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CHICAGO-Citing an inability to secure financing to continue construction, the board of the Museum of Broadcast Communications has decided to sell the half-finished building it was developing for a new $28-million facility. The planned 62,000-square-foot, four-story building, being developed at 360 N. State St., is about 60% complete, according to Bruce DuMont, president of the museum.

Last summer, the property was appraised at $11.2 million as-is, and estimated to be valued at nearly $22 million when complete.

“The decision to sell the building was made because of the cost, the declining national economic situation, and the lack of support from the state of Illinois to follow through on promises they made,” DuMont tells GlobeSt.com. “Bank benchmarks changed and the amount of equity needed became much larger. The board said the way to get this done is to sell the property to someone who wants to develop it on their own and allow the museum to be a tenant of the second and third floor.”

DuMont says the state once committed $8 million to the development, but never came through with the funds. The museum has also received $2 million in donations from various media companies in support of the new facility.

“At this point, if we’re not the owner of the building we could still stay in the building as a tenant and be able to come through on every promise to donors,” DuMont says. “Is this ideal? No. Is it a way to get the project done? We believe it is.”

The board has not yet determined what sales price it will seek. It is currently meeting with brokers to determine who will market the property, and receive professional advice on what amount to pursue. DuMont estimated that it will cost another $9 million to complete the facility. DuMont told GlobeSt.com in November that in order to secure financing to complete construction, the museum first needed to line up a tenant to fill the 12,000 square feet remaining available on the fourth floor of the development.

Tenants have already been secured to fill the first floor of the development. Most recently, 6,000 square feet was leased for a new Thai restaurant to be operated by Lisa Ko, owner of sushi restaurant Tamarind, at 614 S. Wabash. Johnny Rockets will lease the remainder of the ground level. The museum had hoped to lease the fourth floor space to a banquet or special events operator. The asking lease rate was $38 per sf, net, and the two tenants remain on board for the development at this time.

The museum acquired the 13,520-square-foot site in 2003 for $4.6 million from BJB Partners, an owner and manager of multifamily rental buildings throughout the market. The property once housed a 50,000-square-foot parking garage.

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