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A group of developers on the short list to buy Tribune Tower want to convert the Gothic Michigan Avenue landmark into condominiums, apartments and even a hotel, but the bigger opportunity may be the lot next door.
Tribune Media, which put the 36-story tower up for sale in October, is in the final stages of picking a buyer for the property, having narrowed the list to a small set that includes CIM Group, a Los Angeles-based developer that owns the Block 37 mall, and two Chicago firms: Oxford Capital Group, developer of the new LondonHouse hotel across the river, and Riverside Investment & Development, which is building a 54-story office tower in the West Loop, according to people familiar with the bidding process.
The entire Tribune property, which includes a parking lot to the east of the tower, could sell for $230 million to $260 million, these people said.
Sitting just north of the Chicago River on the Magnificent Mile, the property offers a location that’s hard to beat, though converting the tower to a new use would be complex and risky.
The property also comes with something all developers love: land for new buildings. A buyer could build one or two more towers on the parking lot next door and on space created by demolishing some of the existing Tribune building that is not landmarked. […]