CHICAGO-Channel 2, the locally owned-and-operated CBS Television affiliate, could become a tenant, or perhaps a partner, in the city-led effort to develop 108 N. State St., formerly known as Block 37. While talks continue with the London-based Harrod’s department store chain to serve as the retail anchor of the mixed-use development, local brokers and others involved in the talks tell the television station, whose studios and operations are based in the Streeterville neighborhood, could become part of the project.

The city and Arlington, VA-based Mills Corp., whose previous project here was the 1.7-million-sf Gurnee Mills mall in that far north suburb, have signed a memorandum of intent regarding the 2.8-acre site. The city is reacquiring the property from FJV Ventures, whose $250-million project was the latest to die last year, for $32.5 million.

However, CBS communications and community relations representative Elizabeth Shapiro cautions the station has made no decision on where it will move from the 170,000-sf armory style building at 630 N. McClurg Ct. “We are still reviewing a lot of options around Chicago,” Shapiro tells

Also, city officials have stressed retail as the driver of the project, which will be located across State Street from Target Corp.-owned Marshall Field’s flagship store. This summer, sources, say, Harrod’s expressed concern over other uses such as multifamily units and a hotel in the project, but the city continued pushing the retail aspect in talks.

Depending on the final site, those options could also include the television station as well as two major radio stations housed at 630 N. McClurg Ct., all-news station WBBM-AM and contemporary music station WBBM-FM.

The television stations is looking to move “in three years or so,” Shapiro says, from the three-story building CBS owns at the northwest corner of McClurg Court and Ontario Street, near the Northwestern Memorial Hospital complex and in a dense high-rise residential area.

Following the move, that property could become a redevelopment opportunity.The Cook County assessor’s office places a market value of $8.95 million on the property, which includes a 1.5-acre site. However, 92% of the value is in the land, according to the most recent assessment of the property. It also is underdeveloped under current C3-6 zoning, which would allow for a building of nearly 800,000 sf, more than four times greater the low-slung brick building that stretches from Ontario to Erie streets.

While Channel 5 is located about two blocks south at NBC Tower at 455 N. Cityfront, ABC affiliate Channel 7 is headquartered in space at 190 N. State St., about a block north of Block 37.

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