The city officially opened up the bidding process for developers interested in transforming the Old Main Post Office Complex. Yesterday morning, the Department of Planning and Development issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the massive historic building’s planned redevelopment in the city’s West Loop. A pre-submittal conference is scheduled for April 14. Bidding closes June 10.  

The move comes a week after the city’s Community Development Commission, a mayor-appointed panel, gave preliminary approval for the city to acquire the property from its current owners through eminent domain. 

RFP respondents may choose to redevelop the site in accordance with the existing planned development parameters for the site (PD# 1065), or they can select to amend the PD, which “allows for a wide variety of commercial and residential uses,” the Mayor’s Office said in a release.

Once a developer is chosen, they will have to commit to purchase the property at full market value and pay “all related acquisition costs.”

The U.S. Post Office sold the historic building in 2009 to International Property Developers North America, Inc. (IPD) for $25 million dollars. In 2013, the same developer bought the neighboring annex property for an additional $14 million.

IPD had planned a $3.5 billion mixed-use development to be completed in phases, including three towers and 16-million-square-feet of residential, retail, entertainment and office spaces. In July 2013, the City Council approved an amendment to the planned development for an additional 2,100 residential units in the old post office building. Plans for a hotel and commercial retail space on adjacent land were also approved.

The first phase of the project was scheduled to get underway in early 2015, but according to DPD, no significant redevelopment work has been completed to date.