believing in unicorns and fairy tales.

True to expectations, this story will not have a happy ending. Not after Crain's reported Wednesday that a plan to redevelop the building in a joint venture between the fast-growing Chicago developer Sterling Bay and Davies had fallen apart, and that Sterling Bay had offered Davies nearly $150 million for it.

That would be at least $125 million more than he paid for it in 2009.

Davies' London-based representative Richard Sykes told me Wednesday that "a new, grand plan for the whole site" is in the works. He describes it as a "much clearer idea" of what would be the "best possible scenario."

When might the world see an outline of this wonder?

"Three to four weeks," Sykes said.

Sykes, of real estate firm Savills Studley, called the separation between his Monaco-based client and Sterling Bay amicable. But, he said, the venture fell apart when Sterling Bay's Scott Goodman and Andy Gloor couldn't get behind Davies' "big picture," which includes three new towers and a 3,200-space parking structure over many years. Sterling Bay's interest was limited to what could be done with the post office, Sykes said.

Davies "didn't want to pass off bits of land here or there," he said.

He added: "Bill thought, let's not just do the old post office. That's relatively easy. It's how can we maximize the site for the benefit of all concerned?"

Sterling Bay, Bill Davies part ways on old post office

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