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CHICAGO-The Art Institute, one of the world’s most renowned art museums, has bought 36 South State St. from Michigan Avenue Partners LLC. In what will be the Art Institute’s third major redevelopment on State Street in as many years, the museum plans to pour $50 million into the vintage North American Building, turning it into an academic center for its Art Institute School.

“We’ve bought 36 South State,” says Debbie Martin, assistant dean of student affairs at the Art Institute School. “It will be an art and technology academic center for film and video and other things.” Students moved into the Art Institute’s latest State Street redevelopment, the $54-million 162 North State St. building, on August 26. “We broke ground on the renovation in January of last year,” says Martin. “Wooton Contractors did an unbelievably fast job of getting it done for us.”

The Art Institute’s first State Street redevelopment effort was the refurbishing of the historic Chicago Building at State and Madison Streets in 1997.

Michigan Avenue LLC had originally planned to redevelop 36 South State itself in a $30-million plan submitted several years ago. Dominic Forte, Chief investment officer at Michigan Avenue LLC, was not available for comment.

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