Columbia College Chicago Sells 820 S. Michigan Building

On November 27, 2017, Columbia sold the newly landmarked 820 S. Michigan building, which was previously the headquarters of Johnson Publishing. Built in 1971, the 11-story building was once the home to Ebony and Jet magazines. The building had been vacant since 2010 and was acquired by Columbia in 2011 for the specific purpose of moving the college’s library from 624 S. Michigan. However, since then, the college made improvements to the current library and then carefully reviewed the possibility of utilizing 820 S. Michigan as a student center.

Deciding to put the 820 S. Michigan building up for sale was a planned process that considered what’s best for students, for Columbia, and for the future use of this historically significant building. Because a centralized student center had long been desired by students and the campus community, the college engaged the entire community in 2016 to help shape the programming and to help determine what kind of center would best meet student needs and align with the college’s strategic goals. The college found that retrofitting a vertical office building would not provide an ideal working space for students practicing in highly diverse, creative fields and who engage in collaborative disciplines. Plans for a new student center were made to best accommodate the collective goals of the campus community.

Local developer, 3L Real Estate, the new owners of the 820 S. Michigan building, is planning to convert the office space into apartment housing.

The college is committed to utilizing the funds from the sale of 820 S. Michigan to go toward the new student center, which broke ground on Nov. 13.

For more coverage, see: Crain’s Chicago BusinessCurbed ChicagoChicago Tribune, and Chicago Tonight.