Johnson Publishing Co, Inc. announced today the sale of its Michigan Avenue headquarters building to Columbia College Chicago and launched its search for a new home as the legendary publisher opens the next chapter in its history. The move is another step in JPC’s corporate strategy to advance its business plan and serve the current needs of the company.
“I am so proud that this wonderful building, which has served Johnson Publishing so well since 1971, will continue to have a rich legacy under the stewardship of Columbia College Chicago,” said Linda Johnson Rice, Chairman, JPC. “When we learned of Columbia’s interest in preserving the building and using it to expand opportunities for young people to study visual, performing, media and communication arts, we knew this was an opportunity that we should pursue.”
Columbia College Chicago Board of Trustees Chairman Allen Turner said, “The purchase of the Johnson Building offered us a rare opportunity for much needed expansion, especially given that the space is central to our South Loop campus. Just as important, we will have a part in preserving the legacy of the Johnson Building and its legendary significance to all Chicagoans.”
“This building has historic and legendary importance to the city of Chicago and to African Americans around the globe,” said Columbia College president Warrick Carter in a statement. “In our commitment to appropriately honor Mr. and Mrs. Johnson and the building, a committee of civic leaders and celebrities is being organized to help determine the appropriate manner of recognize them.”
JPC said that it currently utilizes only about 40 percent of the building and moving its headquarters is part of the overall strategy to reduce costs as it refocuses on the core functions of its publishing and cosmetics businesses. JPC has had four company headquarters in Chicago since its founding in 1942.
“The sale of 820 S. Michigan is part of the continuing evolution of the company that my father and mother started in the early 1942s,” said Rice. “Just as when JPC moved to this location in 1972, my father would be the first to say it makes good business sense to relocate to space that serves the current needs of the company.”
The 11-story, 110,000 square-foot historic building, which has been home to EBONY and JET magazines as well as Fashion Fair Cosmetics for almost 40 years, was completed in 1972 as the first major downtown Chicago building designed by an African-American since Jean Baptiste Point DuSable’s trading post, built two centuries earlier.
Terms call for JPC to continue to occupy the building under an 18-month lease. The company will appoint a building committee to help determine where to relocate its worldwide headquarters. The JPC building’s sale closed today. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Source: Target Market News