"Oprah Winfrey, who put an obscure stretch of [Chicago’s] Near West Side on the map when she moved her television show there in 1990, is set to sell Harpo Studios for around $32 million to a Chicago developer…" reports Crains Chicago Business. [Crains Chicago Business, like TVWeek, is owned by Crain Communications.]
The article continues, "After a bidding war that enticed investors from as far away as China, Ms. Winfrey’s Harpo Inc. has agreed to sell the four-building campus to Sterling Bay Cos.
"For Ms. Winfrey, selling off the last of her commercial real estate represents a final step out of Chicago, which she left almost three years ago to form Oprah Winfrey Network in Los Angeles.
“ ‘We have entered into a purchasing agreement with Sterling Bay for the four-building Harpo Studios campus in Chicago’s West Loop,’ a spokeswoman for Harpo, which has more than 200 employees in Chicago, confirms in a statement. ‘We expect the transaction to be closed in 30 days. The property will be leased back to Harpo for two years and the studio will continue to produce programming for OWN.’”
For many years the Harpo complex in Chicago was where the high-rated talk program "The Oprah Winfrey Show" was taped. Harpo is Oprah spelled backwards.
The story adds, ‘While Ms. Winfrey cuts her last remaining business ties to Chicago, she still has a 9,625-square-foot condominium in Water Tower Place listed for sale at $7.75 million. Sterling Bay, on the other hand, is gobbling up real estate in the longtime meatpacking district, which in recent years has become a destination for foodies and is bracing for a wave of office, hotel, retail and apartment development.
"[Sterling’s] most notable deal in the area has been a commitment from Mountain View, Calif.-based Google Inc. to lease more than a quarter-million square feet of office space in the 10-story former Fulton Market Cold Storage building on West Fulton Market, about two blocks north of the Harpo campus."