This building is the old Post Office in Chicago. It is a monstrous building. The Eisenhower Expressway (I-290), which is 8 lanes across at this point, actually goes through the building. It has sat empty for over a decade, since the USPS built a new facility next door.The Feds in Business: Look to the Post Office
If anybody needs a good reason to be skeptical of the government’s new found commitment to efficiency when it comes to the hundreds of billions of dollars of “stimulus” spending, the Chicago Main Post Office facility provides a very obvious example.
This massive, 14-story building spans several city blocks at 2.7 million square feet. Situated in an ultra-prime downtown location, the advertising potential alone is unparalleled: Tens of thousands of cars pass directly through it every day on the main highway heading into and out of town.
Yet this building has sat completely vacant since 1997 when the post office moved to a new facility across the street, meaning the USPS missed out on capitalizing on one of the biggest booms in commercial real estate in history. Worse off, it wasted a small fortune in the process — a 2006 report by the General Accountability Office found the facility costs the USPS $2 million a year simply to maintain.
Spending $2 million a year on an empty building? That sort of waste would never been tolerated in a profit-seeking firm. To believe somehow the new governmental bureaucracies being created will avoid such misuse is both hilarious and frightening.
Thankfully, the property is finally going up for auction. On Aug. 27, the building will be sold to the highest bidder, regardless of price. Suggested opening bid is $300,000, but given the unique structure has an estimated replacement cost of $300 million, you can expect aggressive bidding. -- SmartMoney