With the impending sale of its iconic Tribune Tower headquarters, Tribune Media will be packing up and moving its offices across the Chicago River to the bland and boxy Illinois Center complex next year.
A Tribune Media spokesman confirmed Monday that the company has leased two full floors of the 28-story high-rise at 303 East Wacker Drive. The move will be completed in the third quarter of 2017, according to Gary Weitman, senior vice president/corporate relations.
Built in 1979 at Wacker Drive and Columbus Drive overlooking the Chicago River, the building was designed by Fujikawa, Conterato, Lohan & Associates. It's been struggling with high vacancy since 2012, when Groupon and KPMG moved out, leaving 56 percent of its space unoccupied, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.
Earlier this year, Tribune Media agreed to sell its 1925 landmark neo-Gothic Tribune Tower at 435 North Michigan Avenue in a $240 million deal with Los Angeles-based developer CIM Group.
Tribune Media is the Chicago-based parent company of 42 television stations (including WGN-Channel 9), the cable network WGN America, Tribune Studios, news/talk WGN AM 720 and other holdings. No word yet on whether WGN Radio will leave Tribune Tower.
“We have a lease for our offices and studios on both the first and sevenths floors which runs through June of 2018,” WGN Radio management wrote in a memo to staff last August. “When the time is right, we’ll begin negotiations with CIM Group to extend our lease in this storied home of ours.”
It’s not yet known where tronc, the parent company of the Chicago Tribune which split off from Tribune Media in 2014, will move.